Crowning Glory for Salhab in Saudi Open

Kurtis Clement (far left), Faisal Salhab (second left), Abdulaziz Al-Anezi (second right) and Mohammed Al-Issa (far right) at the Saudi Open prize-giving.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Leading Saudi amateur golfer Faisal Salhab has been crowned champion of the sixth edition of the Saudi Open.

Collecting his trophy during a prize-giving ceremony organised by Golf Saudi, the Saudi Golf Federation and Riyadh Golf Club, Salhab finished head and shoulders above his fellow competitors, posting an overall score of 11-under-par 205 over three rounds.  

The tournament was open to all professional and amateur golfers in the Middle East and North Africa who are registered with any golf club and saw 88 players from more than 25 countries compete. A cut was held at the end of day two, from which 60 players qualified for the last round.  

En route to victory in both the amateur category and the overall Saudi Open standings, Salhab had the distinction of breaking the course record at Riyadh Golf Club with a second-round six-under 66.

Abdulaziz Al-Anezi, CEO of the Olympic Committee, and Muhammad Al-Issa, Executive Director of the Saudi Golf Federation, presented Salhab with the trophy in front of delegations from the Saudi Golf Federation, Golf Saudi and the Ministry of Sports. The Assistant Minister of Sports, Dr Rajaa Allah Al-Selmy, was also in attendance.  

Salhab was not the only Saudi National Team players to perform well. Five shots off the pace in joint second place was Saud Al Sharif, currently ranked as the Kingdom’s leading amateur. Also on 210 were Spaniard Gabriel Sanz and Qatari Ali Al-Shahrani.  

One of Salhab’s rewards for winning is a starting spot in February’s Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers, where he’ll compete alongside some of the world’s best professional players.

Salhab said: “It’s a great honour to win this title, especially in light of the high-level of competition, which makes this achievement extra special for me. It was fantastic to see so many players from around the Middle East come to Riyadh to compete, underlining the reputation of the Saudi Open.”

In regard to breaking the course record at Riyadh Golf Club, Salhab said: “This is thanks to the continuous support us National Team players receive, whether that’s from the Saudi Golf Federation or Golf Saudi. Their backing enhances our chances of performing to the best of our abilities.

“A special thanks also to the Golf Saudi agronomy team who have prepared the course here at Riyadh Golf Club incredibly well.” 

Saudi Golf Federation’s Mohammed Al-Issa said: “We have seen some remarkable performances over the past three days. The great concentration and focus of the players contributed to an exciting competition.

“We are, of course, delighted by Faisal’s victory, which confirms the great progress the Saudi National Team has made in recent years. We want to see our players continue to win trophies in 2022.

“We will watch Faisal’s progress closely at next year’s Saudi International and we are already excited about hosting the seventh edition of the Saudi Open and to welcoming back all of our competitors to the Kingdom once again.” 

The Saudi Open is part of a series of events that Golf Saudi holds annually to raise awareness of the game in the Kingdom as well as developing home-grown future talent.

By holding such events, Golf Saudi is looking to increase the number of golfers throughout the Kingdom within all age groups and demographics.

By working with other sports federations and the Ministry of Sport, Golf Saudi, which is the commercial development arm of the Saudi Golf Federation, is looking to underline the wider benefit of sports participation more generally as part of Saudi Arabia’s progress towards its Vision 2030 goals to improve its citizens quality of life.  

Golf Saudi is an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

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