CAIRO (Egypt): The MENA Tour by Arena will proudly visit its 12th host country when the $75,000 NEWGIZA Open is played at the NEWGIZA Golf Club with the spectacular setting of the world-famous Pyramids of Giza as a backdrop this week.
The first-ever MENA Tour event in Egypt will feature 86 players, including past European Tour champions England’s Richard Finch and France’s Romain Wattel. Also starting his new season in Cairo is the reigning Professional Journey to Jordan champion, South Africa’s MG Keyser.
The 7,351-yard, par-72 golf course, designed by Thomson Perrett & Lobb, opened to public last year and has already captured the imagination of those who have visited it. It’s not just the views of the famous Pyramids, but also the subtle intricacies of the golf course, which meanders through an old quarry. The course features strategic bunkering, changes in elevation, scenic lakes and an impressive desert landscape.
Keyser was hoping not to get too distracted by the views and make a solid start to his 2020 season.
The three-time MENA Tour champion said: “I am really looking forward to the start of the 2020 season. Feel like I had a nice break and playing the Omega Dubai Desert Classic was a nice way to start the year. I am focused, prepared and ready to go.
“Having loads of opportunities in Europe and Asia is definitely a bonus for me this year, thanks to the MENA Tour and my management company. It is going to be fun and getting a good start on the MENA Tour in Egypt will obviously help build a lot with confidence going into the rest of the year.
“I played the course for the first time yesterday and absolutely enjoyed the challenge. It’s a fun course to play and in excellent condition. All 18 holes were really nice and very challenging in the wind, but the par 3s are especially good.”
The NEWGIZA course is part of a 680-hectare development at NEWGIZA in the south-west of the city that includes upscale housing, sports arena, hotels, schools and universities.
Ali Mohamed, Director of Golf, NEWGIZA Golf Club, was excited about welcoming the MENA Tour to their world-class facilities.
“It really is a matter of great pride for us that we will be hosting our first MENA Tour event on our golf course,” said Mohamed. “We have received some very good reviews since our launch and we are confident that the professional players will find it challenging.
“We have had some very good talks with the MENA Tour and we’d like to help them extend their presence here in Egypt. We have another golf course in Sokhna by the Red Sea and we are looking at having another tournament there in the near future.”
The tournament, which starts Tuesday, also features England’s David Langley, winner of the Journey to Jordan #1 last week at the Ayla Golf Club in Aqaba, and Jordan’s Shergo Al Kurdi, who was the leading amateur there in finishing a creditable tied second.