Two months after turning professional, recent Aust PGA Champion Jed Morgan plays a US$5 million event.
The first event of the 2022 Asian Tour schedule gets underway on Thursday with the staging of the inaugural PIF Saudi International played at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in Saudi Arabia.
The tournament represents the first collaboration between the Greg Norman inspired LIV Golf Investment’s foray into golf and the Asian Tour and with a prize fund of US$5 million and a field which includes the likes of Dustin Johnson, Bryson De Chambeau, Xander Schaufelle, Patrick Reed, and Phil Mickelson along with Australians, Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman, Lucas Herbert and recently crowned Australian PGA Champion Jed Morgan, amongst others, there will ensure plenty of interest from this country and globally.
While not part of the ten event International Series announced recently and supported by this group, this particular event is being funded by the the same source and provides a whole new dynamic for the Asian Tour.
No doubt many are being paid handsomely for their participation even before the first tee shot is hit on Thursday, money appearing to be no object in a region of the world where financial largesse is common.
“We are setting the Asian Tour up as a powerful new force on the world golf stage,” said Norman. “In my 40 years as a professional golfer, I’ve seen many parts of the world that have benefitted tremendously from golf and its growth and development. We now have the opportunity to do that in the Asia Pacific region and the Middle East with this incredible investment platform. Everyone benefits – professional players, amateurs, grassroots golf, fans, economies, communities, stakeholders. I’ve never been so optimistic about the future of the sport.”
In addition to Smith, Leishman, Herbert and Morgan several other Australians and New Zealanders get their chance to play for US$5 million as members of the Asian Tour but others also have a unique opportunity to play for the sort of riches they might only have dreamed of playing for a few weeks ago.
Wade Ormsby, Andrew Dodt, Travis Smyth and Scott Hend are in the field through their Asian Tour membership but Brad Kennedy, Louis Dobbelaar, Ben Eccles, Ryan Ruffels and New Zealander Daniel Hillier get their chance through various eligibility criteria and have a rare opportunity to play against the strongest field ever assembled for an Asian Tour event and for the sort of prizemoney on offer.