Sport - Golf - Faisal Salhab
Faisal Salhab of Saudi Arabia Image Credit: Asian Tour

The Asian Development Tour (ADT) announced today that the inaugural Aramco Invitational will be staged at Rolling Hills Golf Club, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, from December 14–16.

Building on 57 years of Aramco Invitational Tournament (SAIT) history, Aramco has joined forces with the ADT to host its 58th edition as the Aramco Invitational Tournament.

The ADT is the best fit with SAIT’s history of developing and promoting golf in Aramco, Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East. The objective is to create more playing opportunities for players from Asia and around the world. Such involvement will provide Saudi national players with competitive opportunities and develop games and players at the grass-roots level.

The $125,000 tournament will be the penultimate event of this season’s 17-leg circuit, which will culminate with the Taifong Open, to be held from December 22-25.

The tournament, which will be preceded by the PIF Saudi Open as part of a new and exciting two-event swing in the Middle East, will feature a field of 126 golfers and be played over 54 holes.

"The Asian Development Tour has enjoyed an incredible comeback year, post pandemic, and today’s news with regard to the Aramco Invitational is yet another boon for the Asian Tour’s secondary circuit," said Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner & CEO, Asian Tour.

"Importantly, and in much the same way as the Asian Tour is becoming a tour of international destinations, the Asian Development Tour continues to branch out, and the chance to play in the Middle East for a second time this year is another incredible opportunity for our membership.

"Increasing playing opportunities in new markets for our players is always a top priority, so we would like to thank Aramco, Golf Saudi, the Aramco Golf Association, and the Rolling Hills Golf Course for bringing all the key components together to make the event possible."

The Aramco Invitational launch also comes at a key moment, with players battling it out to try and finish in the top-10 on the ADT Order of Merit (OOM) and secure their playing privileges on the Asian Tour in 2023.

Nabil Al Nuaim, Chairman of the Aramco Golf Association, said: " Aramco is proud to build on its tradition and continue to grow the game. This is another great moment for the game of professional golf in Saudi Arabia. The country has an expanding portfolio of world-class events, but we are also active in growing the game at the developmental level, which the Asian Development Tour is a fine proponent of.

"The Aramco Invitational will provide a wonderful opportunity for players in our region to play in an international-standard tour event against a quality field of up-and-coming players and more experienced competitors."

Malaysia’s Shahriffuddin Ariffin clinched victory at the PKNS Selangor Masters two weeks ago, in the most recent ADT event, while Thailand’s Suteepat Prateeptienchai remains in front on the OOM, thanks to three fine victories this season, earning him a battlefield promotion this year to the Asian Tour.