Ladies European Tour
Dec 12th, 2019
History made with LET Event in Saudi Arabia
A fair bit of dosh too of course
Words: GolfPunk Photography: LET
Well they’ve had the boxing, Tiger and Rory have declined big pay days to play there and now Saudi has made history by announcing the first-ever professional women’s golf event in the Kingdom. The fully-sanctioned Ladies European Tour event will be staged in collaboration with Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation and carry a purse of $1 million.
There is bound to be a bit of a hoo-ha as there always is given the Kingdom’s human rights record and their treatment of women. It will be interesting to see what the players say given the reaction to Carly Booth’s sponsorship deal with Golf Saudi earlier in the year.
At the time, the Talksport presenter Georgie Bingham wrote: “Crikey Carly, I think you might want to head to Google and a bit of ‘women’s rights, Saudi Arabia’ before announcing that.”
However, from a commercial perspective it has to be good news for the LET which is desperate to boost its tournament roster and the money available on tour.
The event will see a field of women professionals contesting for one of the richest prizes on the LET Schedule at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, near Jeddah, on the country’s stunning Red Sea coast.
Royal Greens Golf & Country Club also plays host to the European Tour’s Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers. Dustin Johnson will return to defend his title against a world-class field that also includes the likes of Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Tony Finau and Henrik Stenson, at the end of January.
“I am incredibly excited by this announcement and it is an honour for the Tour to be part of history in bringing the first-ever professional women’s golf event to Saudi Arabia,” said Ladies European Tour, CEO, Alexandra Armas
His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, said: “We are delighted to be creating history by hosting the inaugural ladies professional tournament in March. I hope the tournament will inspire many women to take up the great game of golf and awaken their interest in this wonderful sport. We warmly welcome all the players to the Kingdom and wish everyone a rewarding experience in our magical country.”
And another thing...