The star-studded field for this year’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International has been further strengthened with world No. 4 Atthaya Thitikul and 2022 LET Order of Merit winner Linn Grant confirming their places in a strong line-up which now features a record 15 out of the world’s top 30.
Taking place at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City from February 16-19, the tournament is the third stop in a record-breaking 2023 LET season, featuring 30 events across 21 countries with a total prize fund of €35 million up for grabs.
The trailblazing event made a strong statement in the world of golf, signalling its steadfast commitment to women’s golf through a prize purse boost to $5million, the largest outside of the majors. The purse matches the men’s event, the PIF Saudi International.
Thai 19-year-old Thitikul is the latest big name to strengthen the world-class field competing for the bumper purse. She said: “It has been a while since I last competed in Saudi Arabia. I remember playing at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in 2021 and had strong results in both events. I hope to go one better than I did at the 2021 Aramco Saudi Ladies International and enjoy a great start to my 2023 season.”
Thitikul has genuine star quality and golfing credentials to match. In her rookie year of the LPGA last year, she claimed two victories and 16 top-10 finishes and unsurprisingly took home the 2022 Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year award. The young superstar also performed impressively in the majors, securing three top-10 finishes in five majors last year.
Before her time in the LPGA, Thitikul wrote her name in the history books of the LET. In 2021, she became the youngest player to win the LET’s Race to Costa del Sol while also taking back the Rookie of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year titles. She was also the youngest golfer, male or female, to win a professional golf tournament when she won the LET’s Thailand Championship 2017 at just 14 years of age.
The former world No.1 is only the second player under 20 to claim the ranking other than Lydia Ko, who will also compete in Saudi.
The pair will be joined by Swedish star Grant, the world no. 28 who claimed four wins and nine top-10 finishes last season to take home the 2022 Race to Costa del Sol, Rookie of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year titles.
The Swede also made history last year when she became the first woman to win an official event on the DP World Tour when she secured victory at the Volvo Scandinavian Mixed.
The complete list of the 15 of the world’s top 30 players are:
Lydia Ko (1)
Atthaya Thitikul (4)
Lexi Thompson (7)
In Gee Chun (8)
Hyo-Joo Kim (9)
Nasa Hataoka (10)
Leona Maguire (11)
Celine Boutier (12)
Charley Hull (13)
Xiyu Lin (14)
Danielle Kang (17)
Hannah Green (19)
Ashleigh Buhai (21)
Georgia Hall (24)
Linn Grant (28)