World No.1 Justin Rose has expressed how the large pot of world ranking points was the biggest lure in him travelling to compete in this week's inaugural Saudi International on the European Tour.
Rose closed out his 10th PGA Tour win with victory in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego on Sunday. The Englishman, who led the tournament after the second round, went on to land a two-stroke victory over Adam Scott on 21-under par.
The reigning FedEx Cup champion was playing in just his second PGA Tour event with new HONMA Golf clubs and a new putter.
Rose, who said he would arrive in Saudi Arabia after boarding a plane via London on Tuesday morning, has explained the golfing reasons greatly outweighed any political reasons for not competing this week.
The European Tour has come under scrutiny since announcing the addition of the Saudi event to its schedule following the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
According to reports, a CIA assessment claims that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s killing. Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the crown prince, was killed in October.
“I'm not a politician, I'm a pro golfer,” said Rose, who will be joined by a stellar field of players including the likes of Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka.
“There's other reasons to go play it. It's a good field, there's going to be a lot of world ranking points to play for, by all accounts it's a good golf course and it will be an experience to experience Saudi Arabia.”