Saudi Golf has revealed an innovative new golf format for the first Saudi Ladies Team International, which will run 17-19 November. The first of its kind tournament will see 36 LET-playing team captains recruit their players using a live ‘NFL-style’ draft system before competing for a share of $500,000 prize money. The captains will openly select one fellow Tour pro to be their first team-mates, with the second determined by random draw. Plus, one amateur will be joining the two LET professionals for each fourball.
The team contest will be the first ever points-earning Ladies European Tour event where professionals play alongside amateur golfers with team and individual scoring running concurrently. While recruiting team-mates, a draft system similar to that in NFL, NBA and other franchise leagues, captains can base their picks on anything, from current form and ranking to friendship.
Amy Boulden (left) and Camilla Lennarth (right) will be part of the three-day tournament
Then the team of four will play three rounds at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in the Saudi coastal resort of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), where each team’s best two individual scores will be combined at the end of each round. The team with the lowest total score after all three days will be declared champions and will see its three professionals take home a winning share of the $300,000 prize fund. Meanwhile, no matter which team she’s in, the lowest scoring professional will be rewarded with a share of the $200,000 individual prize fund.
England's Charley Hull (left) & Georgia Hall (right) will be part of the SLTI
“The Saudi Ladies Team International is a completely new and innovative tournament format not seen before on any Tour. Alongside the LET, it is a chance to grow the women’s game in new and exciting ways, and follows the first-ever professional women’s golf event to be played Saudi Arabia earlier in the week.” Golf Saudi CEO, Majed Al Sorour, said. “The players love team golf and will enjoy this unique opportunity to try a new format through our ground-breaking and exciting draft system.”
The 16th hole at Royal Greens, where the SLTI will take place
The unique three-day event takes place two days after another debut, the $1million prize-fund Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund. And the two events have been dubbed Saudi’s ‘women’s week of golf’. The Aramco Saudi Ladies International is only the second-ever international, professional women-only sports event held in the Kingdom. Players already confirmed include Major-winning Georgia Hall, Solheim Cup hero and former LET Order of Merit winner Charley Hull, Wales’ Amy Boulden and Camilla Lennarth of Sweden. Many more will be announced in the upcoming weeks.