The Sultanate will make its debut on the European Challenge Tour when the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic is staged for the first time at Almouj Golf, The Wave Muscat, from October 24 to 27, 2013. Promoted by National Bank of Oman, the tournament will be the first Challenge Tour event of its kind not only in the Sultanate but also in the GCC and will offer a total prize-money of $300,000.
With its place on the 2013 calendar (confirmed as the last event on the calendar before the season-end Challenge Tour Grand Final) the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic is set to attract a powerful field of 84 professionals with a further 30 invites available to the title sponsors, including ten for low handicap amateurs.
From the professional invites to the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic, five will be allocated to other Challenge Tour events in return for amateur invites on a reciprocal basis, allowing Arab Nationals, subject to handicap requirements, to compete in other Challenge Tour events during the season. This will provide great opportunities for golfers throughout the Arab world to get international experience wherever the Challenge Tour goes.
“As Title sponsor for the next three years, National Bank of Oman looks forward to welcoming the players and officials for the first ever Challenge Tour event in Oman,” said Salaam Al Shaksy, NBO’s CEO, at a press conference, held at Almouj Golf, The Wave Muscat.
He added, “At National Bank of Oman, we are proud of the steps Oman has taken with the launch of Almouj Golf – The Wave Muscat, the first Professional Golf Association (PGA) championship course in the Sultanate. With the support of the Oman Golf Committee – general secretary, Sayyid Arqam Al Busaidi, Oman will become the 45th country to be visited by the European Challenge Tour.
Alain de Soultrait, director of the European Challenge Tour said the players and officials alike were excited at the prospect of staging an event in the GCC for the first time in the Challenge Tour’s 26 year history. “We are absolutely delighted to be bringing the Challenge Tour to Oman and these are exciting times for us as it is the first time we have ever visited this part of the world,” he said. As the penultimate event of the 2013 Challenge Tour season, the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic will be a crucial tournament for our players and even more so thanks to the significant prize fund”.
In 2012 the Challenge Tour played 26 events in 18 countries for a combined prize fund of over $7.1mn, while only four of those events offered a greater prize fund than the new tournament – and with the event also providing places in the field to amateurs from throughout the region. The 2013 National Bank of Oman Golf Classic will offer the best Arab golfers an opportunity to experience playing alongside future European Tour stars.