The Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways will tee up for the fifth time in 2018 with golfers from all over the world ready to jet into the country.
As entries close for the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, European Tour and Asian Tour tri-sanctioned tournament, professional golfers from 16 countries have signed on for the tournament.
Four time Major winner Ernie Els, who has been selected Captain of the International Team for the 2019 Presidents Cup and Fiji’s own Major Champion Vijay Singh headline the field which features 57 international tournament winners who between them have won 293 titles, 20 per cent of which were won by Els, the most successful international player to have competed in the tournament since its inception.
The tournament field also features:
“The quality of the players teeing it up in the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways continues to go from strength-to-strength every year, particularly from Fiji’s key tourism markets,” said Gavin Kirkman CEO of the PGA of Australia which owns the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and along with Sports & Entertainment Limited owns the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways.
“We are delighted to bring players the calibre of Ernie and Vijay to Fiji for Fijian sports fans to watch at home.
“Big name players like Ernie and Vijay also ensure golf fans all over the world will be watching the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways.
“The significant global television and media broadcast of the Fiji International continues to make a considerable contribution towards Fiji’s growing tourism industry.”
2018 also sees the largest contingent of Fijian players tee it up in their country’s biggest international event since its inception.
Proudly flying the Fijian flag at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course will be Singh, Sam Lee who qualified by winning the Fiji Open, three time Japan Tour winner Dinesh Chand, Tomasi Tuivuna who is playing for the second consecutive year, Anasa Seruvatu who will play for a second time while Viliame (Bill) Suguturaga will make his third appearance and Roneel Prakash and Amitesh Chandra will debut in the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways.
“In the inaugural Fiji International we had four Fijian competitors, this year we have had eight Fijians qualify which we believe is important for the ongoing success of the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways,” added Kirkman.
“This is a Fijian event and so it is important to us that every aspect of the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways has a Fijian flare including the competitors. That has been the motivation behind our providing an opportunity for the Fiji Open champion and leading Fijian player to gain entry to the tournament. We have also developed a local qualifying tournament that, unlike the Fiji Open, is exclusive to Fijian golfers. The top-4 players from this tournament earn a start at the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways.
“For golf to become more popular in Fiji, we need to help promote Fijian golfers for aspiring players to idolise and emulate. This year we have eight wonderful Fijian professional golfers for the whole country to support at the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways.”
While the players may be the stars of the show, to produce an international golf tournament takes a cast of talented staff and volunteers.
Over the next month many different stakeholders from all over the world will be arriving in Fiji to stage the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways including:
Since its beginnings in 2014 the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways has positioned Fiji as a major international sports event destination.
Over the past five years the tournament has seen the global interest in the event significantly increase, with broadcast tripling in size as the total hours of broadcast surpassed 1,350 in 2017. The media value and potential household reach has also been increasing, testament to the quality fields and strategic Tour partnerships in place.
“The Fiji International has been highly successful over the past five years positioning Fiji as a major international sports event destination,” added Kirkman.
“It has also delivered great results for Fiji by placing the country on the international golfing map, attracting golf tourists to Fiji, reinvesting money back into the local economy and creating opportunities for the local community. This has all equated to an excellent return on the investment made.
“This month / week we are focused on delivering another world class golf tournament that continues to achieve its goals.”
To be held from 2-5 August 2018, the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways will be played at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course which boasts breathtaking views of the Coral Coast and is home to the Natadola Beach Land Estate.
Enticed by the tropical destination, the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways has attracted some of the world’s best golfers since its inaugural staging in 2014, including Fijian hero and three-time Major champion Vijay Singh, 2017 champion Jason Norris, 2016 champion Brandt Snedeker, 2015 champion Matt Kuchar and 2014 champion Steven Jeffress, Steven Bowditch, Boo Weekley and Nick Price.
This year’s tournament is set to feature four-time Major champion and Captain of the International Team for the 2019 Presidents Cup, Ernie Els.
In 2018, the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways continues to have a global presence confirming its position as an integral tournament in the South Pacific region, with the tournament being tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and Asian Tour.
A Pacific paradise, the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways also boasts some of the most unique hospitality options in world golf with the par-3 8th hole providing the perfect vantage point to watch the golf, whilst socialising on the beach.
More than just a golf tournament, the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways aims to leave a lasting legacy for golf in the Pacific region, with the PGA of Australia supporting initiatives to introduce and grow the game in Fiji.
Owned by Sports and Entertainment (SEL) and the PGA of Australia, the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways is proudly supported by the Fijian Government, Tourism Fiji and the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa as the official resort of the tournament.
For more information, visit Fiji International site.