Golf: Innovative new format for Saudi Ladies Team International

Jeddah: Gulf Saudi launches format for next month’s debut Saudi Ladies Team International – a first of its kind tournament in which 36 captains will recruit their players using a live ‘NFL-style’ draft system, before competing for ‘ a share of $ 500,000 (Dh1.84 million) prize money.

The team match will be held from 17 to 19 November, and it is the very first points-earning Ladies European Tour (LET) event where professional players play with amateur golfers along with individual and individual points.

The event takes place two days after Saudi Arabia’s first women’s golf tournament, the $ 1 million Saudi Ladies International.

Each captain will recruit a different Tour pro in their team using a draft system similar to that in the NFL, NBA and other franchise leagues, and can base their selection on anything – whether it’s the current form, ranking or is pure friendship. Their remaining professional teammates from the tour will be randomly selected, and the team will be completed by one amateur player.

The team of four will then play three rounds at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in the Saudi coastal resort of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), where the best two individual scores of each team are combined at the end of each round – with amateurs taking the receive three-quarters of their official game handicap.

The team with the lowest total score after three days will be champions and will see its three professionals take home a winning share of the $ 300,000 prize fund.

The professional with the lowest score over the three days – who may come from a losing team – will be rewarded with a share of the $ 200,000 individual prize fund.

Majed Al Sorour, CEO of Golf Saudi, said: “The Saudi Ladies Team International is a completely new and innovative tournament format that has never been seen before on any tour. In addition to the LET, it’s a chance to grow the women’s game in new and exciting ways – and follows the first professional women’s golf event played in Saudi Arabia earlier this week. The players love team golf and will enjoy this unique opportunity to try a new format through our groundbreaking and exciting concept system.

‘We understand the impact the pandemic has had on Tour golf this year, especially in the ladies’ competition. Therefore, we wanted to do everything in our power around the debut Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF to benefit the players during our double head ‘golf week. “to make it competitive, fun and rewarding.”

The Saudi Ladies Team International will hold Rolex points in the world rankings for tour professionals, with the qualifying points of Solheim Cup and Race to Costa del Sol points.

Players already confirmed include Major-winner Georgia Hall, Solheim Cup hero and former LET Order of Merit winner Charley Hull, Wales’ Amy Boulden and Camilla Lennarth of Sweden. Much more will be announced in the coming weeks.

Source: Gulf News

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