ASIAN GOLF INDUSTRY FEDERATION

Saudi Ladies Showcase Offers Pay Parity

Lexi Thompson is one of the star attractions at next week’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: A star-studded field of Major winners, Solheim Cup heroes, and golf’s rising stars will grace this year’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International Presented by PIF.

As Riyadh continues to become the Kingdom’s cultural and sporting hub, the Aramco Saudi Ladies International will make its debut in the capital from February 15-18, with Lexi Thompson, Carlota Ciganda and Trichat Cheenglab topping the billing.  

The event continues to set the standard globally with a prize purse of US$5 million, which equals the payout of the men’s PIF Saudi International – the largest event to achieve pay parity between the men’s and women’s equivalent competitions. 

Major winner Thompson narrowly missed out on the chance to lift last year’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International trophy, ending two shots behind the triumphant Lydia Ko. Thompson tied for third alongside Lilia Vu and Manon De Roey.   

Next week, American Thompson will tee it up at Riyadh Golf Club with her eyes set on the Kingdom’s most prestigious women’s golf title, and her third Ladies European Tour (LET) win.  

Thompson said: “The Aramco Saudi Ladies International signifies a significant step forward in advancing the sport, not just in Saudi Arabia but on a global scale, and it’s a privilege to be part of an event that advocates for equal prize funds in golf.  

“My determination is stronger than ever to exceed my 2023 finish and secure my first Aramco Saudi Ladies International title, this time at a new course for me, and a new city in Riyadh.”  

Joining Thompson in the starting line-up is her Solheim Cup rival Ciganda. The Spaniard enjoyed a memorable 2023, recording a joint third finish in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and sinking the winning putt in her home country to retain the Solheim Cup title for Team Europe. 

Last October, Ciganda led her team to victory at the Aramco Team Series Presented by PIF – Riyadh at Riyadh Golf Club. She’s now looking to add a first Aramco Saudi Ladies International trophy to her impressive collection, which includes the Aramco Team Series – Florida individual trophy. 

Ciganda said: “Riyadh Golf Club holds a special place in my heart, especially after leading my team to victory at the Aramco Team Series presented by PIF – Riyadh. Now, stepping back onto this course, I’m eager to channel that same energy and aim for another triumph.  

“The continued prize fund equality with the men’s event is a testament to Golf Saudi’s commitment to elevating the game and driving pay parity across golf. This sets the stage for a future where gender equality in golf is not just an aspiration but a reality, and I am proud to be part of an event that advocates for equality in golf.”

Thailand’s Trichat Cheenglab.

Emerging Thai star Trichat joins the event roster after an impressive debut season on the LET. The Race to Costa del Sol champion and Rookie of the Year 2023 will challenge the world’s best at her first Aramco Saudi Ladies International event.  

Trichat said: “Joining the line-up is an honour, and I am excited to compete at my first Aramco Saudi Ladies International. It’s a prestigious event with a prize fund that is driving conversations in sport forwards. I am here to make my mark, learn from the best, and contribute to the vibrant tapestry of women’s golf in Saudi Arabia.”

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

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