On the sidelines of this week’s Asian Tour’s Blue Canyon Phuket Championship, that saw the return of the Asian Tour for the first time since March 2020, Saudi Arabia’s only professional golfer - 34-year-old Othman Almulla - spoke to the Asian Tour about his excitement of being invited to participate in the events along with leading Saudi amateur players Abdulrahman Al Mansour, Saud Al Sherif and Faisal Al Salhab.
Almulla said: “It feels great to be competing and we have been welcomed by the Asian Tour, we love that. It’s great to just have somewhere to play. It’s been so hard since I turned professional in 2019. I had one full year and then it’s been super difficult to find places to play.
“And this week has been so well run. It’s 20 months since the Asian Tour was played. I played in the Asian Tour Qualifying School about 10 years ago and it’s great to see how big it’s grown and see such big names in the field.”
All four Saudi players have previously played in the Saudi International on home soil inb Jeddah and this week they are playing on the Asian Tour for the first time as invites.
Also in this week’s field are four players from the MENA Tour; Shergo Al Kurdia (Jordan), David Langley (England), Curtis Knipes (England) and Ryan Lumsdan (Scotland).
“To see our amateurs come out and hit a lot of good shots, make some birdies, and lose the rustiness has been great,” Almulla added. “And we go again in a couple of days. And I am looking forward to seeing what they can do.”
The Asian Tour’s feeder circuit, the Asian Development Tour (ADT), is looking to work closely with the MENA Tour, encouraging more playing opportunities for developing players in the entire Asia region and further afield.
Next week the Asian Tour hosts the Laguna Phuket Championship at Laguna Phuket, the second of two events on the Asian Tour Phuket Series with both tournaments boasting a $1 million prize fund.
All the Middle East participants who played in week one are all confirmed to play as part of the 21 player invite category.
The Asian Tour has confirmed its full schedule for the 2020-2021 season by announcing two Singapore events: the Singapore Invitational (January 14-17, Tanah Merah Country Club) and the following week with the Singapore Open (Sentosa Country Club) with prize funds of $1 million and $1.25 million respectively.