JEDDAH: Sunday saw the conclusion of the Kingdom’s second annual $1 million women’s golf tournament, the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by the Public Investment Fund, where New Zealand’s Lydia Ko stormed to a sensational five-shot victory in King Abdullah Economic City, earning her a cool $150,000.
But as far as this year’s new Women in Sport season is concerned, this is only halftime, as action resumes at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club — an hour outside Jeddah — on Wednesday, with the start of women’s golf event No. 2: The Aramco Team Series Jeddah.
For the second time in less than a week, $1 million will be on the line as the world’s best golfers go head-to-head once again on the stunning Red Sea coast.
But the big difference this time around? They’ll be doing so as teammates.
The Aramco Team Series Jeddah is the last of four new Aramco Team Series events to be added to the Ladies European Tour calendar for 2021 and pits golfers in groups of four against each other.
Each team of four will feature three professional women golfers and one amateur player. Together, they will play each hole of the golf course, with the two best scores per hole counting toward the team’s total.
The lowest total team score after three days of golf wins, earning the three professional golfers in each team $50,000, with the other top performing teams also winning a share of the $1 million prize fund.
On top of that, there will also be a further $200,000 on offer for the best performing individualplayers, meaning the players who record the lowest scores as solo golfers will also be rewarded.
That was how Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen managed to win both titles in the same event in KAEC last year: She scored the lowest individualscore, which contributed to her teamscore being the best, too.
So, who will win this year? It’s anyone’s guess, but the action promises to be thrilling, with the likes of superstar golfers Georgia Hall, Charley Hull, Alison Lee and Laura Davies all featuring.
While the tournament play starts on Wednesday, Monday night saw the first stage of the Aramco Team Series Jeddah — the tournament draft, where captains selected their teams. To celebrate this, many of the players wore dresses by famed Saudi fashion designer Omaymah Azzouz, honoring the local culture of the Kingdom.
Three-time Major-winner Anna Nordqvist was one of the golfers to wear one of Azzouz’s dresses. She said: “I was very excited when I heard that we could choose a dress for tonight. I had a few options. I’m tall and this dress is really long. It was the first dress I tried on and I felt very elegant. I felt very special wearing the dress.”
For families keen to experience something fun and different — in the spectacular surroundings of KAEC — tickets are available for free and only require online registration. There will be a fun-packed fan zone, food trucks and even selfie opportunities with all the players in the field. To find out more, visit www.aramcoteamseries.com