SEOUL, Korea - Now that the world's golfing attention is focused on the golf war between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Saudi oil capital is infiltrating Korea.
Kolon Group, which sponsors Korea's flagship men's golf tournament, the Korea Open, announced in November last year that it would host the Aramco Team Series of LAT. No detailed schedule has been announced. Only total prize money is 1 million U.S. dollars. Rough schedule is May, venue is nearly Seoul city.
Core is LIV Golf, which is a rival to the PGA Tour. The others are the LAT Aramco Team Series and the Asian Tour International Series. LIV Golf and the International Series have built a structure of elevation.
If the Aramco team series is held in Korea in May, PIF capital will flow in two years after the Asian Tour International Series Korea.
According to sources from Kolon Group, the Saudi Arabian team visited Korea twice last year to host the event. At that time, Saudi Arabia did not disclose what kind of competition it would hold. Ultimately, Saudi Arabia chose the Aramco team series.
PIF had in mind to host LIV Golf Korea.
"I heard that the LIV Golf Tour will be held in Korea next year (through a LIV Golf official). Please let me know more information," said an official who attended the Hong Kong Open on the Asian Tour.
A Kolon Group spokesperson said, "The golf course owned by Kolon Group does not have enough space to host LIV Golf. Rather, nearly Seoul city will match LIV Golf."
An official familiar with the domestic golf industry said, "I heard LIV Golf recently inquired about holding LIV Golf at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club, the venue of the 2015 Presidents Cup."
Last year, former KPGA Chairman Jacheol Koo signed an agreement with DP World Tour. It formed eight confederation groups with PGA Tour and other Tour. This means that the relationship between KPGA and PIF is broken.
As a result, the Asian Tour reduced the national category assigned to the KPGA Korean Tour from nine to eight.
Wonsup Mike Kim, the new chairman of the KPGA, who was elected late last year, said shortly after his election, "I will try to improve relations with the Asian Tour."
In Korea, female golfers are more popular than male golfers. This is because of players Seri Pak, Inbee Park, and Jingyoung Ko. Thanks to them, the KLPGA Tour has developed. Men's golf is also drawing attention on the global stage recently.
At the end of last year, there were 29 Korean players in the men's OWGR 500 ranking. This was the fourth-highest number. The U.S. topped the list with 180 players, followed by England (43) and Japan (35).
There are 140 Korean players in the top 500 Rolex rankings in the women's world ranking.
Louis / Ldhonisite@gmail.com
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