SPORTS

Singh Returning To Fiji International For Course Unveiling

Major Champion Vijay Singh will tee it up at the Fiji International this year on the course he revamped; Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course. A staunch supporter of the tri-sanctioned
05 Jul 2017 11:00
Singh Returning To Fiji International For Course Unveiling
Vijay Singh confirmed for 2017 Fiji International. Photo: Fiji International.

Major Champion Vijay Singh will tee it up at the Fiji International this year on the course he revamped; Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.

A staunch supporter of the tri-sanctioned ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, European Tour and Asian Tour tournament held in his home country, Singh is delighted to once again be playing the Fiji International.

“Playing in the Fiji International each year is important to me and I always work my schedule to ensure I can come home,” said Singh.

“I really enjoy playing in front of a home crowd, which is something I did not have the opportunity to do before the Fiji International. Everyone welcomes me so warmly and shows me so much support yet is respectful of my preparations, Fijian fans are great.”

Singh is a wonderful ambassador for Fiji overseas and is warmly welcomed home each year for the Fiji International.

“Fiji continues to build capacity to host world class sporting events and the Fiji International is a pinnacle example of how the Fijian hospitality can provide a unique element to these events,” said the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Koya.

“Vijay’s continued support of the Fiji International boosts our position and draws further attention to our sporting prowess as a nation.”

This year will be even more important to Singh, who has been working on the redevelopment of the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course since the day after the 2016 tournament.

The finessed layout will be debuted at the Fiji International with the Tour Professionals, the first to play the course.

“I started the re-design work on the Monday after the tournament last year, making changes to 15 of the 18 holes with the major focus being on the greens, fairways and bunkers,” added Singh.

“I have kept a close eye on the work being done and I’m very pleased with what we have developed. I believe that it will be more playable for all level of golfers but also better showcase the unique piece of land the course is on.

“I am very much looking forward to playing the course and experiencing for myself the effect the changes have on its playability.”

While Singh is building a reputation for his course design work, at 54-years old, still competes at golf’s highest level on the PGA TOUR.

“Vijay Singh is an incredible athlete. To still be in contention at PGA TOUR events and winning Champions Tour events is a great testament to his skill, which is admired around the world but particularly in Fiji,” said Gavin Kirkman, CEO of the PGA of Australia, which oversees the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.

“But I believe his redevelopment of Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course will highlight his design skills. I am really looking forward to seeing how the course plays and what the Tour Pros think of the changes.”

To be held from 17-20 August the Fiji International will be played at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course which boasts breathtaking views of the Coral Coast and is home to the Natadola Beach Land Estate.

Enticed by the tropical destination, the Fiji International has attracted some of the world’s best golfers since its inaugural staging in 2014 including Fijian hero and three time Major champion Vijay Singh, 2016 champion Brandt Snedeker, 2015 champion Matt Kuchar, Steven Bowditch, Boo Weekley, Nick Price, Robert Allenby, Heath Slocum, Liang Wenchong, and Anirban Lahiri.

In 2017, the Fiji International continues to have a global presence confirming its position as an integral tournament in the South Pacific region, with the tournament being tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and Asian Tour.

A Pacific paradise, the Fiji International also boasts some of the most unique hospitality options in world golf with the par-3 8th hole providing the perfect vantage point to watch the golf, whilst socialising on the beach.

More than just a golf tournament, the Fiji International aims to leave a lasting legacy for golf in the Pacific region, with the PGA of Australia supporting initiatives to introduce and grow the game in Fiji.

The Fiji International is proudly supported by the Fijian Government, Tourism Fiji and the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa as the official resort of the tournament through 2017.

–Fiji International

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