Dubai: Ras Al Khaimah is readying to host the RAK 2016 Golf Challenge — the penultimate event on this season’s European Challenge Tour — at Al Hamra Golf Club, October 26-29.
English duo Jordan Smith and Sam Walker occupy the top two slots in the Race to Oman with New Zealand’s Ryan Fox in third.
Smith won in Egypt and came second to Walker in Kazakhstan recently. “I am really looking forward to it,” said Smith. “I have never been to that part of the world before, so I am very excited to experience the culture of Ras Al Khaimah. I can’t wait to play the course either as I have heard a lot of good things about it. Overall, I’m really keen to get out there and have some fun.”
Meanwhile, Walker believes his win in Kazakhstan, gives him a springboard to challenge Smith.
“It is a new venue for the Challenge Tour and because of where it is located I think it will be one of the best places we’ve played at all season,” said Walker. “I have only heard good things about the course and although I haven’t been there myself, I am really excited to go there.”
Sponsored by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the Ras Al Khaimah 2016 Golf Challenge will gather a field of 105 players from 16 nations in a battle for a US$350,000 prize purse.
“International events of this stature cement our vision as an emerging golf destination. As we continue to position Ras Al Khaimah as a tourist hub for adventure and wellness, Ras Al Khaimah is the ideal venue and host to provide first-class facilities for players and spectators alike,” said Haitham Mattar, chief executive officer of RAKTDA.
UAE interest will see Dubai-based Michael Harrdine challenging on a course designed by his father Peter.
“The Challenge Tour has so many experienced and emerging players, it’s always a very strong field,” said Michael, who also plays for the Swiss national team. “I’ve obviously played a few more rounds at Al Hamra than most of the field but that isn’t really a factor when you’re in a field as accomplished as the one lining up in Ras Al Khaimah in a few weeks.”
For more information on the tournament and The Road to Oman visit www.europeantour.com/challengetour.