Mena Tour announces schedule for 2020 season as Saudi Arabia returns to circuit
The new-look schedule has been condensed to the first four months of next year, beginning with two stages of Qualifying School in Jordan
The Mena Tour has revamped its calendar for the 2020 season, highlighted by new events in the UAE and Oman and Saudi Arabia’s return to the circuit for the first time in five years.
The new-look schedule, announced on Wednesday, has been condensed to the first four months of next year, beginning with two stages of Qualifying School in Jordan from January 20-29 and concluding with the Arena Championship from April 19-23.
David Spencer, the tour’s strategic advisor, said: “There are two very good reasons why we decided to have the tour schedule packed into one continuous stretch rather than have two legs in Spring and an Autumn.
“Most development tours do not start until the end of April, mostly because of the playing conditions in Europe. We are fortunate to have perfect weather in the Middle East during that period. This gives our players a solid run of tournaments, which is great preparation for them going into the summer.
“Also, it just simplifies things logistically for our players and makes the cost of ‘life’ on the tour more affordable. With the multitude of playing opportunities we provide on European, Asian and the Challenge Tours, the new-look schedule dovetails perfectly with the other tours.”
Jordan will host three full-field events, including the Arena Championship at Ayla Golf Club in Aqaba. The finale, which carries an increased purse of $125,000 (Dh460,000), becomes the first tournament on the Mena Tour to be played over 72 holes – typically events are 54 holes - since the 2017 Mena Championship. It therefore offers increased Official World Golf Ranking points, with five awarded to the winner.
Elsewhere, the 2020 calendar includes two new multi-course tournaments: The Triple Crown in Abu Dhabi, to take place in March at Yas Links Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Beach and Abu Dhabi Golf Club, and April's Northern Emirates Open, at Al Hamra Golf Club in Ras Al Khaimah and Al Zorah Golf Club in Ajman.
The developmental circuit, launched in 2011, will have back-to-back stops in Muscat, while also staging the Arena Invitational ProAm in March, its first Pro-Am formatted event. The venue has yet to be announced.
The following month, the tour hosts The Saudi Classic, its comeback stop to the Kingdom, at Royal Greens Golf Club in King Abdullah Economic City - the same venue for the European Tour’s Saudi Invitational.
Mena Tour by arena – 2020 schedule
Jan 20-23: Qualifying School A – Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan ($6,000)
Jan 26-29: Qualifying School B – Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan ($6,000)
Feb 2-5: Journey to Jordan #1 – Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan ($75,000)
Feb 10-13: The Muscat Open – Muscat Hills GC, Muscat, Oman ($75,000)
Feb 16-19: The Ghala Open – Ghala GC, Muscat, Oman ($75,000)
Feb 23-26: The Bahrain Open – Royal GC, Bahrain ($75,000)
Mar 1-4: Journey to Jordan #2 – Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan ($75,000)
Mar 15-18: The Triple Crown – Yas Links/Saadiyat Beach GC/Abu Dhabi GC ($75,000)
Mar 22-25: MENA Tour by Arena Invitational Pro-Am – UAE TBA (Purse TBA)
Mar 29-April 1: Ras Al Khaimah Open – Tower Links GC, RAK ($75,000)
April 5-8: Northern Emirates Open – Al Hamra GC, RAK/Al Zorah GC, Ajman ($75,000)
April 12-15 The Saudi Classic – Royal Greens GC, KEC, Saudi Arabia ($75,000)
April 19-23 The Arena Championship – Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan ($125,000)
Updated: October 17, 2019 12:13 PM