Rumoured LIV Golf signing Mito Pereira will play in the opening International Series event of 2023, in Oman.
Significantly, the International Series, which is part of the Asian Tour, is funded by LIV, and the appearance of the Chilean will fuel suggestions that he will be unveiled as one of its new signings ahead of the 2023 season, which begins at El Camaleon Golf Club on 24 February. The news comes after confirmation that the Chilean will also play in another Asian Tour event funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund that bankrolls LIV, this week’s Saudi International.
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman has previously said he is targeting seven new signings for the expanded 14-tournament League, and it has been reported that the 27-year-old will be among them. If Pereira does sign for LIV Golf, he will join compatriot Joaquin Niemann where he would be expected to accompany him on the Torque GC team.
Niemann recently revealed he was “doing everything possible” to persuade Pereira to join LIV. He told Chilean newspaper La Tercera: “I would love to bring him, I’m doing everything possible, but in the end it’s his decision. I imagine him playing the LIV. It would be ideal for him to be on the team, but that is not yet known. I hope it is. For me, at least, it would be ideal if he was on the team.”
Neimann is another who will appear in the Oman event, taking place between 9 and 12 February. As well as the 24-year-old, a host of other players from the circuit will appear, including Major winners Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel. David Puig, Eugenio Chacarra and 2022 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Sihwan Kim are among the other LIV players who will appear.
Asian Tour Cho Minn Thant said: “Re-introducing the International Series, with heavyweight stars such as these, in new markets like the Middle East, provides unimaginable exposure for the game of golf in locations where the potential for growth is enormous.”
The Oman Open had been a Challenge Tour event before moving to the DP World Tour in 2018. Its transition to the International Series Oman is similar to another former DP World Tour event, the Qatar Masters, which follows the Oman event in the schedule as another International Series event.
The International Series provides over $20m to the 2023 Asian Tour prize fund. It will have 10 events this year – an increase of three from last year, with purses of at least $2m per tournament.
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