The International Series today announced a new date and venue for International Series England which will now be staged at Slaley Hall Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort – one of the great golfing venues in the North of England. The US$2 million tournament, the ninth event on the Asian Tour schedule and the second International Series event, will be played at the famous venue from June 2-5, paving the way for the Asian Tour to break new ground and sanction an event in the UK for the first time.
The International Series England was originally slated to be played at the Centurion Club during the second week of June, but it was moved one week earlier to accommodate the LIV Golf Invitational at Centurion. Importantly, the re-scheduling will give competitors the chance to qualify for what will most likely be the most lucrative event of their careers. The exemptions will be:
- The top-three players from the cumulative International Series rankings, through Thailand and England, will gain starts at the LIV Golf Invitational.
- The top-two finishers in the International Series England not otherwise exempt will also play their way into the mega event.
- The top player on the Asian Tour Order of Merit at the time, along with the top two players from the 2020-21 final Order of Merit will also gain berths.
“This is a giant step forward for the Asian Tour and we are fortunate that the organisers have been able to accommodate the change in plans. The new date allows us to provide even greater rewards for the competitors. They are not only playing for the Asian Tour Order of Merit, but they will now also able to play their way into a series of ultra-lucrative events throughout the year,” said Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner & CEO, Asian Tour.
“The Asian Tour is currently enjoying a remarkable period of growth and as a consequence we are able to give our members the opportunity to travel and play in new parts of the world. And, of course, to be able to visit an area which such great golfing heritage is of special significance and meaning.”
Slaley Hall is located in the Northumberland countryside and is a short drive away from Newcastle. Often described at the “Augusta of the North” the club boasts two courses: The Hunting and The Priestman. The venue hosted a European Tour event, The Great North Open, from 1996 to 2002 with Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie and Retief Goosen all enjoying a victory there.
“Having the opportunity to be part of this innovative event is exceptionally exciting for The QHotels Collection,” said Keith Pickard, Golf, Health Club and Spa Director for The QHotels Collection. “We have a wealth of experience in hosting tournaments and are delighted that Slaley Hall has been chosen as the official host venue. We have been very privileged to host some of the world’s top stars over the years and we are looking forward to welcoming the new generation of golf talent to Slaley Hall.”
American Sihwan Kim claimed victory in the International Series Thailand at Black Mountain Golf Club and currently leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit heading into next week’s Trust Golf Asian Mixed Cup – one of two back-to-back events being jointly-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour. The Asian Tour will also be making stops in Korea and Japan prior to heading to England. The second half of the year will see stops in Korea, Vietnam, and Indonesia before heading to the Middle East and then culminating in China, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
The International Series – new top-tier tournaments integrated with the Asian Tour schedule – was launched this year and will see 10 events played each year for the next decade.
“We are already breaking boundaries with The International Series as we make our second stop of the season in the UK – a first for the Asian Tour. It was our mission from the outset to grow the game globally, and I am proud to deliver on our promise,” said Greg Norman. “The opportunity and pathways that this presents for players on the Asian Tour – both from a financial and playing perspective – cannot be understated. I will be anxiously following along to see who will get the life changing invite into the LIV Golf event the following week.”
In October last year, Norman was announced as CEO of LIV Golf Investments – a newly formed company whose purpose is to holistically improve the health of professional golf on a truly global scale to help unlock the sports’ untapped worldwide potential. LIV Golf Investments provided US$300 million in seed money to the Asian Tour to launch The International Series. PIF, one of the world’s largest and most impactful sovereign wealth funds with a diverse international investment portfolio, is the majority shareholder in LIV Golf Investments.