Apr 29, 2018
JEDDAH — The Saudi Arabia Golf Federation (SGF) confirmed Saturday that the new European Tour event taking place in the Kingdom from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, 2019 will feature Dustin Johnson, the world’s top ranked golfer, and Patrick Reed, the 2018 Masters Champion, at the inaugural event.
With the goal to establish the tournament as a leading event on the European Tour schedule and globally, the SGF used the occasion of the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club special opening event this weekend to confirm that joining Johnson and Reed in the field will be World No.15, Paul Casey, and 2018 Ryder Cup Captain, Thomas Bjorn.
The tournament will take place within King Abdullah Economic City at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, which is situated along the spectacular Red Sea coastline. The club boasts a premier championship golf course, a state of the art clubhouse, a world-class practice facility and stunning residential and recreational facilities. Aiming to attract many of the best players in the world, there will also be a special focus on families, community, charity and junior development as the Kingdom looks to develop its golfing pedigree.
Further details on the event name, prize fund, event partners and other details will be announced in the coming weeks.
Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation, commented, “This is a very important weekend for us as we mark the opening of our new world-class golf facilities at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club. At the same time, we are very proud to announce that our inaugural Tour event in January 2019 will welcome both the No. 1 player in the world, Dustin Johnson and the champion of the year’s first Major, Patrick Reed. Together with Paul Casey, we already have three of the World’s top 15 players confirmed, along with Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, which is only the start of our player announcements!”
He explained, “We have ambitious plans to accelerate golf development in the Kingdom, with a special focus on juniors and families, and this event will play a key role in our plans. The tournament will provide an important platform for us to showcase Saudi Arabia’s many assets to the world, from our golf courses and facilities, to our rich cultural heritage to our business credentials and our ever developing lifestyle and entertainment offerings.”
World No. 1 Johnson commented, “I am excited to make my first trip to Saudi Arabia and support this historic new event. It sounds like some amazing things are happening there, including big plans for junior and family golf development. It’s an honor to be part of Saudi Arabia’s golf journey from the onset.”
Recently crowned Masters Champion, Reed, added, “It’s been a crazy few weeks since I won at Augusta and so much fun. “I had not, at this stage, finalized anything in my schedule for next year but when I heard about the ambitious plans for golf in Saudi Arabia, I committed straight away.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “We are delighted to have Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Paul Casey and Thomas Bjørn in the field for our first professional golf tournament in Saudi Arabia.
“Royal Greens Golf and Country Club is a spectacular venue, with world class facilities, and our players are going to absolutely love playing there.
“We are on a global Tour and this is an exciting opportunity for us to play in a new country which has a strong focus on golf as part of its vision for the future. Our thanks go to Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for this vision, and to the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority, the Saudi Arabian Golf Federation and everyone at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club and the King Abdullah Economic City for their commitment to this inaugural tournament.”
The Tournament will be managed by IMG, a global leader in sports, events and media, on behalf of the Saudi Golf Federation. — SG
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette