Golf: With Saudi money, Asian Tour expanding in Middle East and to UK

This season’s Asian Tour will include a 10-event run called the International Series, which is being backed by Saudi Arabia and might pose a threat to golf’s two major tours.

The series is being sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and will be hosted by Greg Norman, the former world No. 1 who has been pushing for a breakaway super league.

Norman announced the start of the series on Tuesday, just in time for the Saudi International this week.

One of the 10 events will take place at the Centurion Club outside London.

Two more will be in the Middle East. Norman said the series will not be “geo-fenced,” raising the potential for a future event in the United States. The tournaments will be open to players from other tours.

The series will start in Thailand in March.

Many of golf’s top players, including Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson, have chosen to compete this week in Saudi Arabia – where appearance money is lucrative – instead of on the US PGA Tour or European tour.

Rights groups have criticised players for appearing at events funded by Saudi Arabia because of the kingdom’s human rights record.

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