Saudi Arabia will reopen its doors to international sport in November when the kingdom hosts a world-first professional women's golf week.
King Abdullah Economic City will stage two Ladies European Tour events in one week, starting with the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF on November 12-15, followed by the Saudi Ladies Team International on November 17-19.
Both tournaments will be held within a safe bio-secure environment to limit the threat posed by the coronavirus, which has caused havoc to golf's schedule this year.
Both tournaments will attract many of the world’s best golfers, and will be the first time in women’s golf history that professionals – who will be competing in Saudi Arabia for the first time – will partner with amateurs in the all-new team and individual format.
“As we all know the first half of this year has been extremely challenging on businesses, organisations and nations worldwide, with sport affected greatly," Yasir O Al Rumayyan, Chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation and tournament organiser Golf Saudi, said in a statement.
"However, we are thankful to both PIF and Aramco – who are equally determined to give elite level sport the platform to continue to flourish, both here in Saudi Arabia and abroad, and never more so than now – which makes us proud to be throwing our full weight behind both the Saudi Ladies International and Saudi Ladies Team International.”
Originally planned for March, the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF will be the Ladies European Tour’s debut event in Saudi Arabia. It will attract more than 100 of the world’s best golfers, and its $1 million prize fund will be the 2020 Tour’s third highest paying event.
The tournament is the women’s equivalent of the now annual men’s Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers, which had its second hosting in January and was won by Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.
The format of the Saudi Ladies Team International will be revealed in upcoming weeks, with the three-day event set to feature professional players teaming-up with amateur golfers, together competing for a share of a $500,000 prize fund.
“This type of commitment to women’s golf is really amazing to see at this time," said Amy Boulden, who will be taking part in both events, fresh from her maiden LET win at this month’s Swiss Open.
"It’s given players another massive week to look forward to competing in and allows us to take the game we love to a new country, where we can play on what is a truly incredible golf course with one of the most picturesque views you’ll see on Tour.
“For Golf Saudi to throw their weight behind two events in one week is a really significant gesture from a country I know is passionate about growing golf, and I can’t wait to get out there playing.”
Majed Al Sorour, chief executive of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, said: “Our vision is to grow golf across the kingdom, and make it both accessible and enjoyable to all men, women and children.
"One of our key initiatives for this is hosting tournaments capable of drawing the world’s best players as a means of inspiring the next generation of young Saudis and Saudi golfers, so it is a great honour to be taking our next step on that journey by welcoming the Ladies European Tour to the Kingdom for November’s debut Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF and the Saudi Team International.”