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.
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.
Source: Arab News