The Aramco Saudi Ladies International returns this week
The Aramco Saudi Ladies International returns this week Image Credit: Supplied

A stellar line up of the best female golfers from 27 different countries will tee off on Thursday for the third edition of the Aramco Saudi Ladies International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, King Abdullah Economic City.

Led by Major-winners and Solheim Cup stars Anna Nordqvist, Georgia Hall, Carlota Ciganda, Bronte Law and Emily Kristine Pedersen, a world-class international field will compete for the $1 million prize-purse at the second tournament of the 2022 Ladies European Tour season — where players are competing total prize pool of nearly $30 million, the largest in LET history, up by close to $8 million on last year.

The Saudi field is also stacked with a host of exciting young players.

Australian Stephanie Kyriacou is one of them, who at 21-years-old already has three career titles to her name — and is now a holder of both LET and LPGA Tour cards. Ten top 10 finishes in 2021, including a tie for ninth at this same event last year firmly position Kyriacou as a favourite for this week.

Pia Babnik of Slovenia won the R&A Girls Amateur Championship in 2019, joining the LET a year later at just 16. Last November, she claimed what was the second Tour title of her young career at Royal Greens, with victory in the individual category of the Aramco Team Series — Jeddah. Now, aged 18, she returns to the course, seeking her third professional win.

Defending champion Lydia Ko was forced to withdraw earlier this week after testing positive for Covid-19, but the tournament’s 2020 maiden champion Kristine Pedersen — plus international stars Angel Yin, Laura Davies and Anne van Dam — all part of the stellar line-up.

The most Arab representation in LET history

This week’s tournament will welcome three Arabic players — the most of any Ladies European Tour event in history, and all from Morocco.

Saudi fan-favourite Maha Haddioui will be joined by Ines Laklalech and Lina Belmati, both of whom will be making their professional debuts.