Pedersen claims grand slam with dual honors in Saudi Ladies Team International

Pedersen claims grand slam with dual honors in Saudi Ladies Team International
Team Pedersen with the champion trophy during the awards ceremony in the Saudi Ladies Team International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club. (Supplied)
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Updated 20 November 2020

Pedersen claims grand slam with dual honors in Saudi Ladies Team International

Pedersen claims grand slam with dual honors in Saudi Ladies Team International

KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY: A historic week for women’s golf in Saudi Arabia reached its climax when Danish star Emily Kristine Pedersen swept the team and individual honors on Thursday in the Saudi Ladies Team  International golf tournament.

The double triumph allowed Pedersen to complete a grand slam following her victory last week in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund.

The 24-year-old Dane and her team of Michele Thomson (Scotland), Cassandra Hall (RSA) and amateur Matt Selby, competing under the corporate banner Golf Saudi 1, finished on 40-under total of 392 to win the three-day, 54-hole team competition at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.

Enjoying a rich vein of form all week, Pedersen overcame a new women’s course record of 9-under 63 from Australia’s Stephanie Kyriacou in Thursday’s third round to clinch the individual title on 14-under 202 total by two shots after closing with a 5-under 67 in a clean five-birdie card.

Kyriacou carded five birdies in nines of 31-32 in a final-day charge that fell short as she ended up in a three-way tie for second with Dutchwoman Anne van Dam and Spain’s Luna Sobron Galmes on 12-under 200 total.

The Australian’s 63 bettered the previous record of 65 shared earlier in the tournament by England’s Georgia Hall, Caroline Hedwall of  Sweden and Galmes.

The awards ceremony took place near the 18th green of the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club amid shimmering lights as the sun set on a superb day’s play.

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chair of Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, said: “We could not be more proud. Congratulations to Emily Pedersen. Congratulations again to Team Pedersen. These were some great performances on tough conditions. I would like to thank the Ladies European Tour and all the members for being great partners.

“Our Saudi Ladies International has been a great success. I’m confident that it won’t be the last exciting event. We are committed to the game of golf in Saudi Arabia and to creating opportunities for women in the sport,” he said.

“As such I would like to announce we have confirmed our 2021 dates for the next Saudi Ladies International, which will be Nov. 10-13. I hope that people are getting as much joy from the game as I have. We look forward to seeing you next year.”

England’s Charley Hull closed with a 68 to sit alone at fifth place on -9, while fellow countrywomen Hall and Eleanor Givens, with matching cards of 68s, were tied sixth on -8.

Team Kyriacou (Emirates Golf) and team De Roey (UMA) tied for second a stroke back on the champion team on -39 (393), while Team Mehmet were alone on fifth at -36 (396).


Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost extra $2.4bn

Updated 04 December 2020

Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost extra $2.4bn

Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost extra $2.4bn
  • The extra costs come as officials work to build enthusiasm for the first Games postponed in peacetime,
  • Tokyo 2020 said an additional $1.5 billion would be needed for operational costs related to the delay

TOKYO: The coronavirus-delayed Tokyo Olympics will cost at least an extra $2.4 billion, organizers said Friday, with the unprecedented postponement and a raft of pandemic health measures ballooning an already outsized budget.
The extra costs come as officials work to build enthusiasm for the first Games postponed in peacetime, insisting the massive event can go ahead next year even if the pandemic is not under control.
But more spending, on top of the previous budget of about $13 billion, could further harden public opinion in Japan, where polls this year showed a majority of people think the Games should be postponed again or canceled together.
“Whether it’s seen as too much or that we have done well to contain the costs, I think it depends on how you look at it,” Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters.
“We have done all we can to earn the public’s understanding,” he added.
Tokyo 2020 said an additional $1.5 billion would be needed for operational costs related to the delay, with another $900 million in spending on coronavirus countermeasures.
The dollar figures are calculated at an exchange rate of 107 yen, and the total is around $2.56 billion at today’s rate. The costs look set to rise further, with Tokyo 2020 saying it would also release an additional $250 million in “contingency” funds.

The new spending swells a budget that was set last year at around $13 billion, and will add to disquiet about the cost of the Games after an audit report last year argued the national government was spending significantly more than originally planned.
The extra costs will be split between Tokyo, the organizing committee and the national government. The International Olympic Committee will not be chipping in, but has agreed to waive its sponsor royalty fee for the first time, organizers said.
The unprecedented decision to delay the Games has thrown up a plethora of extra costs, from rebooking venues and transport to retaining the huge organizing committee staff.
And with organizers committed to hosting the Games even if the pandemic remains a threat, extensive safety measures will be needed.
Tokyo 2020 this week released a 54-page plan they said would make it possible to hold the Games, including restrictions on athletes touching and fans cheering, and an infection control center in the Olympic Village.
Organizers have tried to scale back elements of the Games, offering fewer free tickets, scrapping athlete welcome ceremonies and making savings on mascots, banners and meals, but so far they have cut just $280 million in spending.
And on Thursday, they said 18 percent of Olympic tickets sold in Japan will be refunded, with domestic fans demanding their money back on about 810,000 of the 4.45 million tickets sold in the country.


Organizers hope to now resell those tickets, and demand for seats at the Games was high before the pandemic.
But enthusiasm has since waned, with a poll in July revealing that just one in four people wanted to see the event held in 2021, and most backing either further delay or cancelation.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said the spending plan was carefully considered and he hoped people would accept it.
“If you have a drink, you could say your glass is half-full, or half empty. It depends on how you look at it,” he told reporters.
“There’s a rationale behind this plan. I hope the Japanese people will understand it.”
Tokyo 2020’s final price tag has been hotly disputed, with an audit report last year estimating the national government spent nearly 10 times its original budget between 2013-2018.
Organizers countered that the estimate included items not directly related to the Games.