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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Nick Tarratt, director European Tour International Dubai Office, left, and Haitham Mattar, the CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. Courtesy RAKTDA

Ras Al Khaimah confirmed as final destination for European Challenge Tour

The European Challenge Tour will conclude in the UAE after Ras Al Khaimah was confirmed as the new destination for its finale.

The three-year agreement, announced on Monday, ensures the second-tier circuit culminates in the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final, with its order of merit rebranded the “Road to Ras Al Khaimah".

This year’s tournament will take place from October 31 to November 3 at Al Hamra Golf Club and features the top 45 players on the Challenge Tour. Competing for a US$515,000 (Dh1.9 million) prize fund, the lead 15 players in the seasonal rankings will then graduate to the European Tour. An additional "Road to Ras Al Khaimah Bonus Pool" of $100,000 will be divided between the top three in the standings.

The emirate has played an integral role on the Challenge Tour already, since the Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge had been the penultimate event on its calendar for the past two years. Monday’s announcement means European golf's two lead tours now close in the UAE.

“It is tremendous news for us all that Ras Al Khaimah and Al Hamra Golf Club will host the 2018 Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final on the season-long Road to Ras Al Khaimah," said Nick Tarratt, director of the European Tour International Dubai Office.

“We firstly extend our thanks to Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and especially to Haitham Mattar, the CEO of RAKTDA for all his support. The players have all been very complimentary about the Al Hamra golf course since first visiting in 2016 and, with the new Troon Golf management team in place, we look forward to seeing a golf course presented in an appropriate manner for the top players for the Challenge Tour Grand Final later in the year."

The Challenge Tour’s Grand Final was previously staged in Dubai, at Al Badia Golf Club in 2013 and 2014, before moving to Al Mouj Golf Club in Oman.

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