Aramco Invitational attracts top golfers
Asian Development Tour showcases inspiring spirit of sport
Nearly 100 top golfers from some 40 countries, including members of Saudi Arabia’s nation team, negotiated the manicured greens and undulating fairways of Aramco’s Rolling Hills Golf Club (RHGC) this past week in an effort to qualify for the prestigious Asian Tour.
Competing in the Aramco Invitational golf tournament — a professional tournament on the Asian Development Tour — each player contributed to the already long and rich history of RHGC. For 57 years, Aramcons have whiled away many happy hours on the course, which has hosted invitational tournaments attracting players from across the Kingdom and region. But December’s three-day competition was a new milestone: the first professional golf tour event ever to be held in Dhahran.
Inspiring spirit of sport
Nabeel A. Al-Jama’, senior vice president of Human Resources and Corporate Services, said: “It has been wonderful to have the best golfers from the Asian Development Tour with us this week. We are excited to watch this event grow over the coming years.”
The level of competition and the spirit of sport is truly inspiring, and sports play a key part in people’s wellbeing and quality of life.
— Nabeel A. Al-Jama’
Al-Jama’ thanked the organizers and volunteers who made the tournament possible and extended congratulations to the winners at a prize ceremony attended by players, organizers, volunteers, and spectators alike. “We hope you enjoyed the Saudi hospitality, and we look forward to hosting you again next year,” Al-Jama’ added.
Nabil A. Al Nuaim, vice president of Digital Transformation and chairman of the Saudi Aramco Golf Association (SAGA), echoed the remarks of Al-Jama’, thanking Aramco’s CEO, members of corporate management, RHGC volunteers, Public Affairs, Traffic, Safety and Industrial Security, and other teams who spent “hours and hours … solving every single logistical issue and representing the Aramco family.”
Al Nuaim added: “This is a very exciting time. Aramco is providing a platform for Asia’s golf stars of the future to take the next step in their careers and inspiring the youth of the country to take up golf. I would like to thank the Asia Tours, Golf Saudi, and all at Aramco who made this happen.”
Minhaj U. Khan, vice chairman of SAGA and tournament director, summed up the excitement,| saying, “This is a very proud and joyful moment for all at Aramco.”
We’ve been waiting for something like this to happen ever since we started playing golf here in the 1940s.
— Mihaj U. Khan
“We’ve had many pioneers in the past who have arranged big tournaments, and this success builds on all that has gone before,” Khan added. “To host an Asian Development Tour event is next level and will propel us forward as a club. We thank management for supporting us so fully. Without everyone’s tireless support, we would not have been able to put this tournament on.”
Ken Kudo, associate director of partnerships for the Asia Tour, said: “It’s a big event for us. The course is in great condition, and the feedback from our members has been phenomenal. They say it (RHGC) has some of the truest greens they’ve played on all year, so it’s been absolutely fantastic. To Aramco and SAGA — you’ve been incredible hosts.”
Did you know?
The Rolling Hills Golf Club (RHGC) is the first golf club in Saudi Arabia. Since its establishment in 1951, RHGC has been promoting and conserving the true spirit of golf in Saudi Arabia.
RHGC membership comprises more than 600 Aramco employees, retirees, and dependents, and hosts tournaments and leagues (for juniors, ladies, and men) and social events throughout the year.
‘The course was perfect’
Varanyu Rattanaphiboonkij from Thailand, who shot 16 under par to win the inaugural event, had high praise for Aramco and RHGC. He said: “The course was perfect. I’m so very happy to play here. Thank you so much Aramco for making this tournament happen.”
Second place was taken by Barnes Wallis from England, one shot back at 15 under par. Saudi Arabia’s Othman Ibrahim Almulla was the top national finisher, shooting nine under par.
The truly international field included players from Australia, China, England, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Malaysia, Morocco, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., and many other countries.
(Photos by Abdullah H. Alsihati/MPD)