Aussie Tour adds Fiji International
19 Sep 2013
The PGA of Australia together with the Fiji Government today announced plans to stage Fiji’s largest and most acclaimed sporting event, the Fiji International.
Confirmed for a five-year period with a guaranteed minimum prizepurse of US$1 million, from 2014 the Fiji International will be played at the spectacular Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course delivering substantial economic and tourism benefits to the south pacific nation.
The PGA Tour of Australasia tournament will be managed by the PGA in conjunction with tournament promoter Sports & Entertainment Limited (SEL), and will be co-sanctioned by OneAsia, of which the PGA is a founding partner.
In making the announcement alongside Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Brian Thorburn CEO of the PGA of Australia said the Fiji International presents an opportunity for Fiji to claim a position as one of the world’s greatest golf destinations.
“The Fiji International will perfectly complement Fiji’s tourism strategy at the same time delivering both short and long term economic benefits.
“The Fiji International will rightfully showcase Fiji as a world class golf and tourist destination and we’re proud to be involved with this promising project.”
With initial estimates suggesting the Fiji International could deliver a multi-million dollar economic benefit, Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the initiative has been embraced by the Fiji Government.
“It will give us a fantastic avenue to promote our beautiful nation and show the world what we have to offer.”
Planning is now underway to stage the inaugural Fiji International in August 2014, however the tournament will likely move to a later position from 2015 to more closely align with the PGA Tour of Australasia’s existing major events including the Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola, the Emirates Australian Open, Perth International and the Talisker Masters.
Located on Fiji’s Coral Coast, Natadola Bay is approximately 40 minutes drive south of Nadi International Airport on the main island of Viti Levu.
The course is renowned for its sparkling backdrop of coral reefs and the Pacific Ocean that line 15 out of the 18 championship holes.
Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course was officially opened for play in June 2009 with the staging of the Fijian Open, won by then Rookie Professional Victorian Matthew Griffin.
The course has since hosted the 2010 Fiji Open, the 2011 Nomura Cap and the 2012 Natadola Bay Fiji Classic.