More than 10 months after teeing off its 2023 season in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Asian Tour will return there for what promises to be a dramatic denouement to a memorable campaign.
Boasting a prize purse of US$1 million, the Saudi Open presented by Public Investment Fund will be staged at Riyadh Golf Club from December 14-17.
As the 23rd and last event on the Asian Tour’s 2023 calendar, the tournament will not only determine the Order of Merit champion but also will be the final chance for players to secure a top-65 finish and keep their playing rights for 2024.
Those that succeed will then be able to look forward to a speedy return to the Saudi Open presented by Public Investment Fund with the tournament also primed to play host to the opening leg of the 2024 season from January 25-28.
The elevation of the event from the Asian Development Tour (ADT) in 2022 to the Asian Tour is a further sign of the close ties between Golf Saudi and the Asian Tour.
“We’re delighted to see the Saudi Open presented by Public Investment Fund become part of the Asian Tour,” said Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner & CEO of the Asian Tour.
“Last year’s Saudi Open on the ADT was one of the most popular tournaments we have staged in the Kingdom. Following that success, it will now provide a fitting climax to the Asian Tour’s 2023 season – and we will then see a quick turnaround during the new year break and return to tee-off our 2024 campaign.
“Our thanks go to our counterparts at Golf Saudi and the Riyadh Golf Club for their continued support and partnership.”
The 120-strong field for this year’s event will include the top-80 available players from the Asian Tour’s 2023 Order of Merit as well as invited players from other international Tours, such as Australia, South Africa, Japan and Korea.
The tournament will also feature up and coming players from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Arab countries as well as representatives from Saudi Arabia’s national team.
Noah Alireza, CEO at Golf Saudi, said: “Joining the Asian Tour this year as the final event on its schedule is an exciting new development for the Saudi Open presented by Public Investment Fund.
“Every year we’ve hosted the tournament, it has got bigger and better. We’re especially proud of how each edition provides Saudi and Arab golfers the opportunity to participate in a top tier competition.
“It not only allows them to develop their skill levels but also to test themselves and go head-to-head against players from different countries in the Middle East, North Africa and now the Asian Tour in a competitive environment.”
In view of the significance of the tournament, the Merit points that will be awarded have been elevated to Tier 3, the same as The International Series events.
This will be the eighth edition of the Saudi Open presented by Public Investment Fund. Last year’s 54-hole event on the ADT was won by Indonesian Naraajie E. Ramadhanputra with a score of 19-under-par 197. Egyptian Issa Abouelelah finished as the low amateur on nine-under 207.
Managed by Golf Saudi and playing to a par of 72, Riyadh Golf Club is located 20 minutes from the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Opened in 2005, the course is laid out on undulating terrain with wide fairways and manicured greens.