Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Darren Clarke unveils MENA Golf Tour Qualifying School

RAS AL KHAIMAH – The MENA Golf Tour is on the verge of a new dawn with the launch of the inaugural Qualifying School, offering a simplified roadmap for earning playing status on the tour in 2016.
Open to all professionals and amateurs — with a handicap of one or better — the 54-hole Q-School will be held at Almenara Golf Club in the Spanish resort of Sotogrande in the Cadiz province, in two stages in February next year.
The first stage, on February 14-16, will see players compete over 36 holes of stroke play when the half-way cut will be made, winnowing down the field for a final stage 18-hole competition to be held the following day.
The introduction of the Q-School, conforming to the guidelines set forth by the game’s apex body, will pave the way for the MENA Golf Tour to become eligible for Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status. 
Entries, including that of amateurs, will no longer be based on date and time, but rather by one’s ranking based on performance in the Q-School. The official entry form will be made available on the tour’s website.

The launch of the Q-School is part of an ambitious plan to expand the schedule of the MENA Golf Tour to close to 20 events, covering new destinations like Kuwait, Egypt, Spain, South Africa and Thailand in 2016.
Calling it an exciting development, Darren Clarke, Patron, MENA Golf Tour and 2016 Europen Ryder Cup Captain, said: “I look forward to welcoming all players and hope to see some new blood hit the front.
“There has been a lot of fresh talent coming up through the ranks over the last few years, but the opportunities are very limited for young professional golfers to develop and showcase their skills on a global basis.
“This is one tour which provides the springboard to gain the right competitive atmosphere to gain professional experience, especially, amateur golfers. They are the ones who hold the key to the development of the game in the region.”
Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chairman of the MENA Golf Tour, commented: “We believe the Q-School will enhance the level of competition in addition to bringing more transparency in determining the fields for our events. 
“I am confident that the MENA Golf Tour will soon be eligible for official golf ranking status which will provide a fresh energy boost to the growth of golf in the region,” he added.
“We enjoy great relationships with the Arab Golf Federation and all associations that are part of the apex body in the Arab world and appreciate all the hard work the host venues do in preparing the courses in top condition.
“Our tour has become stronger over the years, due to the continued backing of premier clubs in the region.”
An initiative of the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation, the MENA Golf Tour was created in 2011 with the aim of developing golf in the region. It is affiliated to RandA, the worldwide golf governing body based in the home of golf, St Andrews, and the Arab Golf Federation. 
Added incentives for the tour members include guaranteed spots in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and various invitations to other European Tour tournaments around the globe, including the Hassan II Trophy in Morocco and the Malaysian Open.



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