RAK set for Challenge Tour debut

Al Hamra to host season’s penultimate event from October 26-29

Gulf News

Dubai: Ras Al Khaimah is gearing up to host next month’s penultimate event on the 2016 European Challenge Tour for the first time at Al Hamra Golf Club from October 26-29.

Sponsored by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the Ras Al Khaimah 2016 Golf Challenge comes at the most crucial point of the season and is expected to be a big draw for fans.

The emirate’s largest-ever international sporting event, the Challenge is the first professional tournament to be held at the 18-hole, all-grass championship course and is the run-up to the season-ending ‘Road to Oman’ in Muscat.

A relentless schedule will see a field of 105 players and would-be European Tour card holders from 16 nations battle for a share of the US$350,000 (Dh1.3 million) prize purse.

Over the four-day event spectators will get to see the future of golf in action. The Challenge Tour is noted for its sprinkling of emerging golfing superstars and in the past has been where the likes of Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose, Thomas Bjorn and Henrik Stenson have cut their teeth for professionalism.

In among the challengers will be 34-year-old UAE resident and multiple Emirates Golf Federation Order of Merit winner Michael Harradine. Dubai-based Michael, who earned his Challenge place by winning this year’s Emirates Amateur Open, will be looking to shine on a course designed by his father, Peter.

“This is Al Hamra Golf Club’s time to shine as an emerging international golf destination in alignment with our strategic pillars of growing Ras Al Khaimah through sports tourism,” said RAKTDA chief executive officer Haitham Mattar.

“The Challenge is a strong foundation for our expanding events calendar which will encompass an increasing number of sporting and cultural activities set in the unique natural landscapes of Ras Al Khaimah,” he added.

For more information visit www.europeantour.com/challengetour.