Next week’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International features a stellar field and a $5 million purse, now the highest prize fund in women’s golf outside of the majors and the LPGA’s season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. Up from $1 million last season, the women’s purse now matches that of the men’s Saudi International, won last week by Abraham Ancer.
Many of the best players in the women’s game will make their 2023 season debut next week, including World No. 1 Lydia Ko, Lexi Thompson, Atthaya Thitikul and In Gee Chun. In all, 13 major winners have entered.
The 120-player field will feature 60 Ladies European Tour players, 50 from the top 300 in the Rolex Rankings and 10 sponsor invites. The event, which is presented by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, takes place Feb. 16-19 at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club. The winner will receive $750,000.
Other notable players who have committed include Danielle Kang, Nasa Hataoka, Yuka Saso, Maria Fassi, Hyo-Joo Kim, Hannah Green and Andrea Lee.
The LET’s Saudi-backed events remain controversial given the wide-ranging human rights abuses Saudi Arabia has been accused of, especially toward women.
The 13 major winners in the Saudi Ladies International field boast 18 major titles between them.
While the purse is significant for every player in the field, it’s especially impactful for those with only LET status as well as those who have limited starts before the LPGA’s first full-field event of the season in late March.
The LPGA is in the midst of a month-long break before staging back-to-back limited-field events in Thailand and Singapore.
Here’s a closer look at the 10 players who received sponsor invitations and are entered into the field, which includes a wide mix of veterans and up-and-comers: