JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will welcome international live sport back in November with a world first professional women’s golf week expected to be a landmark event 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 $1 million Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF which takes place on Nov. 12 to 15 and the $500,000 Saudi Ladies Team International, whichs runs from Nov. 17 until Nov. 19.
Both tournaments have attracted 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 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, a statement said.
Their hosting also reaffirms the Kingdom’s commitment to women’s sport, which comes at a time when many athletes worldwide have seen their endeavours halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we all know the first half of this year has been extremely challenging on businesses, organisations and nations worldwide, with sport affected greatly,” Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan, chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation and tournament organiser Golf Saudi, said in the statement.
“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 and the 2020 Tour’s third highest paying event.
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.
“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,” Boulden said.
“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.”