x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 September 2017

Saudis turn out for home Mena Golf Tour event

Ross McGowan, Zane Scotland and the rest of the Mena regulars will be joined by 13 Saudis when the tour makes a stop in Saudia Arabia for the Dirab Golf Championship.

England's Zane Scotland goes to Saudi Arabia chasing compatriot Ross McGowan for the Mena Tour's top spot.
England's Zane Scotland goes to Saudi Arabia chasing compatriot Ross McGowan for the Mena Tour's top spot.

 

A strong home representation in the third event on the Mena Tour in Saudi Arabia, the Dirab Golf Championship, will be spearheaded on Monday by Prince Khalid bin Saud.

Thirteen Saudi golfers will be among the field of 98 for the three-day competition at the Dirab Golf and Country Club, which is 45km south west of Riyadh.

Prince Khalid, who tees off along with England's Zane Scotland and Pakistan's Matloob Ahmed in the first round, has already distinguished himself by bringing his handicap down to scratch, and he will be competing in the amateur division where he will be joined by a host players from in and around the region, Morocco, Bahrain, and the UAE, in particular.

Mohamed Juma Buamaim, the chairman of the Mena Golf Tour, said: "We feel proud and privileged to have HRH Prince Khalid in the field.

"His gesture to sign up for the event is a great advertisement for the strides made by Saudi Arabia in developing golf in the kingdom."

Prince Khalid will look to pick up some tips from Scotland, who will be targeting his second victory of the six-event series after he prevailed in the Dubai Creek Open last month.

The Englishman is second in the tour standings, trailing compatriot Ross McGowan, who dominated last week's Abu Dhabi Golf Citizens Open at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.

It is a step into the unknown for the non-Saudi players to be competing in Dirab, but Buamaim is confident that the tournament will be a success.

"This is the first time we are visiting Saudi Arabia for a golfing event, but the tournament has already created a global buzz with a full field going out to experience the golfing facilities at the Dirab club," he said.

"I am sure this is just the start of a new tradition which could encourage other countries in the region to have their own event on the Mena Tour."

Having hosted the first Saudi Arabian National Amateur Championship in 2001 and the 10th Annual GCC Golf Championship recently, the course promises to provide a fair all-round test.

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