Natadola Bay, Fiji: The Fiji International will expand its worldwide reach in 2017 following a landmark agreement to include the Asian Tour as a new tri-sanctioning partner alongside the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour.
A total of 30 members from the Asian Tour, which is the official sanctioning body for professional golf in the region, will feature in this year’s tournament at the picturesque Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.
This announcement is poised to further enhance the stature of the Fiji International, which was inaugurated in 2014, while also widening the live broadcast reach across the Asian region via the Asian Tour’s impressive television platform.
Now into its fourth year, the Fiji International continues to grow and the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia is delighted to welcome Asian Tour players to the tropical paradise.
“Since 2014 the Fiji International has been a marquee tournament on our schedule and it is a testament to the tournament that it continues to grow and attract the attention of the world,” said Stephen Ayles, Chief Commercial Officer of the PGA of Australia which oversees the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
“The addition of the Asian Tour to the Fiji International will ensure a strong playing field competes in the tournament which has been won by Steven Jeffress, World Number 20 Matt Kuchar and World Number 28 Brandt Snedeker in its first three editions. The Fiji International is becoming a favourite tournament amongst our players, the tropical destination providing a holiday feel at the world class event. I am sure the Asian Tour players will enjoy it just as much.”
The Asian Tour will be sanctioning an event in the Pacific for the first time in its history, which CEO Josh Burack believes is an important milestone for Asian golf. Recently, the Asian Tour also announced its tri-sanction involvement at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth event alongside the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour.
“This is truly a momentous occasion for the Asian Tour and we look forward to having many of our top players take part in the Fiji International. The tournament will be a tremendous opportunity for our highly talented players to showcase their abilities in a new destination to display the growing strength of Asian golf,” said Burack.
“Through our partnership with the PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour, I am confident the tournament will be a great success. I would like to thank the Fijian Government for its mission to promote golf in the Asia Pacific region and also to the PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour for inviting us to be a sanctioning party. Fiji has a reputation as a world-class holiday destination, so I will not be surprised if many of our members bring their families to the Fiji International to sample what the country has to offer while our players take part in this marque tournament.”
The inaugural Fiji International in 2014 signalled Fiji’s arrival onto the professional golfing scene, with the Fijian Government, Fiji Tourism and Fiji’s number one player, Vijay Singh, all making a push to put their country on the lucrative world golfing map. Since then the tournament has established a reputation amongst the world’s best golfers as a must-attend event for themselves and their families. Now that the Fiji International has expanded as a tri-sanctioned event, it has cemented its position as one of the top events in the South Pacific region. The tournament also boasts some of the most unique hospitality options in world golf with the par-three fourth hole providing the perfect vantage point to watch the golf, whilst socialising on the beach.
Keith Waters, The European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are delighted that the Fiji International returns to the European Tour’s international schedule for the second consecutive year in 2017, and the tournament will once again provide vital playing opportunities for our members.
“We have a very strong relationship with the Asian Tour through our strategic alliance, so to have them join us and the PGA Tour of Australasia in tri-sanctioning this event will ensure this year’s edition builds on the success of the 2016 tournament.”