DUBAI, October 16: The MENA Tour by Arena announced a new-look schedule for 2020, condensing the calendar to first four months of the year and unveiling a number of exciting new events.
The season will kick off with the two stages of Qualifying School (starting January 20-23 and January 26-29) at Ayla Golf Club in Aqaba, Jordan, which remains the Destination Partner of the Tour and hosts a further three full-field events. This includes the season ending Arena Championship (April 19-23), which will become the first tournament on the Tour to be played over 72 holes since the 2017 MENA Championship.
The first full-field event, Journey To Jordan #1 (February 2-5), tees off at Ayla Golf Club immediately after the Qualifying Schools, which will see a minimum of 30 players from each stage securing their cards for the season. Entries for the Qualifying School are now being accepted.
Explaining the rationale behind the new schedule, David Spencer, Strategic Advisor to the MENA Tour by Arena, said: “There are two very good reasons why we decided to have the Tour schedule packed in one continuous stretch rather than have two legs in Spring and an Autumn.
“Most development Tours do not start until the end of April, mostly because of the playing conditions in Europe. We are fortunate to have perfect weather in the Middle East during that period. This gives our players a solid run of tournaments, which is great preparation for them going into the summer.
“Also, it just simplifies things logistically for our players and makes the cost of ‘life’ on the Tour more affordable. With the multitude of playing opportunities we provide on European, Asian and the Challenge Tours, the new-look schedule dovetails perfectly with the other Tours.”
An interesting part of the schedule is the introduction of two new multicourse tournaments – the Northern Emirates Open, to be held at Al Hamra Golf Club in Ras Al Khaimah and the Al Zorah Golf Club in Ajman; and The Triple Crown in Abu Dhabi, which will be played at Yas Links Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Beach and Abu Dhabi Golf Club. These events will further showcase the incredible array of golf courses in the MENA region.
Another first in the history of the Tour is the MENA Tour Troon International ProAm (March 22-25, Al Hamra Golf Course, Al Zorah Golf Course). It will become the first tournament to be played over three days in a ProAm format (like AT&T Pebble Beach National ProAm or Dunhill Links Championship).
Continuing the firsts, MENA Tour will visit Egypt and play the stunning NEWGIZA Golf Course in Cairo (Feb 10-13) followed by The Ghala Open at Ghala Golf Club in the Sultanate of Oman (Feb 16-19).
The season ending Arena Championship will feature an increased prize fund of $125,000. It will also become a full-field event for the first time in the history of the MENA Tour, providing players with increased playing opportunities and increased Official World Golf Ranking points.
The MENA Tour by Arena continues to provide Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, thus making it a perfect pathway for ambitious young professional to the bigger tours, and for the players from the region to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
MENA TOUR BY ARENA – 2020 SCHEDULE
|January 20-23||Qualifying School A||Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan||$6,000|
|January 26-29||Qualifying School B||Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan||$6,000|
|February 2-5||Journey to Jordan 1||Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan||$75,000|
|February 10-13||NEWGIZA Open||NEWGIZA Golf Club, Cairo, Egypt||$75,000|
|February 16-19||The Ghala Open||Ghala GC, Muscat, Oman||$75,000|
|February 23-26||The Royal Golf Club Bahrain Open||Royal GC, Bahrain||$75,000|
|March 1-4||Journey to Jordan 2||Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan||$75,000|
|March 15-18||The Abu Dhabi Triple Crown||
Yas Links GC, Saadiyat Beach GC
|March 22-25||Troon International Pro Am||Al Hamra GC, Al Zorah GC||$60,000*|
|March 29-April 1||Ras Al Khaimah Open||Tower Links GC, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE||$75,000|
|April 5-8||Northern Emirates Open||
Al Hamra GC, Ras Al Khaimah
|April 12-15||The Al Ain Classic||Al Ain Equestrian and Shooting Golf Club||$75,000|
|April 19-23||The Arena Championship||Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan||$125,000|
* Limited to 60 x Professionals