Saudi Arabia's first-ever women's golf event announces unique November double-header

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Wales’ Amy Boulden will be taking part in both of November’s events, fresh from her maiden LET win at this month’s Swiss Open.
Wales’ Amy Boulden will be taking part in both of November’s events, fresh from her maiden LET win at this month’s Swiss Open.

JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia is to welcome international live sport back in November with a world first professional women’s golf week that promises to be a landmark occasion for the Kingdom.

King Abdullah Economic City on the Red Sea Coast will host two elite-level European Ladies Tour golf tournaments in the space of seven days: the $1million prize-fund Aramco Saudi Ladies Open presented by PIF taking place Nov. 12-15 and the $500,000 Saudi Ladies Team International, running Nov. 17-19.

Held within a safe bio-secure environment, both tournaments will attract many of the world’s best golfers, and will be the first time in women’s golf history that professionals — themselves competing in the Kingdom for the first time — will partner with amateurs in the all-new team and individual format promised for the Saudi Ladies Team International.

The events will mark the return of huge international sporting events to the Kingdom, something Saudi Arabia has become renowned for hosting in recent years as the country aims to inspire its next generation under the ambitions of Saudi Vision 2030.

Their hosting also reaffirms the Kingdom’s commitment to women’s sport, which comes at a time when many athletes worldwide have seen their endeavors halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan, chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation and tournament organizer Golf Saudi, said: “As we all know the first half of this year has been extremely challenging on businesses, organizations and nations worldwide, with sport affected greatly.

“However, we are thankful to both PIF and Aramco — who are equally determined to give elite level sport the platform to continue to flourish, both here in Saudi Arabia and abroad, and never more so than now — which makes us proud to be throwing our full weight behind both the Saudi Ladies International and Saudi Ladies Team International.”

Originally planned for March, the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF will be the Ladies European Tour’s debut event in Saudi Arabia. It will attract more than 100 of the world’s best golfers, and with a $1million prize fund will be the 2020 Tour’s third highest paying event.

The tournament is the women’s equivalent of the now annual men’s Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers, which had its second hosting in January and was won by Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.

The format of the Saudi Ladies Team International will be revealed in upcoming weeks, with the three-day event set to feature professional players teaming-up with amateur golfers, together competing for a share of a $500,000 prize-fund.

Wales’ Amy Boulden will be taking part in both of November’s events, fresh from her maiden LET win at this month’s Swiss Open.

She said: “This type of commitment to women’s golf is really amazing to see at this time. It’s given players another massive week to look forward to competing in and allows us to take the game we love to a new country, where we can play on what is a truly incredible golf course with one of the most picturesque views you’ll see on Tour.

“For Golf Saudi to throw their weight behind two events in one week is a really significant gesture from a country I know is passionate about growing golf, and I can’t wait to get out there playing.”

Majed Al Sorour, CEO Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, said: “Our vision is to grow golf across the Kingdom, and make it both accessible and enjoyable to all men, women and children.

“One of our key initiatives for this is hosting tournaments capable of drawing the world’s best players as a means of inspiring the next generation of young Saudis and Saudi golfers, so it is a great honor to be taking our next step on that journey by welcoming the Ladies European Tour to the Kingdom for November’s debut Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF and the Saudi Team International.”

Alexandra Armas, Ladies European Tour, CEO, said: “We are extremely excited to be part of history in bringing the first-ever professional women’s golf event to Saudi Arabia and we are thankful to their commitment to deliver not one but two tournaments, in what has been a difficult year for golf.”

“We are always looking to grow the game in new markets and add to our schedule and we are confident that the Saudi Ladies International and the Saudi Ladies Team International will be a fantastic experience for our players.” — SG


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