Challenge Tour returns to the UAE for two events in 2023

Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club play host for the first time before Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

By KT Golf

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Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club will host the Abu Dhabi Challenge for the first time in April, 2024, on the Challenge Tour. - Supplied photo
Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club will host the Abu Dhabi Challenge for the first time in April, 2024, on the Challenge Tour. - Supplied photo

Published: Fri 22 Dec 2023, 12:05 AM

Two Challenge Tour tournaments will be hosted in the UAE next year according to their 2024 schedule.

The Abu Dhabi Challenge to be held at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club,from18th – 21st April, 2024 and the following week, the UAE Challenge will take place at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, from 25th – 28th April, 2024.

Players will compete for total prize money of more than €8,000,000 for the second consecutive year and the 2024 Road to Mallorca will begin with the SDC Open at the start of February, the first of four co-sanctioned events with the Sunshine Tour in South Africa.

The Road to Mallorca heads to the UAE in April with back-to-back events, as part of the European Tour group’s long-term partnership with the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF).

Tom Buchanan, Acting Operations Manager, Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club, commented: “We are excited to be hosting the Abu Dhabi Challenge on the Challenge Tour in April.

“Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club has historically hosted a number of significant events on the EGF’s elite calendar, along with the MENA Tour Grand Final from 2011-2015.

“In addition, we have sponsored and hosted the Sir Nick Faldo Junior Series for a number of years, both the Regional and European Finals,” he added. “We regularly host many top Pros from the DP World Tour, Challenge Tour, Ladies European Tour and other Professional Golf Tours as well as National Amateur Teams for winter training.

“This Challenge Tour initiative will help us promote Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club as well as Al Ain on the global stage for both golf and our other world class sports facilities we have here,” said Buchanan.

“The Challenge Tour will be a step up for us all and we are confident that the course will be a fair test for all the players as well as everyone: the players, caddies, families, officials, media, TV and spectators, will all enjoy some traditional Al Ain hospitality.

“We are delighted to be chosen by EGF and The Challenge Tour to be the venue and we look forward to working together to make a tournament for all to remember and also build relationships for years to come,” he added.

The Challenge Tour will head to Spain in May for the Challenge de España, which will kick-start a run of 18 tournaments in 21 weeks and see the Road to Mallorca travel through 14 countries in Europe, including Poland for the Rosa Challenge Tour and Ireland for the Irish Challenge at The K Club, the 2006 Ryder Cup venue, which hosted the Irish Open in 2023 and will do so again in 2025 and 2027.

The Road to Mallorca returns to China for back-to-back events in October, the Hainan Open followed by the Hangzhou Open, which offers a final opportunity to tee it up in the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A.

The Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final returns to Club de Golf Alcanada for the third successive year for the end-of-season showpiece from October 31st – November 3rd, as the top 45 players on the Rankings battle it out in Mallorca for one of the life changing 20 DP World Tour cards.

Those 20 players who benefit from this formal pathway to the DP World Tour will then be eligible for the DP World Tour’s Earnings Assurance Programme, guaranteeing them minimum earnings of $150,000 for the 2025 season if they play in 15 or more events. The top five graduates will also benefit from the John Jacobs Bursary, similarly designed to provide security and a strong platform for their first season on the European Tour group’s top tier.

Jamie Hodges, Challenge Tour Director, said: “I would like to thank all our promoters, national Federations and tournament sponsors who are absolutely integral to the success of the Challenge Tour and have helped make this global schedule possible.

“The success of our graduates on the DP World Tour in 2023, as well as the impressive start made by our graduates so far in 2024, highlights the calibre of golfer that the Challenge Tour continues to produce. Their careers benefited from our formal pathway to the DP World Tour and following in their footsteps is a great incentive for our members competing on the Challenge Tour in 2024,: Hodges added.

“We are also very grateful for the commitment of Rolex, The R&A, and DP World through their title partnership of the DP World Tour, all of which has helped us raise prize funds and increase playing opportunities for our members.”

Last season, 25 former Challenge Tour players won on the DP World Tour - including 2022 graduates Matthew Baldwin, Tom McKibbin, Daniel Hillier and Todd Clements, while six finished inside the top ten on the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex. For the full 2024 Challenge Tour Calendar Visit: Challenge Tour (europeantour.com)


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