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Intriguing mix of European Tour winners, in-form Challenge Tour players, regional hopefuls and top future talent make up final field
RAKTDA’s Fan Village to feature family activities, live music, food trucks and much more
The final field for this week’s Ras Al Khaimah 2017 Golf Challenge will feature an intriguing mix of emerging global talents, seasoned professionals looking to regain full PGA European Tour status, MENA Tour hopefuls and a host of the UAE’s best professional and amateur players.
The 105-strong field will compete for a share of the US $350,000 tournament at Al Hamra Golf Club, Ras Al Khaimah, from Wednesday 25 – Saturday 28 October.
Organised and promoted by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the entry list includes multiple European Tour winners including Estanislao Goya of Argentina, Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg, Welshman Rhys Davies, and Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland, who has five European Tour titles to his name, including the coveted Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2011.
“We have a wonderful blend of seasoned veterans and emerging stars coming to Ras Al Khaimah. This intriguing mix of players and the tournament’s standing as the penultimate round on the European Challenge Tour calendar will make for a fantastic weekend of world-class golf,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA. “Although our reigning champion Jordan Smith is ineligible, his outstanding rookie season on the European Tour proves that the Challenge Tour remains a fertile breeding ground for nurturing future stars. We look forward to crowning our new champion this weekend.”
“The Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge is a tremendous advert for the Challenge Tour and for golf in the region,” said Nick Tarratt, Director of the European Tour, International Office. “The tournament presents a unique opportunity for UAE golf fans to get up close to the golfing stars of tomorrow and established Tour pros. Al Hamra will provide a stiff test for the players and it promises to be an exciting week, on and off the course.”
Ahead of the penultimate event of this season’s European Challenge Tour, the European Tour veterans will have their work cut out against a host of in-form Challenge Tour players looking to break into the continent’s primary Tour next season.
At the head of the field, Tapio Pulkkanen will be looking to extend his healthy 40,000-plus point lead in the Race to Oman rankings. With the top 10 players in the rankings all bound for Ras Al Khaimah, England’s Aaron Rai (2), France’s Julien Guerrier (3), South Africa’s Erik Van Rooyen (4) and America’s Chase Koepka (5) – the brother of reigning US Open champion, Brooks Koepka – are among a host of players intent on closing the Finn’s lead.
Joining the talented pool of international Tour professionals at Al Hamra will be a sprinkling of the UAE’s finest. David Laing will represent The Address Montgomerie after securing his Ras Al Khaimah place with victory in the recent UAE PGA Al Hamra – Challenge Tour qualifier. The Englishman shot a fine three-under par 69 to record a two-shot victory over his fellow UAE professionals. Dubai-based amateur Michael Harradine, whose father Peter designed the Al Hamra course, is also in the field for the second year running after receiving an invite from the tournament organising committee and RAKTDA.
This year’s Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge will be a true family affair. Alongside the golfing action, the tournament’s Fan Village will feature children’s activities, music, food trucks and a drinks garden, open from 4pm to 10pm from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28, October.
UAE residents making the trip to catch the stars in action can benefit from a special offer at the stunning Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah. Located right next to Al Hamra Golf Club, the Waldorf Astoria is offering special rates throughout the tournament week.
The Ras Al Khaimah 2017 Golf Challenge has attracted a marquee line-up of sponsors for its second edition including Emirates Airline, the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Group and Al Hamra Golf Club. For more information on the Ras Al Khaimah 2017 Golf Challenge and The Road to Oman 2017 visit www.europeantour.com/challengetour.
For more information on hotel offers and the fan village visit: www.rasalkhaimah.ae
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