Wiesberger says Asian Tour planting seed with International Series

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CAIRO, EGYPT: Bernd Wiesberger of Austria, Isaa Abou El Ela of Egypt and Travis Smyth of Australia pictured at a press conference on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, ahead of the International Series Egypt at the Madinaty Golf Club. The US$ 1.5 million Asian Tour event is staged from November 10-13, 2022. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.
Cairo: Bernd Wiesberger makes his debut on the Asian Tour’s International Series this week when he tees-off in the US$1.5 million International Series Egypt at Madinaty Golf Club tomorrow and says the Tour is “planting a seed this week, and it’s nice to be part of it,” as it breaks new ground with its first ever event in Egypt. The Austrian is a two-time winner on the Asian Tour – he won the Ballantine’s Championship in Korea in 2012, and the following year the Indonesian Masters – and is making his first appearance on the Tour since 2019. He has been playing the LIV Golf Series this year but is thrilled to be able to return to one of his old hunting grounds. He said: “It is great to be back on the Asian Tour and with the new International Series. It has been a while since I won here. I am building in a couple of Asian Tour events to my schedule, and I am really looking forward to starting.” Surprisingly, it is not his first time playing in Egypt as he competed in a European Challenge Tour event here in 2010. “I remember we had a great time back then and I think it’s now very beneficial for the Asian Tour to go more international,” said the 37-year-old. “In the past they had an alignment with the European Tour and there were tournaments outside Asia but now with the latest developments in the world of golf there is an opportunity to upgrade certain events to the International Series and find new destinations to take the tour to. “It is great to explore these options outside Asia and in Africa. It makes total sense to come here. Judging by the number of courses here there is definitely a demand for professional tournaments. It is a great start to help build a healthy future in the world of golf. It is very good to see the Asian Tour breaking new ground here and progressing.” This week marks the first time the Asian Tour has staged an event in Egypt, a country that boasts close to 80 golf courses. Said Wiesberger: “I did not know there a nearly 80 golf courses in Egypt and it has probably been overlooked for too long and it’s nice to be adding new destinations not only to my calendar but in general for professional golf. The Tour is planting the seed this week, it is nice to be part of it.” Australian Travis Smyth, currently eighth in the International Series Order of Merit, is hoping for a big week in Egypt as he challenges for top spot at the end of the season and a place on the LIV Golf Series next season. He said: “To be honest I did not know how big or small golf in Egypt was, but it has been amazing this week. Everything about the set-up has been amazing: Cairo, the course, the Madinaty Golf Club itself and the hotel, and I cannot wait to see Cairo grow. I hope we can see more of Egypt in the coming years as we play golf here.” Local hero Issa Abou El Ela is delighted that the Asian Tour has selected Egypt as a golf destination for the International Series this year. He said: “Being local, it fills me with pride to be playing here on the International Series Egypt on the Asian Tour this week. It is a wonderful thing to see the quality players playing on this golf course. We have high quality courses here in Egypt, and we offer a great golf diversity in this country. I appreciate the Asian Tour for giving Egypt the chance to be part of the schedule this season.” The International Series Egypt runs from November 10-13 at the Madinaty Golf Club.

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