Some of the best women golfers will be in the spotlight as the 15th edition of the Dubai Moonlight Classic, presented by EGA, gets under way on Wednesday in a three-day celebration under the floodlights at Emirates Golf Course.
Thai sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn, Solheim Cup-winning captain Catriona Matthew and English legend Dame Laura Davies are some of the stars battling it out from October 27-29, on the Faldo Course, for the Dallah trophy and a prize fund of 260,000 Euros.
Current Ladies European Tour (LET) race leader Atthaya Thitikul is also expected to challenge along with Indian Olympic stars Aditi Ashok and Diksha Dagar.
World No.23 Ariya, who is relishing the challenge, said: “I am excited to play competitive night golf in Dubai. This is my first time playing a day-night tournament so it will be great to experience a different format.”
Dame Davies is no stranger to the tournament having played 13 times in its 15-year history. The 45-time LET winner said: “The Dubai event has always been at the forefront of the LET, encouraging other countries in the region to get on board with women’s sports, so very important for us. I love the event and the changes around the club have been fun and amazing to watch over the years.”
Six-time LET winner Matthew added: “It is for sure one tournament that you put on your schedule at the start of every year. Dubai has always been very proactive in encouraging golf for women and has been a great supporter of the Ladies European Tour.”
The tournament also marks the professional debut of Dubai-based Chiara Noja, the 15-year-old rising star who turned pro in time for this event. Noja said: “I’m looking forward to it, the chance to mix with players of such calibre, watch them on the driving range, seeing them compete and hole those clutch putts, is something I can definitely learn from.”
Entry for spectators is free on Thursday and Friday, with a carnival atmosphere featuring local homegrown street food courtesy of Truckers UAE, golf taster lessons, and family-friendly activities including a kids’ play area and music from local singer-songwriters Jamie Wrecs and Martyn Crocker, and saxophonist Masha Kutskova.
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