THE Fiji International, which is part of PGA Australasia Tour, will run for the next five years with a guaranteed prize purse of $1.8m.
Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama officially opened the inaugural tournament at InterContinental at Natadola on Tuesday.
About 300 guests attended the function.
In his address Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama said golf attracted visitors who came not only to play at spectacular courses such as Natadola, but also to enjoy the many beautiful resorts, activities and attractions in the country.
"While the Fiji International may be the newest leg of the PGA's Australasia Tour, I'm confident that Fiji will quickly capture the imaginations, the hearts and the minds of golfers and fans around the world," he said.
"Although Fiji has long offered a selection of beautiful courses, both to visitors and local golfers, we have never truly capitalised on the sport's potential here, especially as we are naturally positioned to take advantage of golf's rapidly growing popularity in Asia.
"Experience tells us that while the growth of golf tourism depends in part on the development of more high-quality golfing facilities, it also depends on marketing the ones we already offer to golfers and their families around the world.
"To this end, we believe that the Fiji International will instantly establish the country as a top golfing destination in the region. The tournament is the first of its kind in the South Pacific and sets a new benchmark for sporting events here."
The winner of the tournament will walk away with about $329,000.