Phil Mickelson inspires teenager on mission to become first Saudi female golf professional

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Updated 02 February 2020

Phil Mickelson inspires teenager on mission to become first Saudi female golf professional

  • Mickelson is making debut at Saudi International
  • Saudi teenager also met with world No. 1 Brooks Koepka

KAEC, Jeddah: Golfing legend Phil Mickelson, the winner of 42 PGA Tour victories, including five Majors, has passed on inspiring words of support to Saudi 16-year-old Layla Al-Telmissani in her quest to become the Kingdom’s first ever female golf professional.

Mickelson, who is making his debut at the Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, has been impressed with all he’s seen on his first visit to the Kingdom including the determined attitude of young Al-Telmissani.

The youngster has only been playing golf for a matter of months, after joining the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City with the rest of her family, but has already made giant strides – even playing in the Pan Arabia Golf Championship in Egypt last summer alongside her mother.

But the encounter with Mickelson, considered one of the greatest players of all time, as well as with the current world No. 1 golfer, Brooks Koepka is likely only to further fuel the drive and ambition of the ambitious schoolgirl.

Speaking after sharing some time with Al-Telmissani, ‘Lefty’ as he’s affectionately known, said: “I’m excited to have met a young girl who wants to be the first professional Saudi female golfer. She seems like she’s driven and motivated, and I love the support that she’s getting. Layla seemed really cool – and her brother Omar too.

“I love it. I just love it. It melts me to see kids out here. To see young kids get into the game is exciting for me. I care about this game and to see the excitement level in some of the young kids here and to see that there are plans for many courses here in this new city and across the country. I think it is very cool. The more we get, the better.”

Tickets for the Saudi International’s final day remain on sale, priced at 50 SAR per day. Exclusive concert tickets start at SAR75 SAR. For more tournament information, visit www.saudiinternational.com


Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian Grand Prix

Updated 04 July 2020

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian Grand Prix

  • The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by .012 seconds

SPIELBERG, Austria: Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton on Saturday to take pole position for Formula One’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by .012 seconds at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third place and Lando Norris giving McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here.
Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.
Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.
Ferrari struggled for speed, with Charles Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.
Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.
Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.
Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.