On Thursday, Sweden’s Emily Pedersen will tee off in the Jumeirah Beach Golf Club in Dubai in a bid to secure the Saudi Ladies International Pro-Am’s top prize of $10,000. Pedersen, a 41-year-old whose parents emigrated from Sweden to the Netherlands, shot an opening round four-under-par 68 at a clinic recently held by amateur golfer Sarah Jane Smith. The tournament, run by The Royal Company of Arab golfers, featured competitors from nations including Algeria, Bahrain, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and the U.S.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
I have never seen this spirit. These fans are throwing clumps of sand, from the 15th fairway, into a potter’s wheel in Abu Dhabi. This is the first round of the Ladies European Tour’s Ladies’ Dubai Ladies Masters. pic.twitter.com/Fpiv4zcfkn — Tony Gallagher (@RealTonyGallagher) September 25, 2015
“I’m only here as a pet, for a woman to love me.” Embarrassingly Maria (a Saudi Saudi) introduced herself and her 5 year old best friend, in a pic shared. @GAILASF pic.twitter.com/CbVDYKixy2 — Rich Lee (@richleewimson) September 15, 2015
The Saudi Ladies Open, originally intended as a “tour pro-am,” has become an unofficial trip for a growing number of players from Saudi Arabia, where women are banned from driving cars. According to the Telegraph, the event is designed to give players a taste of life in Europe. Last weekend, Asha Dewan, a 23-year-old from India, competed in the Open de Europe. Its 38,000-square-meter course, which features a championship green framed by two lakes, is smaller than the course used in the United States, where sponsors advertise “goal-oriented putting” and a “steep uphill stance.”