Faisal Salhab, one of Saudi Arabia’s most promising young golfers, is hoping for a repeat victory at the 2022 Saudi Open, which gets underway tomorrow at the Riyadh Golf Club, the first event on the Asian Development Tour to take place in the kingdom.
“I definitely hope to do well,” said Salhab about his expectations of playing at his home course. “I know what I’m capable of on the course and hopefully, I’m able to perform to my best abilities at the event.”
“It was nice to win at my home course and also was nice seeing friendly faces around and having that support,” he added.
His victory last season came with a total score of 11 under-par after three rounds. A total of 88 players from 27 countries took part in the tournament, which was open to both professionals and amateurs from the Middle East and North Africa.
In 2022, the event takes place from December 8-10 and is open to all of Asia, and more than 50 players will be making the journey from countries such as Thailand, Singapore and Korea. The total field will be 120 players with approximately 25 Saudis lining up in the field.
The winner of the tournament, which is organised by Golf Saudi and has a purse of $200,000, will qualify for the 2023 edition of the PIF Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers.
Taking the field will be Malaysia’s Shahriffuddin Ariffin, who won the Selangor Masters at the end of last month, together with other ADT tournament winners such as Thailand’s Suteepat Prateeptienchai who has three wins already this season and compatriot Chonlatit Chuenboonngam.
The three currently lead the ADT Order of Merit and will be seeking to take advantage of the fact that their main contender, China’s Chen Guxin will not be teeing it up tomorrow.
Australia’s Harrison Gilbert, who won the Indo Masters Golf Invitational presented by TNE in June, and Jack Murdoch will be joining the field in a clutch of international players, alongside Dodge Kemmer of the USA, Sweden’s Oscar Zetterwall and Mathias Keyser of South Africa. English players include Matt Killen and Joshua Grenville-Wood, Joe Heraty, William Harrold and David Langley.
Lloyd Jefferson Go, who has shown some strong performances this season, will be looking to finish the year on a high note, as will Japan’s Shinichi Mizuno and Indonesia’s Naraajie E. Ramadhanputra, winner of the OBGolf Invitational in Jakarta in June.
Thailand has a strong contingent in addition to Suteepat and Chonlatit, including in-form players like Sarun Sirithon, winner of the Laguna Phuket Cup in May, Nirun Sae-ueng, Varanyu Rattanaphiboonkij, Denwit Boriboonsub and Chanat Sakulpolphaisan.
Salhab, Golf Saudi’s highest-ranked amateur golfer, welcomes the arrival of the Asian Development Tour to Saudi Arabia.
“I’m very happy that Saudi Arabia is getting more professional events and having the ADT come to the Kingdom is going to bring better competition and it’s good to see these type of events start happening more in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
“By having an event of this status in Saudi Arabia shows the people the quality of players around the world and for the future generations it gives them a real benchmark to strive for.”
Host venue of the Saudi Open, the Riyadh Golf Club boasts a challenging 18-hole golf course with exceptional practice facilities.
The course’s undulating terrain, wide fairways and manicured greens offer golfers a pleasurable and challenging experience but the man-made lakes and streams traversing the course will keep golfers at the top of their game.