Caption: Jarryd Felton on the 8th green. Photo: PGA OF AUSTRALIA.
Monday 14 August 2017. The 2017 Fiji International is ready to tee off this week at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.
Tri-sanctioned by the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, Asian Tour and European Tour, players from all over the world have travelled to compete in paradise.
While many of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia contingent has competed on the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course in the past three editions of the Fiji International, they won’t have an advantage over their competitors.
Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course has undergone a major redevelopment by local hero and three time Major champion Vijay Singh.
Already an excellent layout, Singh’s changes have finessed the design with alterations being made on 15 of the 18 holes.
“They are changes that needed to be made, it will take time for the turfing to bed down but the changes themself are really good and very positive,” said Mark Brown, a winner on all three sanctioning tours.
“There used to be a couple of holes where you were hitting straight down wind into quite shallow greens. So it became really difficult to hold the green when hitting the right distance for your second shot. Those holes have been eliminated now so it is probably a bit easier to play but probably fairer.
“The 14th was a really nice change and has turned into a really good hole. So for the most part I am looking forward to playing them in tournament conditions.”
The course is going to see some exceptional play this week with the Fiji International headlined by three former Masters Champion; Vijay Singh, Mike Weir and Angel Cabrera. Also in the field this week are 85 former tournament winners.
In 2017 the Fiji International is living up to its name with 132 players in the field representing 20 nations.
“The Fiji International has fast become a favourite tournament for players and staff alike. A ball has not yet been hit in the 2017 Fiji International and already it is shaping up to be one of the best editions,” said Gavin Kirkman, CEO of the PGA of Australia which oversees the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
“The Fiji International field this year has incredible depth of talent; Vijay Singh, Jeunghun Wang, Ryan Fox and Scott Hend have all joined us after competing in the year’s final Major last week.
“We also have six Olympians in the field who represented Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Bangladesh, Korea and Malaysia.
“But I think the most poignant indicator of the talent assembled in Fiji this year is the fact that in the field we have 85 players who have recorded victories on Tours around the world.”
A tournament the scale of the Fiji International requires a collaborative effort from many different stake holders including:
61 tournament officials from Australia, Singapore and Europe
56 TV crew from all over the world
51 international volunteers
150 local volunteers including 60 students from the Fiji National University
23 international media from USA, England, Sweden, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand
The Fiji International will tee off on Thursday 17th August with the champion to be crowned on Sunday 20th August.
Australian residents can watch live on FoxSports or via the live stream on PGA TV available at pga.org.au.
For more information please visit fijiinternational.com
PGA OF AUSTRALIA