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Four-time Major winner Els lauds remarkable golf progress in Kingdom Top ranked Brit Hatton scales world rankings ahead of 2021 Saudi International debut
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 28 - 01 - 2021

Tyrrell Hatton, who won the season opening event on the European Tour last weekend, has moved up to a career high ranking of No. 5 on the Official World Golf Rankings. Now the top ranked British player for the first time, he makes his debut in the 2021 Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers next week.
With more world ranking points on offer than at any other European Tour event likely for the first six months of this year, Hatton has the opportunity to scale even further up the world rankings with a strong showing at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, Feb. 4-7, 2021.
With World No.1 and 2020 Masters Champion American Dustin Johnson heading the field, the third edition of the Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers sees the strongest field gathered in the Kingdom to date and with a world ranking strength of field projection by far the strongest of the Middle East swing, the 138-man field boasts 13 Major winners with 22 Majors, 29 Ryder Cup stars with 90 appearances and, collectively, the field has won more than 900 international titles between them.
Along with the in-form Hatton, the many stand-out players arriving in the Kingdom include 2020 US Open Champion Bryson DeChambeau, five time PGA Tour winner Kevin Na, five-time Major winner Phil Mickelson, 2018 Masters Champion Patrick Reed, World No.18 Tony Finau along with a star-studded European contingent which features the likes of Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger, Danny Willett along with defending champion Graeme McDowell.
Four-time Major winner South African Ernie Els has been a supporter of Saudi Arabia's golf ambitions from the get-go, attending the opening of the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in 2018 where he witnessed the first tee shot over the spectacular European Golf Design, par-72 layout, struck by Yasir Bin Othman Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation.
The popular South African, who has 72 career wins worldwide commented, "It's impressive to see what Golf Saudi has achieved these past three years. I mean, the success of the two women's events last year, along with the stellar field gathered for next week's Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers, that's really put Saudi Arabia on the world's golfing map. The players enjoy it here and I can only imagine that golf in the Kingdom will continue to go from strength to strength in the coming years."
With a line-up that looks set to ensure that the third edition of the Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers will not only be its best yet but also one of the strongest events on the 2021 European Tour schedule, golf is well and truly establishing itself within the Kingdom. Following two extremely successful weeks of Ladies European Tour events late last year, Golf Saudi is looking to build on recent momentum and continue to leverage the country's burgeoning interest in the sport by prioritizing a series of ambitious mass participation programs in order to grow the game for future generations in Saudi Arabia.
There are 29 nationalities represented in this international field and in three short years, the Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers has established itself as one of the biggest events on the global schedule.
Majed Al Sorour, CEO of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, said: "With the field now finalized and exactly a week to go until the third edition of the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers gets underway, I am delighted that we've managed to secure our strongest ever field. This is no small achievement and is testament to our ongoing efforts to transform Saudi Arabia into a golfing nation. Hosting the best names the game has to offer will inspire a whole new generation of young Saudis, helping to grow golf in the Kingdom, as well as enhancing the sport on a global scale by bringing it to new markets." — SG

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