RIYADH: The sixth Saudi Open golf tournament tees off today at Riyadh Golf Club.
Prince Khalid bin Saud Al-Faisal, advisor to the Saudi Golf Federation, and Mohammed Al-Issa, Executive Manager of the Saudi Golf Federation, oversaw the launch of the championship at a press conference yesterday. The tournament will finish on Dec. 11.
During the briefing reporters were told that participation in the tournament is open to all professional and amateur golf players in the Middle East and North Africa who are registered with any golf club.
Al-Issa said: “We are proud to announce the launch of the sixth Saudi Open, which will give Saudi and Arab golf players the opportunity to participate in sports competitions of this kind. The events are a great opportunity for players to develop their skill levels and interact with players from different countries in the Middle East and North Africa in a competitive environment.”
The tournament is expected to attract wide interest from golf fans inside and outside the Kingdom. The Saudi Open will see the participation of leading players from the Gulf states and other Arab countries.
Saudi participants, who have all gone from strength to strength in recent years, as golf gains popularity in the Kingdom, include the only Saudi professional player Othman Almulla, along with national team members Abdulrahman Al-Mansour, Faisal Salhab and Saud Al-Sharif.
All four players will be in strong contention following their performances on the Asian Tour in Thailand last week, where they were in action at the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship and the Laguna Phuket Championship.
A lot will be at stake as the Saudi Open also represents a qualification opportunity for the 2022 Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers, which will be held next February.
In a reply to Arab News, Ed Edwards, Chief Operating Officer of Golf Saudi, said: “Our vision and the goal of the mass participation programme is the training of Saudi youth to transform the golfing landscape. Saudi Arabia will be a regional sports hub.”
The Saudi Open is one of the events that Golf Saudi holds annually to raise awareness of the game in the Kingdom and to develop home-grown future talent. By working with other sports federations and the Ministry of Sport, Golf Saudi, which is the commercial development arm of the Saudi Golf Federation, is looking to underline the wider benefit of sports participation more generally as part of Saudi Arabia’s progress towards its Vision 2030 goals to improve its citizens quality of life.
Combined with grass roots training and education programmes that introduce people to the game at the earliest opportunity and with the greatest ease, Golf Saudi is committed to delivering a dynamic national development programme that transforms the golfing landscape.