Golf

Fiji International is now part of the European tour

The Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has welcomed the news of Fiji International being included as part of the European Tour yesterday. Professional golfers from all over the world will descend on Fiji when the tournament is played at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course from October 6–9. Hon. Khaiyum said being part […]

DEPTFO

April 22, 2016 9:06 am

The Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has welcomed the news of Fiji International being included as part of the European Tour yesterday.

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(Left to Right) CEO of the PGA of Australia, which oversees the PGA Tour of Australasia Brian Thurbon, The Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya. (DEPFTO).

Professional golfers from all over the world will descend on Fiji when the tournament is played at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course from October 6–9.

Hon. Khaiyum said being part of the European Tour provides Fiji unprecedented level of exposure and we will be able to reach markets where we do not have a presence.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “Cyclone Winston has shown our vulnerability, therefore, it is critical that we broaden our economic base and take up opportunities.”

“We need to think outside the box. The Fijian Government a couple of years ago saw the future and took the leap to host a PGA event that opened up a new segment of tourism.”

The Acting Prime Minister further added that the FNPF has committed to upgrading the Natadola Golf Course.

He said it is important that people enjoy not only the scenic view but also the golf course so that they come back to play the course and recommend it to their friends and families.

The new co-sanctioning relationship between the PGA Tour of Australasia and The European Tour is set to attract a stronger field, with more nationalities represented than ever before. The Fiji International will also be broadcast live into more homes thanks to European Tour Productions’ global reach.

Close to 400 million homes around the world, including the important Asian, North American and Australian markets, will witness the beauty of Fiji as the Fiji International is broadcast live for 20 hours this year.

CEO of the PGA of Australia, which oversees the PGA Tour of Australasia, Brian Thorburn said one of the key aims of the Fiji International is to showcase Fiji to the world as not only a beautiful island paradise but also a golfing mecca.

BRIAN THORBURN: “With the PGA Tour of Australasia joining forces with The European Tour this year, we will see the exposure of Fiji significantly increased whilst also securing a deeper pool of talent to compete for the title.”

The European Tour is one of the strongest professional golf tours in the world, and 2016 will see their global presence boosted with their first visit to Fiji.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said It is tremendous news that the Fiji International will be played on The European Tour for the first time this year. The tournament will not only increase the playing opportunities for our Members but will also strengthen our presence on the world stage.

KEITH PELLEY: “The European Tour’s first visit to one of the world’s most beautiful holiday destinations is set to excite our players and Fiji’s golf fans alike, and I’m sure the tournament will be a huge success. Our thanks go to the Fijian Government and the PGA Tour of Australasia, with whom we are forging an ever-stronger relationship through our co-sanctioned tournaments.”

The news of the Fiji International joining The European Tour International Schedule is sure to excite European professional golfers, with the tournament fast earning a reputation as a working holiday.

KEITH PELLEY: “One of the key drawcards of the Fiji International is in fact Fiji as a destination. Players are able to bring their families to enjoy a holiday, whilst they compete in a world-class tournament.

Last year, we saw our champion Matt Kuchar’s family enjoying all the spectacular sites of Fiji, whilst Matt was busy winning the title. It makes for a very special week for everyone.”

A minimum of 59 players will come from both the PGA Tour of Australasia and The European Tour, while an additional eight tournament invitations will add to the diversity of the field.

This year’s tournament will also see the highest number of positions set aside for Fijian golfers, with a minimum of six places available for qualifying events in Fiji and for Fijian nationals. This ensures Fiji’s leading golfers continue to have the opportunity to compete and enhance their skills in a world-class tournament alongside the best players in the world.

With the PGA of Australia’s continuing relationship with the China Golf Association and the Korean Golf Association, players from both these tours will also be invited to play in the event.

With the involvement of The European Tour, the Fiji International cements its position as one of the strongest tournaments on the PGA Tour of Australasia.

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