The Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund is returning for 2022, with a new date and the biggest early-season purse in what will be a record-breaking year for the Ladies European Tour.
The groundbreaking event will take place at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, King Abdullah Economic City from March 17-20.
It returns with a $1 million prize purse and a superstar field led by defending champion, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko.
Major winners Anna Nordqvist and Georgia Hall are also KAEC-bound, as are Solheim Cup stars Carlota Ciganda and Bronte Law, past LET winners Marianne Skarpnord, Olivia Cowan, Pauline Roussin Bouchard, Steph Kyriacou and Anne van Dam, and the tournament’s debut 2020 champion, Emily Kristine Pedersen of Denmark.
The new date means the Aramco Saudi Ladies International now occupies a far earlier spot on the LET calendar, taking place eight months sooner than usual in a season shake-up that will see the tour visit the Kingdom twice, with the second being for the Aramco Team Series – Jeddah event in November.
With the Aramco Saudi Ladies International and Aramco Team Series expanding to five individual $1 million events in 2022, this year will mark a record season for the Ladies European Tour, where its biggest ever pool of prize money will be up for grabs.
“It’s great to be heading back to Saudi Arabia for the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF, and much earlier in our schedule,” Alexandra Armas, Ladies European Tour CEO, said.
“There’s no question that every event we’ve had to date at Royal Greens has been a huge success. The Saudi Ladies International is a week all our players look forward to enormously, with the quality of field and prize money adding an extra edge to what is a stunning course and venue for elite tournament golf.
“We also feel the impact of our members playing in Saudi Arabia and the good that’s doing for women’s golf,” Armas added. “We all have fond memories of our landmark first event in 2020 which inspired more than 1,000 Saudi women and girls to sign up to learn the game for the first time over the tournament weekend. We are very proud and encouraged about what has been achieved so far and are motivated to continue inspiring more women and young girls into the game.”
Five-time LET tournament champion Marianne Skarpnord has played in both Aramco Saudi Ladies International events to date. The Norwegian was also the individual winner in the debut Aramco Team Series event in London last year, another Golf Saudi-backed initiative.
“When the Saudi Ladies International first got added to the LET calendar two years ago, it was a big moment for us as players as it was a huge investment in the women’s game at a time when we really needed it,” she said.
“The events have since proved to be some of the very best on tour, with Royal Greens a spectacular place to play golf, so we all now look forward to them for so many reasons. Bring on this month, and November.”
Majed Al-Sorour, deputy chairman and CEO of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, said: “We are thrilled to be once again inviting the best golfers in the world here to King Abdullah Economic City to compete in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF.
“Our ambition with all our flagship golf events is to elevate the game on a global scale and to inspire what we see as being the first generation of homegrown golfers in Saudi Arabia. Both Saudi Ladies Internationals to date have been incredible and helped to take women’s golf to that next level, while having a direct impact on golf on the ground level here in Saudi Arabia.”