Three NFL stars also attended the PIF Saudi International today for the Pro-Am and a special charity match
Jeddah, KSA-: Current Open Champion Cameron Smith prepares to kick off his season at the $5 million PIF Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers and praises Saudi Arabia’s growth since his first visit in 2021.
After enjoying the off-season back home, the Australian is ready to kick off 2023 golf, he said: “Yeah it feels really good to be getting the season started. The course here is a really good test. Usually gets quite gusty and really windy around here, so you have to really control your ball. And the course looks fantastic as well.”
He added of the importance of playing an international schedule “It’s nice to get out and see different parts of the world to help grow the game. This is my third time here, and you can see what’s been done just in those three years. It’s awesome.”
The world no.3 will hope to improve upon his past two visits to Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, a course he’s previously found a challenge in the wind. “It’s a really tough golf course, I think, off the tee. That’s probably where I struggle the most in my game. When it gets a little breezy, those fairways become pretty tight, and there’s a couple of shots out there that are really uncomfortable for me.
“I spent a little bit of time today focusing a little bit more on the driver and seeing some shapes and maybe some lower shots with 3-wood just to get the ball in play. It’s a really solid golf course. You obviously have to play well to win, but you have to navigate your way around and hole some putts.”
Three legends of the NFL were also enjoying Saudi Arabia on their first visit to the country to attend the PIF Saudi International this week. Brice Butler, Patrick Peterson, and Eric Ebron all played in the Pro-Am today alongside 2011 Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel and also competed in three-hole charity match against defending champion Harold Varner, raising money for Al Iman Association and Saudi Cancer Foundation.
Following the charity match Peterson said: “Golfing with Harold was awesome, appreciate the invitation and being able to play with some friends that I’ve known for a while. It’s awesome, I’m looking forward to tomorrow. The course was awesome.”
Ebron added: Great fun, had an awesome opportunity to come out here to Saudi to play some golf with Harold and my friends. It’s my first time over here and it’s been an awesome experience.”
The tournament rounds get underway tomorrow from 7.15am, fans can enjoy the family village experience and watch the world’s best golfers at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, purchase tickets here.
For more information about the PIF Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers and future Golf Saudi events, visit www.golfsaudi.com.