Lexi Thompson headlines next week’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International field on the Ladies European Tour. The event, held this year at Riyadh Golf Club Feb. 15-18, offers a purse of $5 million, the same as the payout of the men’s PIF Saudi International.
The 28-year-old Thompson, whose last worldwide victory came at the 2022 Aramco Team Series event in New York, last teed it up at the LPGA Drive On event in January where she tied for 16th. She is not listed in the fields of the LPGA’s upcoming Asian swing.
“The Aramco Saudi Ladies International signifies a significant step forward in advancing the sport,” Thompson said in a release, “not just in Saudi Arabia but on a global scale, and it’s a privilege to be part of an event that advocates for equal prize funds in golf.”
Defending champion Lydia Ko, who won the LPGA season-opening Tournament of Champions and lost the Drive On in a playoff to Nelly Korda, is not in the field in Saudi Arabia. Ko’s next event will be the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.
Korda, who went to Prague immediately after the Drive On to visit her grandparents, is in the midst of a seven-week break from competitive golf.
In addition to the Aramco Saudi Ladies International, the 2024 LET schedule also features the Aramco Team Series, comprised of five events staged across the globe. Winners of those events last year include LPGA players Alison Lee, Xiyu Lin, Carlota Ciganda, Pauline Roussin, and Korda.
The LET’s Saudi-backed events remain controversial given the wide-ranging human rights abuses Saudi Arabia has been accused of, especially toward women.
Here’s a list of noteworthy players in this year’s field: