ASIAN GOLF INDUSTRY FEDERATION

Champion Duo Hail Growth of Women’s Golf

Georgia Hall spoke on the impact of the Aramco Saudi Ladies International Presented by PIF on women and girls.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Five years after competing in Saudi Arabia’s first professional women’s golf event, Georgia Hall and Emily Pedersen arrive at Riyadh Golf Club as past champions for the 2024 Aramco Saudi Ladies International Presented by PIF.

Reflecting on the significant impact of tournaments like the Aramco Saudi Ladies International in driving the global growth of women’s golf, the duo have highlighted the sport’s evolution and the expanding opportunities for female athletes.

Across the last five years of development of women’s golf in the Kingdom, England’s Hall has seen first-hand the immediate impact that has been made on local women and girls.

“I’m massively into helping youngsters and women to get into golf, it’s what is needed to help grow the game. I’ve already met a few women amateurs that have taken up golf again since this tournament [Aramco Saudi Ladies International Presented by PIF] has been on and we were lucky enough to play with a couple of them in the Pro-Ams the last few years.

“The more that women can get into golf in general, the better. I think it’s great that countries have us here and to be competing at such a great tournament with a big prize fund, [women’s golf] has definitely improved and it’s great to see.”

Last year, the Aramco Saudi Ladies International made history as the first golf tournament to achieve prize fund parity, increasing the purse five-fold to US$5 million to match the men’s PIF Saudi International.

Pedersen, the 2020 champion, echoed that increased global exposure through investment in events across multiple continents is the key ingredient in growing women’s golf.

“It’s important to show your face in a lot of different countries and the more you play in in America, Asia, here, and different places in Europe, it helps grow the game everywhere.

“It’s good to be seen as a player that is playing globally and then hopefully, the better you play, the more you show up to the different events, that’s going to inspire people to maybe turn pro or maybe go out there and travel to different places in the world to play golf.”

Both Hall and Pedersen know what it takes to win on the big stages, from the Solheim Cup to Saudi Arabia, their heroics continue to inspire the next generation of female golfers in the Kingdom and beyond.

At the 2020 Aramco Saudi Ladies International, the Dane had to shake off Hall as the tournament went down to the wire in a nail-biting play-off. Pedersen’s birdie on the first extra hole was enough for her to take the first Aramco Saudi Ladies International title.

“Thinking back to when I won that event, I was probably playing some of the best golf that I’d played in a while leading up to it. Royal Greens [Golf and Country Club] is very special to me. I love it there and I’ve always felt great around that track – but I’m also excited to see what Riyadh has to bring.”

Emily Pedersen says global exposure is key to the growth of women’s golf.

In 2022, it was Hall who triumphed, recording a five-shot victory with a winning score of 11-under-par. The first to congratulate Hall after her winning putt was the player who secured the title from her grasp in 2020, Pedersen.

Hall said: “It’s fantastic to have this event and I think it has improved. Looking at the strength of the field this week, there are a lot of strong players playing.

“I’ve tried to support the event [Aramco Saudi Ladies International] every year and it’s one of my favourites to come to. It’s just helping grow the game of golf in this country and it’s doing a lot of good for women’s golf in general.”

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

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