Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and previous critic Paul Casey join Saudi occasion
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – The Saudi Worldwide in its third yr is shaping up as one of many strongest fields on the European Tour with commitments from Masters champion Dustin Johnson, U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau and a curious one from Paul Casey.
Match organizers stated on Thursday that seven members of Europe’s final Ryder Cup group will play the Saudi Worldwide on Feb. 4-7, the identical week because the Waste Administration Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour.
Johnson gained the inaugural Saudi Worldwide in 2019 and was runner-up this yr to Graeme McDowell. DeChambeau additionally performed the primary yr, whereas Phil Mickelson signed up once more for 2021 after a tie for third in Saudi final yr.
The shock was Casey, who made it a degree of claiming he wouldn’t be enjoying when the match started in 2019. He famous his sponsorship of UNICEF, which is on his golf bag, and stated he would favor to ”sit this one out.” In an interview with the London-based Impartial that spring, nevertheless, Casey stated, ”I’d be a hypocrite” if he acquired look cash to play the Saudi Worldwide.
BY Brentley Romine
— February 2, 2020 at 8:39 AM
Graeme McDowell gained the Saudi Worldwide by two photographs Sunday at Royal Greens Golf and Nation Membership.
Gamers have been criticized for going, particularly the primary yr, as a result of it was held some three months after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote critically of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in columns for The Washington Publish. Johnson stated he was going to play golf, not help the federal government. ”I am not a politician. I am a golfer,” he stated in 2019.
Mickelson was criticized partially for skipping the Phoenix Open, the place he’s among the many largest attracts as a previous champion and Arizona State graduate.
For the Europeans, a powerful area might go a great distance towards their bid to make the Ryder Cup group via world rating factors. Europe’s qualification course of was frozen when the matches have been postponed till September 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It resumes in January.
”With Ryder Cup qualification on the road, I’m clearly seeking to get my marketing campaign off to a quick begin and getting a good end or successful the Saudi Worldwide in opposition to such a stellar area could be huge,” Ian Poulter stated. ”It has been a extremely bizarre yr with COVID, so we’re all wanting ahead to a recent begin in 2021.”
Casey renewed his membership with the European Tour to play within the 2018 Ryder Cup. Others from that successful group in France who’ve dedicated to the Saudi Worldwide are Poulter, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Henrik Stenson.
The sphere may have three reigning main champions, with Open champion Shane Lowry additionally enjoying. Patrick Reed goes for the third straight yr. He completed 56th the primary yr and missed the minimize in January. Reed at present leads the Race to Dubai with the ultimate occasion two weeks away.