EDGA Dubai Finale: The DP World Tour Championship, Dubai will play a key role in the European Tour’s drive for inclusivity after being named as one of two key Rolex Series events that will feature tournaments for Golfers with Determination running concurrently with them on this year’s schedule.
In conjunction with the European Disabled Golf Association – which oversees the new World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) – the 36-hole EDGA Dubai Finale will be played during the second and third rounds of the season-ending grand finale at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, while the 36-hole EDGA Scottish Open will be played over the weekend of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick.
The initiative is another great example of event organisers and stakeholders in the UAE embracing The Year of Tolerance.
“The essence of our business is smarter trade to help build a better future for everyone. In golf, that means playing our part in opening up the sport to people of all ages, backgrounds, gender and ability,” said Daniel Van Otterdijk, Senior Vice President, DP World Group Corporate Communications.
“Hosting Golfers with Determination alongside the DP World Tour Championship is a real honour for us and is perfectly timed given we are celebrating the Year of Tolerance in 2019. This initiative builds on our ten-year partnership with the European Tour, a partnership that continues to attract thousands of young people from the UAE to golf each year.”
Eight People of Determination will have the opportunity to tackle the stunning Greg Norman-designed Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates with the same course set up as the European Tour’s top 50 players during the Friday and Saturday of the DP World Tour Championship (November 22-23) for the EDGA Dubai Final. Of the eight players, six will be the leading available players from the WR4GD and the remaining two places will be the leading WR4DG available players from the UAE and one invitation.
Scoring for both tournaments will feature on the European Tour’s website and App for fans to follow, while television coverage of both contests will form part of the world feed broadcast.
Already recognised as global leaders in integrating the women’s game into the men’s professional arena, today’s announcement continues the European Tour’s quest to make top level golf available to all.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “We are thrilled to make this announcement today, one which will offer golfers with disability the opportunity to play competitive tournaments alongside our professionals at two-world class venues.
“As golf’s global Tour, our core values are innovation and inclusivity and these two tournaments fit perfectly into both of those genres, as well as illustrating once again the unique health benefits our sport offers everyone. But this is just the start. We look forward to working with EDGA over the coming months and years as we build towards our aspirational goal of a ‘Golfers with Disability World Tour’ by 2021.”
The initiative was launched at the Betfred British Masters at Hillside Golf Club in Southport where three of the game’s leading golfers with determination – Juan Postigo Arce, Brendan Lawlor and Caroline Mohr – played alongside European Tour champion and RSM Ambassador Paul Waring in the pre-tournament Pro-Am.
Waring said: “It was great to play with Juan, Brendan and Caroline today and to give them a chance to showcase the golfing talent they possess. It is not disability that is noticeable but the actual ability these athletes have for the game.
“It is great to see the European Tour getting behind this initiative and I am looking forward to seeing how the respective tournaments unfold later in the year. Just like today at Hillside when the crowds were excellent, I would encourage all spectators in Scotland and Dubai to get out and give these guys all the support you can.”
EDGA President Tony Bennett said: “The vision of the European Tour to include players from the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability in European Tour events is further evidence that the game is willing and able to embrace golfers of all abilities. EDGA has been a beneficiary of the European Tour either through donations, fundraising at the Portugal Masters, or more recently from its Foundation. Our relationship has grown ever stronger, and today’s announcement is a game changer.
“The athletes who will compete in these events will be some of the best in the world, but golf can be just as important for individuals with a disability who simply want to participate and gain some of the health-enhancing benefits that golf offers. I commend all at the European Tour for the spirit of collaboration that we have experienced during the development of this far-reaching initiative.”
Funding from Tour partner RSM helped the EDGA players compete at Hillside today and the company’s support will also be evident for the players in Scotland and Dubai later in the year. RSM are also assisting the production of an EDGA book that will showcase their players and the overall ‘Golfers with Disability’ Programme.
The 2019 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 November.