It was a night of Fijian glamour as the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama official opened the Fiji International.
Fiji International Players, Officials and distinguished guests were treated to a performance by the Fiji Police Band before experiencing the hospitality of the InterContinental Fiji.
Recognising the players in the tournament the Prime Minister’s pride in welcoming home Fiji’s own Vijay Singh and Dinesh Chand was particularly evident.
“I would like to extend a special welcome to Fiji’s very own Vijay Singh, who has been an inspiration to us all for his success on the world stage,” said Bainimarama.
“We also welcome home Dinesh Chand, another elite Fijian golfer who is participating in this tournament after many years overseas in Japan.”
“Vijay and Dinesh, I certainly hope that this tournament inspires more young Fijians to take up the game of golf and that some might follow in your footsteps.”
Tourism in Fiji provides employment to one in every three Fijians and contributed 33.3% of the country’s GDP.
The Fiji International is expected to produce a multi-million dollar boost for the Fijian economy, in addition to flow on benefits including the growth of the game in the region.
“While the Fiji International may be the newest leg of the PGA’s Australasia tour, I’m confident that Fiji will quickly capture the imaginations, the hearts and the minds of golfers and fans across the region and around the world,” added Bainimarama.
“Although Fiji has long offered a selection of beautiful courses, both to visitors and to local golfers, we have never truly capitalized on the sport’s potential here, especially as we are naturally positioned to take advantage of golf’s rapidly growing popularity in Asia.”
“We believe that the Fiji International will instantly establish Fiji as a top golfing destination in the region and further afield. Indeed, the tournament is the first of its kind in the South Pacific and sets a new benchmark for sporting events here.”
“My Government is very pleased that we were able to partner with the PGA to make it a reality. For us, it’s one of the smartest investments we can make in our tourism industry, the top foreign exchange earner in Fiji.”
The Fiji International will be played at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course from 14-17 August and will be Fiji’s first internationally broadcast golf tournament.
Being played for a US$1 million prize purse the Fiji International will be co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia.
Proudly supported by the Fijian Government, the Fiji International is expected to produce a multi-million dollar boost for the Fijian economy, in addition to flow on benefits including the growth of the game in the region.
Designed by Singh, the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course is renowned for its sparkling backdrop of coral reefs and the Pacific Ocean that line 15 out of the 18 championship holes.
Tickets for the Fiji International are now on sale through selected Total Service Stations and RC Manubhai stores.
Total Service Stations selling tickets include: The Total Tavua, Total Ba, Total Lautoka, Total Navutu, Total Namaka, Total Corner Pt, Total Town end (Nadi), Total Sigatoka. Suva areas: Total Lami, Total Hibiscus, Total Flagstaff, Total Laucala, Total Makoi and Total Nausori.
Thanks to the support of the Fijian Government, tickets are available to Fijian residents at a reduced rate when proof of residence is shown.
The cost of a ticket includes a free shuttle bus from the corner of Maro Road and Queens Road junction in Natadola, and 10 per cent discount on bus travel with Sunbeam to the junction (normal bus timetable to apply.)
Children 16 years and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult.
For further information visit www.fijiinternational.com.