Saudi amateur Salhab ready more than ever to take on the big guns

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Desert Swing: Saudi amateur Faisal Salhab is eager to rub shoulders with the world’s best. — Supplied photo
Desert Swing: Saudi amateur Faisal Salhab is eager to rub shoulders with the world’s best. — Supplied photo

Dubai - He is looking forward to taking part in the 2022 Saudi International

By Team KT

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Published: Thu 23 Dec 2021, 11:05 PM

Following his triumph at the Saudi Open earlier this month and the sought-after Arab Golf Championship in Cairo on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s amateur golfer Faisal Salhab looks forward to taking part in the 2022 Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers, in what will be his third appearance at the tournament.

Salhab deservedly earned his spot after claiming victory during the sixth edition of the championship at the Riyadh Golf Club following an intense battle which saw 88 professional and amateur golf players from 27 Middle Eastern and North African countries compete over a course of three days.

Rubbing shoulders and competing against the world’s best golfers during the star studded $5 million Saudi International tournament at the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is not something that the 25-year-old takes for granted.

“It means a lot to take part in the Saudi International once again, especially considering I received the invite after winning the Saudi Open. I will never forget the reaction when we first saw the names announced for the tournament this year. Some of the national team players and I started jumping up and down, we were so excited. It is incredible to think how far Saudi Arabia has come in world of golf and to now see these players compete in our country,” said Salhab.

Taking place at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, the February 3-6th 2022 contest will be the Saudi International’s first edition as part of the Asian Tour, following the recent announcement of a 10-year partnership between the Tour and Golf Saudi. Global superstars confirmed includes the likes of Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson – the strongest line-up ever in Saudi Arabia’s history.

Saudi’s National Team golfers are in a rich vein of form which saw them convincingly clinch the title of the 40th edition of Arab Golf Championship over ten countries by a comfortable nine-shot margin.

Saud Alsharif also bagged a trophy earlier this month at the Jordan Open, with events like Saudi International inspiring the Kingdom’s most promising talent in the region.

In addition to his recent title wins, Salhab has made great career strides this year having gained valuable experience in numerous Asian Tour tournaments, most recently alongside Saudi Arabia National Team teammates Othman Almulla, Alsharif and Abdulrahman Almansour at Thailand’s Laguna Phuket Championship.

Salhab said: “Winning the Saudi Open is a great testament of the importance of more regular competition. With just over one month to go till the tournament starts, I will hopefully be in an even better form this year compared to other years where I perhaps lacked the desired playing time. I already feel ready more than ever after taking part in the Saudi International over the last two years.

“I think my newly gained experiences will be the real difference this year as they didn’t just develop my golf skills, but also enabled me to grow as a person. There’s absolutely no doubt it will be another tough challenge, but my main goal is to make the cut and not let any nerves get the best of me,” he added.

Playing on his home turf and in front of a local crowd is something that Faisal especially looks forward to. He’s calling on fans across all ages to join in the fun and watch him take part alongside the world’s elite against the stunning backdrop of the Red Sea.

“I encourage all Saudis, despite their level of interest in golf, to come out and support the players and the events that everyone in Golf Saudi works tirelessly hard in organising. The quality of the tournament is incredible and not to be missed. Seeing the world’s elite golfers compete in the Kingdom is something that every Saudi should cherish,” he concluded.

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