Organisers of the Tropheé Hassan II have extended a special invitation to Jake Shepherd, the winner of the inaugural MENA Golf Tour’s Order of Merit title, to compete in the European Tour event which was held at the magnificent Golf du Palais Royal, located inside the walls of the Royal Palace of Agadir in Morocco.
The invitation to Shepherd underlines the Hassan II Golf Trophy Association’s solidarity with the new Tour that aims to create more playing opportunities for its members for the overall development of golf in the region.
“I feel greatly honoured and can’t believe my luck. It will be a privilege to play on a course reserved for the exclusive use of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and his guests,” said Shepherd, who made the half-way cut at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in his first exposure to a European Tour event.
“If playing in Dubai was awesome, a trip to Morocco is a double bonus. The MENA Tour has created so many (playing) opportunities which I couldn’t dream of,” said Shepherd, who was also given exemptions to the final qualifying rounds of the Asian Tour along with two other leading MENA Tour professionals on the Order of Merit.
“Having competed in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, I know what to expect at this highest level of golf and, hopefully, I will emerge stronger as a player,” said the 21-year- Londoner who will join defending champion David Horsey and fellow MENA Golf Tour members Younes El Hassani and Faycal Serghini, both of Morocco, in the field contesting for the top €1,500,000 prize over the par-72, 6,844-yard layout, designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior.
Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chairman of the MENA Golf Tour, thanked the Hassan II Golf Trophy Association for their support, saying: “I really appreciate their gesture of inviting Jake to their event and believe other European Tour events organisers in the region will also offer spots to the top MENA Tour players.
“Such incentives will add more excitement to the tour and reflect on the bonding that we share in taking the game forward.”
Tropheé Hassan II, which used to be played in a pro-am format until 2010, now follows the standard tournament without the amateurs, and Golf du Palais Royal will be the only course used.