THE 2012 Starwood Golf Classic kicked off last night with a glamorous opening party for the participating golfers at the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club.
The annual event, which will have over 200 overseas golfers participating, will be played simultaneously at the Denarau Golf Course and the Natadola Bay Golf Club.
Public Relations/Marketing Communications executive at the Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Salome Tukuafu said there would be at least 60 professional golfers battling the greens over the next four days.
"This is going to be the biggest purse in any golfing event in the Pacific region," she said.
"As a major sporting event, our sponsorship includes some of the main business houses such as Vodafone, RC Manubhai, Tappoo, Punjas, ANZ, Lawhill Wines, etc and among the prizes, we have donated prizes from Pure Fiji, our complex of 5 Star Resorts and the Intercontinental down at Natadola.
"The tournament is also open to some of our most avid local players."
Last year the tournament offered a professional prize purse of $100,000 with more than $50,000 worth of consolation prizes for the amateurs.
New Zealander, Pieter Zwart won the 2011 Starwood Golf Classic event with a score of 276 ahead of Brad Shilton on 279 and Martin Pettigrew on 280.
The tournament will finish off on Saturday with the gala prize presentation dinner and entertainment later in the evening.