Golf stars impressed ahead of ‘massive’ first women’s tournament in Saudi Arabia

Golf stars impressed ahead of ‘massive’ first women’s tournament in Saudi Arabia
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The stars of the Ladies European Tour will make golfing history this week when the first-ever professional women’s tournaments in Saudi Arabia tee off at King Abdul Economic City on Thursday. (Supplied)
Golf stars impressed ahead of ‘massive’ first women’s tournament in Saudi Arabia
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The stars of the Ladies European Tour will make golfing history this week when the first-ever professional women’s tournaments in Saudi Arabia tee off at King Abdul Economic City on Thursday. (Supplied)
Golf stars impressed ahead of ‘massive’ first women’s tournament in Saudi Arabia
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The stars of the Ladies European Tour will make golfing history this week when the first-ever professional women’s tournaments in Saudi Arabia tee off at King Abdul Economic City on Thursday. (Supplied)
Golf stars impressed ahead of ‘massive’ first women’s tournament in Saudi Arabia
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The stars of the Ladies European Tour will make golfing history this week when the first-ever professional women’s tournaments in Saudi Arabia tee off at King Abdul Economic City on Thursday. (Supplied)
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Updated 11 November 2020

Golf stars impressed ahead of ‘massive’ first women’s tournament in Saudi Arabia

Golf stars impressed ahead of ‘massive’ first women’s tournament in Saudi Arabia
  • Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF can inspire ‘next generation of young boys and girls’ in the Kingdom

JEDDAH: The stars of the Ladies European Tour will make golfing history this week when the first-ever professional women’s tournaments in Saudi Arabia tee off at King Abdul Economic City on Thursday. The players seem to be impressed by the quality and standard of the courses, and have been sharing their thoughts about the Kingdom’s Tour debut.

“It’s massive for Saudi Arabia to have the first professional ladies’ event here,” said 24-year old Georgia Hall from England, a major winner at the 2018 AIR Women’s Open.

“It’s actually rare to get a chance to come to a new country and play these days, so it’s nice to get a chance to play somewhere different. Events like these can help grow the next generation of young boys and girls here in Saudi Arabia and inspire them to get out and play.”

During seven days of elite-level competition at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, on the Red Sea Coast near Edda, 108 of the tour’s best golfers will take part in two world-class tournaments: the $1m Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund from Nov. 12-15, and the $500,000 Saudi Ladies Team International, from Nov. 17-19.

Headlining the landmark events, which are taking place in a safe, bio-secure environment, are Hall and fellow Englishwoman Charley Hull, leading players who have won multiple events around the world and were teammates on the European team that won the Sondheim Cup in 2019.

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Both were impressed by their first look at Royal Greens and are looking forward to the challenges it will present.

“The wind tends to get up in the afternoon which makes it challenging,” said Hull. “The 16th, next to the Red Sea, is one of the prettiest holes I’ve ever played anywhere. I’ve heard loads of positive things here about the course. I’m massively impressed.

“It’s really cool to be here. I like playing in the Middle East and we’ve got a great chance to inspire Saudi women to take up the game and play golf. With the challenges around the world at the moment we’re really lucky to play and this is one of the strongest prize funds on the Tour.”

Aha Addition, the first Arab professional to compete on Tour, is relishing a chance to play another event in the Middle East.

“I am really pleased and proud to represent my region in my region,” said the 32-year old Moroccan. “It’s a big tournament, a big statement and it’s positive to see women’s golf get more recognition.

“The prize fund is a huge statement from Golf Saudi. Winning anywhere would be special but it would mean a lot more to happen here in an Arab country. I love the course, I love the place and feel really welcome here.”

To celebrate the historic nature of both tournaments, in a world first Golf Saudi has launched a “Ladies First Club,” an initiative that will offer 1,000 women in the Kingdom the chance to play golf for free.

For more information and the latest on the events, visit: www.golfsaudi.com/en-us/ladies-international and check @Saudiladiesintl on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


DeChambeau: Power gives him advantage for Saudi International

DeChambeau: Power gives him advantage for Saudi International
Updated 19 January 2021

DeChambeau: Power gives him advantage for Saudi International

DeChambeau: Power gives him advantage for Saudi International
  • Physically transformed 2020 US Open champion relishing head-to-head with World No. 1 Dustin Johnson

JEDDAH: Big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau believes the length of Royal Greens Golf & Country Club’s tee-to-green puts him in prime position to pip world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and claim victory at next month’s Saudi International.

The 2020 US Open champion, famed worldwide for his colossal tee shots, the longest in Tour history, is King Abdullah Economic City-bound for his second crack at taking the Saudi crown that alluded him in 2019.

He was pipped to the title by Johnson, who returns alongside the biggest names in golf for the third annual hosting of the European Tour event next month.

However, 27-year-old DeChambeau heads to the Kingdom a different golfer this year, having not only transformed his physique and game to out-drive all other professional players, but as a Major champion, after clinching the US Open back in September.

He believes these two factors could prove critical in his quest for first place in two weeks’ time.

He said: “I feel like I have an even better advantage on the golf course because it is a bit of a bomber’s paradise, and I love that opportunity.

“When I played there, I finished sixth. I have a lot of great memories about the golf course and the character of the holes and being on the Red Sea, it was pretty unique and something that I want to experience again.

“I will tell you, though, that hitting it far there will be an advantage with some of the par 5s and I think it will fit me well, a lot better than the other golf courses.”

Much of the build-up around November’s delayed hosting of the Masters was focused on DeChambeau and how the Augusta course suited his big-hitting style of play.

However, it was to be his 2018 Ryder Cup teammate Johnson who eventually came out on top, further cementing his position as the world’s best. The fact that he will be teeing off against “DJ” next month is something that only adds to the excitement for DeChambeau, as he continues on his own mission to one day achieve top spot in World Golf rankings.

“Having a world No. 1 playing puts a little fire in my belly,” said DeChambeau. “I want to go over there and play and beat him. I was fortunate enough to clip him by one or two in Kapalua and if I keep doing that, if I keep beating him in every event, eventually the tables will turn.”

In his quest to be the world’s best, DeChambeau has famously reworked his entire game — and physique. In 2020 alone he gained 40 pounds to build his strength, and as a result extended his length off the tee by anywhere from 30 to 70 yards.

Although the tournament will be held without fans due to coronavirus disease restrictions, it will be shown live on KSA Sports, and DeChambeau is gearing up to show the Kingdom exactly what he has been working towards.