The Challenge Tour returns to the UAE for the first time since 2018 with back-to-back events in Abu Dhabi commencing in two weeks’ time.
The Challenge Tour is where the next generation of superstars find their feet and the top 20 on the Road to Mallorca Rankings at the end of the season will earn graduation to the DP World Tour.
The two courses hosting the Challenge Tour events are The National Course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, with both events having a rich prize fund of 300,000 USD each.
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club hosted the Challenge Tour Media Golf Day where local media were invited to play the course and speak to people involved in the events. It was also followed up by a traditional Iftar!
The National Course has a historic past on the DP World Tour having hosted the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship multiple times plus recently the inaugural Hero Cup. While Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is for the first time hosting a professional men’s tournament, the Ladies European Tour have played there previously.
Freddie Schmeisser, Head of Championships DP World Tour Middle East commented; “We are excited for the Challenge Tour coming to the UAE for the Abu Dhabi Challenge and UAE Challenge. With the support of Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, both clubs have fantastic teams very experienced its actually I wouldn’t say a walk in the park but we are very well prepared and together with the Emirates Golf Federation planning has been a big success so far.”
Watch the full interview with Freddie:
The Challenge Tour has a rich history in the UAE, having first staged events here in 2013 & 2014 with the Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club. From 2016 to 2018, Al Hamra Golf Club in Ras Al Khaimah hosted the Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge on two occasions plus the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final which was won by Spain’s Adri Arnaus, now a DP World Tour winner himself.
The welcome return to the UAE for the Challenge Tour is due to the European Tour group’s long-term partnership with the Emirates Golf Federation, which aims to develop golf in the United Arab Emirates.
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“I’m so glad that the Challenge Tour is back again. It’s back and this time it’s in Abu Dhabi for the first time. The last time was in 2018 and it’s a part of the agreement we have with the European Tour Group, this partnership is we will keep supporting golf as much as possible” said Akram Skaik, Director General of the Emirates Golf Federation.
Watch the full interview with Akram:
Currently leading the season long Road to Mallorca Rankings is France’s Ugo Coussaud. Alongside the rest of the global field who will be playing in the emirate, 30 places in each event are allocated as national spots for Emirati players. These can also be traded with other International Federations across the globe to give players an opportunity to play in other Challenge Tour events worldwide.
Flying the flag for the UAE is Ahmad Skaik, the number one amateur golfer in the country. Recently overcoming a back injury which has hindered him for the past 12 months, Ahmad is ready to hit the ground running!
“I’m very excited, I’m just excited to playing events in general as I have been out for a while due to injuries and also to have Challenge Tour events, first time participating in that as well it’s always such a great thing to play against those players and play in big events like that which is going ot take me to the next level because it’s the one below the DP World Tour which is where I want to be and I am building my way up to that level” said Ahmad.
Watch the full interview with Ahmad:
In what will be a fantastic two weeks in Abu Dhabi, be sure to keep up to date on all going’s on at the events on GULF NEWS.
Abu Dhabi Challenge: April 27 – 30, Abu Dhabi Golf Club
UAE Challenge: May 4 – 7, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club