Golf Saudi Summit tees off

The event will highlight the lucrative opportunities the game has to offer in the Kingdom, through its ability to drive real estate, corporate, tourism and business-to-business benefits. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 10 November 2019

Golf Saudi Summit tees off

  • Guests will have the opportunity to learn more about the sport’s rapid growth in the Kingdom
  • The event focuses on access and infrastructure, events, national team and academies, mass participation and tourism

JEDDAH: A new global golf business event, the Golf Saudi Summit, was launched in Riyadh on Sunday.

The event will bring together captains of industry and national leaders to debate hot topics and modern development tactics at the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers from Feb. 2-4, 2020.

Staged in King Abdullah Economic City, Jeddah, the event will give guests the opportunity to learn more about golf’s rapid growth in the Kingdom and provide an opportunity to unite stakeholders of the game and evolve key business relations.

Attendees will be able to see first-hand how the nation has taken major strides in developing the game through Golf Saudi’s commitment to creating an active new ecosystem, which attending businesses will be given the opportunity to tap into. This focuses on five pillars — access and infrastructure, events, national team and academies, mass participation and tourism.

The economic impact of the golf tourism sector on the Kingdom has been significant and consequently has become a major consideration for both the Saudi Golf Federation (SGF) and Golf Saudi, laying the ground for this year’s inaugural summit.

Golf Saudi is a wholly owned subsidiary of the SGF, mandated to establish an active and sustainable new ecosystem for the game’s national endeavor, in direct support of Vision 2030.

HIGHLIGHTS

Staged in King Abdullah Economic City, Jeddah, the event will offer the opportunity to unite stakeholders of the game and evolve key business relations.

Attendees will be able to see how the nation has taken major strides in developing the game through Golf Saudi’s commitment to creating an active new ecosystem, which attending businesses will be given the opportunity to tap into.

The event focuses on five pillars — access and infrastructure, events, national team and academies, mass participation and tourism.

“Our commitment to the game of golf is founded on a national ambition for sports to act as a catalyst in realizing Vision 2030,” said Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of Golf Saudi and the SGF.

“The Golf Saudi Summit will allow us to bring together a rich array of industry leaders and our own national stakeholders to share insights and build critical working relations. Saudi Arabia has one of the most ambitious programs in global golf history and it is our intention to layout pioneering programs that draw on new creative concepts, technology and best-practice, setting a new benchmark in the development space.”

Acting as the consumer-facing vehicle to implement SGF’s vision and mission, Golf Saudi has played a key role in laying down robust foundations, enabling the game’s long-term growth and sustainability.

Since its formation, Golf Saudi has drawn on its international and national expertise to prioritize the creation of an ecosystem that will allow the game to flourish and the people of Saudi Arabia to benefit. As part of this, education will be central to introducing new skills to the economy via worldwide alliances with recognized institutions.

Al-Sorour said: “To champion golf in Saudi Arabia, we need to harness the talent of our people through education and integration to develop the golf industry and inspire Saudis to thrive in the world of golf. Hosting marquee events such as the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers is a wonderful advert for golf, showcasing the natural beauty and modern lifestyle of Saudi Arabia and inspiring all generations to become involved in our sport. We look forward to welcoming everyone to King Abdullah Economic City, uniting key stakeholders to explore new opportunities together and building on our partnerships to progress our golf strategy.”

Golf Saudi has been at the forefront of the most significant national portfolio of courses in recent memory and the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in Jeddah has been fundamental to this overall strategy, hosting the inaugural Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers in 2019. The 2020 edition will see a returning cast that includes defending champion Dustin Johnson and will once again boast one of the strongest fields on the European Tour schedule.

The Saudi International and the Golf Saudi Summit will demonstrate the widespread appeal and lucrative opportunities the game has to offer in the Kingdom, through its ability to drive real estate, corporate, tourism and business-to-business benefits, as well as offering visitors the opportunity to experience the world’s best players going head-to-head.

For further information on the Golf Saudi Summit and to register interest, please visit www.golfsaudi.com/summit. For more information on the Saudi International, please visit www.golfsaudi.com


Tiger Woods-led US golfers deny Els’ dream to win Presidents Cup

Updated 15 December 2019

Tiger Woods-led US golfers deny Els’ dream to win Presidents Cup

  • Crushing loss for Ernie Els’ young Internationals who led for the first three days
  • Tiger Woods becomes the most successful Presidents Cup golfer in history

MELBOURNE: Tiger Woods’ United States produced a stunning turnaround to deny the Internationals a first Presidents Cup in 21 years Sunday, dominating the singles on a tense final day that went to the wire at Royal Melbourne.
Veteran Matt Kuchar was the hero, with his winning putt on the 17th in the penultimate match enough to ensure victory, sparking wild celebrations from playing-captain Woods, who set the tone by getting the first point on the board.
It was a crushing loss for Ernie Els’ young Internationals who led for the first three days of the biennial match play event but failed to deliver the killer blow against a more experienced and accomplished US team.
They went into the 12 singles matches with a 10-8 lead but the tide began quickly turning with Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson among those racing to big early leads with the scoreboard swathed in US red.
When Webb Simpson beat South Korea’s An Byeong-hun, the US went 15-12 in front and needed just half a point with the Internationals leading in two of three matches still in play.
Australian Cameron Smith grabbed one more point by beating Justin Thomas, ensuring a nailbiting finale with Kuchar’s heroics on 17 ensuring there was no way back Els’ team.
“I trusted all my 11 guys. I trusted them implicitly. I told them from the very get go. They went out there and got the points we needed. We fought,” said Woods.
“Even the points we lost, we were making them earn every one of them, and this Cup wasn’t going to be given to us. We had to go earn it, and we did.”
It was a remarkable comeback. No side before had rallied to win on the last day after trailing for three days, further cementing the reputation of Woods, who went undefeated in his three matches.
US President Donald Trump, an avid golf fan, immediately paid tribute on social media.
“Congratulations to Tiger and the entire US Team on a great comeback and tremendous WIN. True Champions!” he tweeted.
The playing-captain, in his ninth Presidents Cup, set the tone from the front, going out first in the singles and winning 3 and 2 against battling Mexican Abraham Ancer.
In doing so he passed Phil Mickelson to become the most successful Presidents Cup golfer in history with a 27-win, 15-loss and 1-tied record to his countryman’s 26-16-13.
It was the United States’ 11th victory in 13 editions of the event. One was drawn with the lone International win coming in 1998, also at Royal Melbourne.
Woods nailed a birdie on the second after a stunning approach shot to take an early lead and although Ancer fought back, Woods’ putter was running hot and he was two up through 10.
The 15-time major winner was striding around Royal Melbourne on a mission and nailed a monster putt on the 16th for the 3 and 2 win.
At one stage the Americans were ahead in nine matches, and world number five Johnson ensured a second point, crushing Li Haotong 4 and 3.
It ended a difficult first Presidents Cup for a Chinese player who was overlooked for the opening two days and never looked at ease.
Patrick Reed’s caddie was banned after shoving a fan on Saturday as tensions boiled over after the controversial American’s penalty for improving his lie in the Bahamas last week.
The former Masters champion turned to his swing coach to carry his bag and it worked wonders as raced six up through seven against Taiwan’s CT Pan in a scintillating display in front of taunting fans.
Pan woke up and won three in a row but it was in vain with the American winning 4 and 2.
The US were on a roll with Tony Finau earning a valuable half point against Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who looked to be on track for a win after going four clear through 10.
South Korea’s Im Sung-jae was a bright spot. Despite being just 21, the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year again showed his huge potential by comfortably beating US Open champion Gary Woodland.