Lydia Ko commits to Saudi event, still uncommitted to LPGA season opener




 

Lydia Ko will return to Saudi Arabia next month to compete in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International, the tournament announced Tuesday.

Ko, who won the event in 2021, will headline a 120-player field that will compete for a record purse Feb. 16-19 at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City. The $5 million purse, which includes $750,000 to the winner, is the highest non-major prize in Ladies European Tour history.

"I remember my time at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International very fondly, having won the title here a few years back. I'm looking forward to returning to Saudi Arabia in a few months to build on my 2022," Ko said in a release. "I'm thrilled to see golf is moving in the direction towards equal prize money," Ko continued, "it is something I believe all the ladies on tour have been striving hard for. I'm grateful to those backing the women's game who have believed in us and are committed to taking the sport to the next level. We're moving in the right direction, and I believe it's only going to get much better from here for women's golf."

The tournament takes place a week before the LPGA's three-event Asian Swing begins in Thailand. There is a one-month break on the LPGA following the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Championship, which begins next week in Orlando, Florida.

However, Ko, who was married on Dec. 30 in South Korea, has yet to commit to the winners-only event at Lake Nona. She has until 5 p.m. ET Tuesday.

She won three times last season, including the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

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