UAE teenager to make Ladies European Tour debut at Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic

Chiara Noja handed invite along with fellow Dubai resident Alison Muirhead

Chiara Noja To Make ODMC Debut
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A 14-year-old Dubai-based amateur is one of two “home” players handed the opportunity to tee it up at next week’s Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic.

Chiara Noja will make her Ladies European Tour (LET) debut at the November 4-6 event after receiving a sponsor’s invite to join a host of the world’s leading players at Emirates Golf Club.

Originally from Germany, Noja rose to prominence aged 12 when she prevailed against an older age group at the Hertfordshire Lady County Championships in the UK. Currently playing off a +5 handicap, she moved with her family to Dubai this year.

“I couldn’t believe the news when the tournament director contacted me to confirm that I will be playing in the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic,” Noja said. “Thanks to their support I will be able to test myself against the very best women in the world.

“I arrived in Dubai only a few weeks ago, but I already feel at home here. I am working hard on my game every day and hopefully I’ll be able to make the best possible use of this invitation and show not only my fellow competitors, but the Ladies European Tour that I deserve my spot.”

Noja will be joined at the tournament by fellow Dubai resident Alison Muirhead. The South African, 22, has lived in the emirate since she was eight and has competed on the junior golf scene for some time.

“I am delighted to have been given an invite to this year’s Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic,” Muirhead said. “Having grown-up in Dubai and dreamt of one day having the chance to compete against the very best, it’s very surreal to now have been offered that opportunity.

“I was lucky growing up in Dubai, home to some of the finest courses in the world, allowing me to regularly practice in prime conditions. As I got better, I was able to compete in multiple girls and ladies’ competitions organised by the UAE Golf Federation and it was success at these that gave me the confidence and desire to succeed at the highest levels of the game.”

Among those competing next week include former world No 1 & two-time major winner Lydia Ko, world No 6 Minjee Lee, 2018 British Women’s Open champion Georgia Hall and Solheim Cup star Charley Hull.

Alison Muirhead Secures ODMC Invite
Alison Muirhead will play at the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic

Defending champion Nuria Iturrioz returns, as does Maha Haddioui, the first Arabic player to feature on the LET.

With 56 players vying for their share of the $285,000 prize fund, the event will be staged without spectators and is to be held in a “safe environment”, organisers said.

“I’m really excited that I will be playing in next week’s Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic,” Haddioui said. “It’s a tournament I’ve always enjoyed playing in and being an Arabic speaker, Dubai is always a place I feel incredibly welcome.

“The LET tournament in Dubai has been a mainstay on all of our collective calendars for over a decade now and it’s one we all enjoy returning back to year after year, particularly with the new innovative night-time format set against the iconic Dubai skyline.

"Obviously, it will be different not playing in front of spectators, but we’re all incredibly grateful that we’ve been given the opportunity to play in such a prestigious tournament.”

Formerly known as the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters - the inaugural event was played in 2006 – the tournament has been switched from May to November following its first staging last year. It was the world’s first professional day-night tour event.