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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Three of the biggest names in women’s golf, world No.1 Lilia Vu, world No.7 Minjee Lee and world No.8 Charley Hull, have been confirmed for the Aramco Team Series in Riyadh.
The fifth and final event of the 2023 series, presented by PIF, will take place for the first time in the Saudi capital at Riyadh Golf Club on Oct. 27-29.
US star Vu has raced to the top of the world rankings this season with a sensational run of form that secured not one, but two Major championship titles. 2023 has also seen Australia’s Lee win the recent Kroger Queen City Championship while Britain’s Hull has shown some impressive form to finish runner-up in two Majors.
Vu, Lee and Hull have all expressed their delight and pride at lining up in the first professional golf event to be held in Riyadh. Vu, making her second appearance in the series, after signing up for the Aramco Team Series Hong Kong earlier this month, has had a phenomenal season.
She followed up her maiden title at the Honda LPGA in February with two Major triumphs — a playoff win in the Chevron Championship in Houston back in April, and a six-shot victory in the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath in August.
Minjee Lee, a former world No.1 amateur who has won multiple Major championships in the last two years — the 2021 Evian Championship and 2022 US Women’s Open — commented on her upcoming appearance in the Kingdom
She said: “Women’s golf is on the rise all around the world and Saudi Arabia is playing a big role by promoting our sport and staging high-profile events. It’s incredibly exciting to be a part of this tournament, and hopefully, my recent good form is on full display throughout the weekend so I’m in with a chance of challenging.”
Meanwhile, Hull will be hoping to go one better after finishing runner-up last time out in the Aramco Team Series presented by PIF — London to Olympic gold medal winner Nelly Korda. The youngest ever Solheim Cup player aged just 17 in 2013, Hull was Vu’s nearest challenger in the AIG Women’s Open in August. She also placed T2 in the US Women’s Open at the iconic Pebble Beach in California, shooting a scintillating six-under final round of 66 to finish three behind champion Allisen Corpuz.
“The Aramco Team Series brings something special to the women’s game, and hopefully I can take it to the next level in Riyadh after coming close in London and Jeddah last year,” said the Englishwoman and six-time professional winner.
The superstar golfers are relishing the prospect of playing in the unique format which has team and individual components. Vu and Hull are among the many golfers lining up with extensive team experience and the two recently faced off for the US and Europe in this year’s Solheim Cup, which took place at the Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain from Sept. 18-24.
Vu said: “The Aramco Team Series events are hugely popular among the players and golf fans, largely attributed to the enjoyable and distinctive format, which allows players from different countries to come together as a team, offering a unique experience that is unmatched elsewhere. I can’t wait to tee it up in Riyadh. It will undoubtedly be exciting to compete simultaneously in team and individual format.”
The Aramco Team Series format offers the world’s best female golfers the chance to compete both in a team competition and individually.
While the top 84 professional golfers team up with amateur players in an exciting four-person team tournament held over the first two days of the event, only the top 60 will make the cut to compete for the individual title and a prize fund of $1 million, as well as Race to Costa Del Sol and Rolex World Ranking points, on the final day.
Noah Alireza, CEO of Golf Saudi, said: “The Aramco Team Series presented by PIF — Riyadh is a significant moment in golf and sport in Saudi, and we are immensely proud to be hosting the first ever professional golf tournament in Riyadh. Our investment in this event underpins our commitment and dedication to the women’s game and to women’s sport in general. More broadly, we want to encourage, enable and inspire the next generation of golfers in Saudi Arabia and Riyadh Golf Club is the perfect setting for what is sure to be a fitting finale to a thrilling series this season.”
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