Following a first-class opening round, amateur golfer Saud Al Sharif keeps his cool, and finishes tied at the PIF Saudi Open
10 December, 2022, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Exceptional performance from 23-years old Saudi during the PIF Saudi Open, at Riyadh Golf Club. Finishing 32nd after an incredible first round 7-under par score, Al Sharif finished head and shoulders ahead of his fellow Saudi National competitors, by posting an overall score of 138 (6-under par), after two days, seven shots clear of the next best Saudi player.
The winning amateur was fellow competitor, Elyes Barhoumi from Tunisia (score of 136, 8-under par, who beat Al Shariff into first place during last week’s Pan Arabic Championship, in Tunisia. Barhoumi automatically qualifies to play in next year’s PIF Saudi International, at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, competing against some of the best players in the world, including former champions Dustin Johnson and Harold Varner III.The tournament was sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour for the first time in its history, welcoming players from Europe, Asia, North America, Australasia and the Middle-east, competing for a prize purse of $200,000USD. A cut was held at the end of day two, from which 60 players and tied went forward to qualify for the final round.
Having made the cut easily, Al Sharif and only two other amateurs, competed against Asian Development Tour professional golfers, in the hunt for the tournament victory. After the final days play, Al Shariff finished in 32, a tremendous achievement towards the end of the golfing season. The winner of the PIF Saudi Open was Naraajie Ramadhan Putra, who comfortably held off competition on the final day, finishing with a total of 209 (7 under-par), a brilliant score on what was a difficult day, following overnight rain and a delayed start.
Majed Al Sorour, CEO of Golf Saudi said: "We have witnessed an incredible week of scoring, including a new course record of 10-under par, achieved on day one of the event. We are proud to host an Asian Development Tour for the first time here in Saudi Arabia, and hope that the continued development of events in the Kingdom, will enable more young players to benefit from the experience. We hope that the success of Saud Al Sharif this week, can lead to more high finishes across the Asian Tour in years to come. We thank the PIF for partnering with the Saudi Open for the first time, and we are very excited about hosting the eight edition of the tournament in 2023, welcoming all competitors back into the Kingdom once again.
Meanwhile, Associate Director, Partnerships, Ken Kudo commented: “It’s been a brilliant start to our relationship with Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, hosting the first ever Asian Development Tour event in Riyadh. The team and players have had a brilliant experience, and we look forward to competing in Dhahran next week, the penultimate event on the 2022 schedule. We thank the PIF and all sponsors for making the event possible.
The Saudi Open is part of a series of events that Golf Saudi holds annually to develop 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.