Dubai: The number one development tour in the United Kingdom will offer its top players fully paid trips to the Mena Tour starting from next year, in what will be dubbed the ‘Race to the Gulf’.
Reflecting the growing popularity of the Mena Tour, organisers of the Jamega Pro Tour said they will be running two separate order of merits with two top players from each category earning the attractive package, which includes paid entry and membership fee, flights and subsidised allowance.
Established in 2004, the Jamega Pro Tour believes trips to the Mena Tour will give their leading players a ”realistic chance” of competing in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic for 2014, with the top three professionals and leading amateur in Mena receiving special invites to the European Tour event.
In addition, the top amateur is awarded with the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation scholarship. The all-expenses-paid scholarship includes a five-week intensive training stint in the run-up to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, something that will also surely interest the UK’s top newcomers.
With the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship also “considering” the possibility of extending a spot, the Mena Golf Tour players won’t be short on motivation and opportunities to progress to top-tier golf.
Mohammad Juma Bu Amaim, Chairman of the Mena Golf Tour, welcomed Jamega’s move, saying: “It’s quite encouraging to note that the tour is getting worldwide recognition. With players from different countries looking to advance their career, the tour, only in its second year, has managed to create its own niche.
“Of course, winning a spot in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic remains a massive incentive, but the tour, as a whole, is aimed at creating a healthy environment for the region’s players who previously lacked opportunities to reach their highest level.
“With regular exposure to a quality field, I am sure the day is not far when we will see a Mena Tour player doing well and making a name for himself. That’s the goal,” he added.
A new initiative of the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation, the Mena Golf Tour is affiliated to R&A and the Arab Golf Federation. The six-stop tour, which is backed by Omega and Mercedes-Benz, boasts a combined prize fund of $325,000.