Cape Town - The European Tour will continue to expand the
boundaries of global golf next year when it brings the professional game to the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the first time.
His Royal Majesty, Mohammad bin Salman bin
Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia used his visit to London
this week to confirm the full-field event that will play a key part in the
European Tour's early-season Desert Swing in 2019.
The tournament, the first in a three-year
partnership, will take place from January 31 to February 3, 2019, and will be
staged at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City
Designed by London-based European Golf Design, the course plays to a
par of 72 and stretches along the Red Sea coastline.
The venue, which aside from the Championship
golf course boasts a state-of-the-art clubhouse, world class practice
facilities and other stunning residential and recreational facilities, has
already been used as a training base for the Saudi national golf team.
The Royal Greens Golf and Country Club focuses
on families, community, charity and junior development as the Kingdom looks to
develop its golfing pedigree.
It will also be one of the key ingredients in
delivering Saudi Arabia's much lauded 'Vision 2030' - the plan to showcase the
Kingdom’s desire to expand its business, leisure and tourism industries.
"We are delighted to be bringing
professional golf to Saudi Arabia in a way that showcases the best players in
the world. I hope that this event will inspire more Saudis to take up the game
and show that, as a nation, we can host sporting events of this calibre," said Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan, President of
the Saudi Arabian Golf Federation.
Keith Pelley, CEO of the European Tour, said: "We are very excited to be talking the first steps toward bringing professional
golf to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the first time and I must thank His
Royal Majesty, Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for his vision in
making this happen.
"I also applaud the Saudi Arabia General Sports
Authority, the Saudi Arabian Golf Federation and everyone at the Royal Greens
Golf and Country Club for their commitment and support. We are proud to be
recognised as golf’s global Tour with tournaments in 30 countries this year
alone and we are very much looking forward to adding Saudi Arabia to that list
"We broadcast live coverage of our tournaments
to more than 150 countries every week and we look forward to showcasing Saudi
Arabia as part of that arrangement. I also hope this partnership will raise the
profile of the game in the Kingdom and that we will see more Saudi players
competing at the international level in the future."
The formal announcement of the tournament,
including details of the official event title and prize money, will be made in
Saudi Arabia in May.