Golf Saudi ambassadors to tee it up at season-opening PIF Saudi International at Royal Greens

KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY: Kevin Na, Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra, Jason Kokrak and Talor Gooch have been confirmed for the Asian Tour’s flagship $5 million PIF Saudi International, powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers, which will take place at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club from February 2-5.

The four Golf Saudi ambassadors join a strong field, featuring World No. 3 Cameron Smith and defending champion Harold Varner III, who memorably secured a thrilling last-gasp victory with an unforgettable 90-foot eagle putt on 18 last year. The Asian Tour’s top 30 players at the close of the 2022 season have also earned a spot at the big-money event.

Kokrak secured three PGA Tour titles, the CJ Cup, Charles Schwab Challenge and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open, in a 13-month period from 2020-2021, while evergreen golfer Kevin Na has five PGA Tour wins, including the Sony Open in Hawaii in 2021, and one Asian Tour victory — the Volvo Masters of Asia — under his belt in a long and storied career.

American star Gooch, 31, won the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic in 2021, and Spaniard Lopez-Chacarra reached No. 2 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking system before turning professional and claiming his first tournament win in just five starts last season.

Na, who finished T28 at least year’s PIF Saudi International, said: “I really enjoyed playing the Royal Greens course last year, it was a real challenge and I am looking forward to playing here again in the PIF Saudi International this year, it is the perfect tune-up for the coming season.”

Kokrak, who also finished in the top 50 at Royal Greens last time out, added: “The PIF Saudi International is a highly regarded event which always draws a strong field and it is a great privilege to be teeing it up in the tournament again this year.”