Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Press Release


Historic First as European Seniors Tour Signs Up for Saudi Arabia
In an historic announcement for the development of golf in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, plans have been unveiled to welcome the European Seniors Tour to the Kingdom for the first time as part of their 2008 Schedule.
The inaugural Saudi Masters will be played at The Dirab Golf Club from March 19-21, 2008, and will carry a prize fund of £250,000. The European Seniors Tour has previously visited Abu Dhabi and Bahrain in the region while The European Tour also has a long association with Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar, but it is the first time Saudi Arabia will have hosted an event with the PGA European Tour Group.
Khaled l. Abunayyan, President of the Saudi Golf Committee, said: “I am very proud to announce this great step forward for golf in Saudi Arabia, and look forward to some of the great names of European golf gracing our fairways for the first time. Hopefully the opportunity to see such professionals playing the game to the highest standard will inspire and encourage our local players, and act as a springboard for the development of Saudi golf for the future.”
It is expected the field of 72 professional golfers from all over the world will include eligible players such as Carl Mason, winner of the 2004, 2005 and 2007 European Seniors Tour Order of Merit, Ian Woosnam and Sam Torrance, both multiple tournament winners on The European Tour and winning Ryder Cup Captains. The international field will be supplemented with six regional amateur players, who will no doubt look forward to the opportunity of challenging the professional stars.
Dirab Golf Club, one of only three grassed Championship courses in Saudi Arabia, is located 40km south west of Riyadh and nestles in the picturesque Dirab Valley. It boasts a 7,280 yard par 72 championship course, featuring lush tree-lined fairways set against the backdrop of the Twaiq Mountains.
The course also offers a driving range and practice facilities, with nine holes of the course being floodlit to allow golf after sundown. It has previously hosted the inaugural Saudi Arabian National Amateur Championship in 2001 and the tenth Annual GCC Golf Championship, and is due to host the 28th Pan-Arab Championship later this month.
Tony Mmoh, Chief Executive Officer of Axem Sports Events Management, the Tournament Promoters and organisers, said: “We are very pleased to be involved in this next stage of development of golf for the Kingdom and look forward to working with the Saudi Golf Committee, the Dirab Golf Club and the European Seniors Tour to stage a memorable tournament that will put Saudi Arabia well and truly on the international golfing map.”
Charles Perring, Deputy Managing Director of the European Seniors Tour, said: “We look forward to working with the Saudi Golf Committee in helping to develop golf in a new region, and thank them for their vision in launching the Saudi Masters. Our appreciation also goes to Tony Mmoh of promoters, Axem Sports Events Management, for bringing this exciting new event to fruition.”
The Saudi Masters is the latest new destination on the 2008 European Seniors Tour schedule, following the recent announcement of new events in the Azores, Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic.



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