- Media are impressed as Saudi International hits another high note of sporting excellence with final preparations underway ahead of the tournament from 30 January to 2 February at KAEC
Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Preparations are in full swing for the upcoming Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers with members of the media and influencers given exclusive behind the scenes access and a golfing masterclass from the best players in the Kingdom at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).
Two of Saudi Arabia’s leading golfers Saud Alsharif and Faisal Salhab, who have both qualified for the Saudi International, were in attendance as part of a Saudi National team training camp. Alongside coach Jamie McConnell, the players gave exclusive insight into what he takes to prepare for a major international tournament, what it means for golf in the Kingdom and a golfing induction as well as top tips for aspiring players.
Alsharif and Salhab will join the world’s best in KAEC later this month with the likes of world number one Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els all playing in the second edition of the Saudi International.
Speaking at the event, Faisal Salhab said: “I am so excited to be playing in a tournament this prestigious. The quality of the players in the field is something you’d get in a major championship, not your usual week-to-week tournament, so I am extremely grateful, extremely excited, and I am really looking forward to seeing what we can do in front of the big players here in our own backyard.
“To see so many people enjoying their first experience with golf today means so much. When we got into golf, there was no vision for what could come from this sport. That has changed, and we have everything ready now to say: ‘Hello world, we’re ready’.
“Anyone who comes to the Saudi International will have a great time. They’ll see the new Saudi – the future that we’re hoping for. We have the top golfers, the top concerts, a beautiful environment to be around and the promise of some great energy. Come and get hooked by the game.”
The assembled media were also taken on a tour of the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club course - a premier 18-hole championship golf course and clubhouse, boasting a panoramic view of the Red Sea coast as its spectacular natural backdrop which has seen the venue voted the ‘World’s Best Golf Clubhouse 2019’ and ‘Best Course in Saudi 2019’ by the World Golf Awards.
Saudi International Tournament Director Ben Freeman said: “We are thrilled to be bringing some of the world’s biggest golf icons together with emerging local talent at this award–winning course, welcoming spectators and sport enthusiasts from all over the region. The Saudi International will further enable us to introduce even more people to this wonderful game and make golf even more accessible to the public.”
With world class events already fueling the Kingdom’s excellence in sport including the Diriyah Season, 2020 Dakar Rally and the Spanish Super Cup, the Saudi International will further develop and cement the country’s ambition to increase participation in sport as well as driving tourism.
The second instalment of the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers will place a special focus on families, community and junior development as the Kingdom looks to develop its golfing pedigree, in addition to a unique entertainment offering in the heart of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).
Ahmed Linjawy, GCEO of KAEC, said: “We are very proud of the two of Saudi Arabia’s leading golfers, Saud Alsharif and Faisal Salhab, participating in the Saudi International Golf Tournament, competing along with the world’s best. The tournament has stimulated a keen interest in the game among the Saudi sports community and this is reflected in the strong vision that Golf Saudi has for growing golf as part of the Kingdom’s overall commitment to develop its leisure and tourism industry in line with Vision 2030.”
Partner support as the tournament heads into its second year remains as strong as ever, with SoftBank Investment Advisers, Saudi Aramco, Public Investment Fund, Saudia, SAMBA, Rolex, Saddik & Mohamed Attar, GIB, STC, Saudi Cargo, UMA Premium, Invest Saudi, Xerox, Mix FM, Al Arabiya, Nespresso and Evian all powering the event.
Enjoy the Ultimate Day Out for golf fans, friends and families with tickets now on sale, priced at 50 SAR per day or 160 SAR for a full tournament pass (four days), exclusive of the concerts.
For more tournament information, visit - www.saudiinternational.com
Confirmed List of Players:
- Ernie Els
- Tony Finau
- Sergio Garcia
- Dustin Johnson
- Brooks Koepka
- Shane Lowry
- Phil Mickelson
- Patrick Reed
- Henrik Stenson
For further information contact:
About Golf Saudi
Golf Saudi has been conceived to drive participation in Saudi Arabian golf through the delivery of world-class facilities, operational excellence and the implementation of best practices. Partnering with industry leaders from around the world, Golf Saudi will take advantage of the wider commercial opportunities the sport provides to champion the game within the Kingdom, harness the talent of its people and create a thriving programme that establishes Saudi Arabia as a leader on the global stage.
About the Saudi Golf Federation
The Saudi Golf Federation (SGF) is committed to transforming the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into a leading nation within the sport – providing a governance and education strategy that inspires people to take up the game. Based in Riyadh and a full member of the Council of National Golf Unions, the SGF aims to deliver a comprehensive national team development programme, centrally managed handicapping system and tournament opportunities for amateurs on both a local and national level that drive interest and participation across the Kingdom.
About King Abdullah Economic City
King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is the largest privately funded new city in the world. Situated on the west coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, KAEC covers an area of 181 square kilometers of land, approximately the size of Washington DC. KAEC comprises King Abdullah Port, the Coastal Communities residential districts, the Haramain Railway district and the Industrial Valley. The city is under development by Emaar, The Economic City, a publicly listed Saudi joint-stock company established in 2006.
About Royal Greens Golf and Country Club
Royal Greens Golf & Country Club is an exclusive, first-class golfing experience set within King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia. The beautiful beachside 18-hole championship golf course, designed by European Golf Design, offers an unparalleled golfing experience. The majestic clubhouse boasts a panoramic view of the Red Sea and offers an exclusive members area with private dining, a board room, cigar room, library, executive business center and other luxury amenities. With its state-of-the-art practice facilities, Golf Academy, Spa and array of fine dining options, Royal Greens is set to become one of the region's finest sports and leisure destinations.
About The European Tour
The European Tour is ‘Driving Golf Further’ through our guiding principles of being innovative, inclusive and global.
Innovative: The European Tour is driving innovation in golf through the creation of award-winning content, pioneering tournament formats such as GolfSixes and the use of the latest technology and inventive fan engagement. We have recognised the need for golf to modernise for future fans and we are committed to engaging new audiences whilst respecting the tradition of our sport.
Inclusive: We are committed to include all who share a love for the game of golf. We are passionate about a closer collaboration with the women’s game, disability golf and promoting the health benefits of playing golf.
Global: We are golf’s global Tour with our 2019 International Schedule comprising a minimum of 47 tournaments in 31 countries, including eight Rolex Series events, all part of the Race to Dubai. Since the European Tour was formed in 1972, players from 36 different countries have won tournaments, while our live broadcast reaches more than 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2,200 global broadcast hours for each event. We also enjoy the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with Rolex, BMW, Callaway, DP World, Dubai Duty Free, Emirates, Hilton and Workday as Official Partners.
The European Tour also manages the developmental Challenge Tour and the Staysure Tour (formerly known as the Senior Tour) which is the men’s professional golf tour for members aged 50 and older.
The European Tour is also the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe, the body which, alongside the PGA of America, administers golf’s greatest team contest, The Ryder Cup.
Tom Benbow · IMG
PR & Communications Manager
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