By Sports Reporter/Doha
The Ladies European Tour is set to break new ground this winter when it stages an event in Qatar for the first time.
The Qatar Ladies Open will be held from November 23-26 at the Doha Golf Club, according to a release posted on the Tour’s website (ladieseuropeantour.com). It will be the third such event to be held in the Middle East, after the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters and the recently-announced Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi.
Doha Golf Club already hosts a tournament on the men’s European Tour, the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, which is held in January.
“It’s important for us to help foster, promote and develop golf in the Middle East,” said Ladies European Tour CEO Ivan Khodabakhsh. “We want to show what a fresh and inspiring game golf is and encourage women in the region to consider it as part of a healthy, active and enjoyable lifestyle.”
“Golf is becoming a sport that is well known in the region and we have seen lots of juniors on the fairways. We also want to increase the number of women and girls who play and the new Qatar Ladies Open will be very important in terms of driving interest.
“Qatar has hosted some amazing sport events. Hosting a Lades European Tour event will add to the diversity of the country’s sporting portfolio. Apart from the golf competition, there will be a number of activities leading up to the event that will help in creating a lasting legacy for women’s golf in Qatar,” Khodabakhsh added.
Fahad Nasser al-Naimi, General Secretary of the Qatar Golf Association, hailed the tournament as a huge boost for women’s sports in the country.
“The Qatar Golf Association is very proud to host the Ladies European Tour with the inaugural Qatar Ladies Open in Doha. This will be one of the most important international women’s golf tournaments, watched by more than 300 million viewers worldwide in 127 countries. This will cement Qatar’s position as a leading golf destination whilst also fostering participation and growing the success of our own players,” he was quoted as saying in the release.
Mohamed Faisal al-Naimi, Executive Director of the Qatar Golf Association, added: “I’m extremely proud to announce the hosting of the Qatar Ladies Open which will play a big role in developing the game of golf in the region. Most importantly, it would be in line with our Qatar National Vision 2030.”
Doha Golf Club expects to see a surge in interest from Emirati women, according to the DGC’s General Manager Gary McGlinchey. “Doha Golf Club is extremely excited to welcome the Ladies European Tour to Doha. We believe this event will inspire more female participation and provide inspiration to the juniors to pursue this game as a career,” McGlinchey said.
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