NBO Classic Golf News

NBO Chairman opens the 2015 NBO Golf Classic Grand Final

The curtain on the 2015 NBO Golf Classic Grand Final was officially raised this morning in an opening ceremony led by Mohammed Mahfoudh Al Ardhi, Chairman of NBO, and attended by His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Omar Al-Marhoon, Minister of Civil Services and His Excellency Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed Al  Mardouf Al Saadi, Minister of Sports Affairs. The prestigious event at Almouj Golf in Muscat marks the climax to the European Challenge Tour golf season, with the top 45 players on the Road to Oman Rankings competing for a €375,000 purse of which the winner of the tournament will receive €64,000. In addition to the bumper prize fund, the top 15 players on the Rankings at the conclusion of play will be promoted to play on next season’s European Tour, making this a potentially life-changing tournament for the players this week, all of whom have a chance of making the top 15.
 
The tournament was first hosted at Almouj Golf in 2013 but after two highly impressive editions as the penultimate event on the European Challenge Tour Schedule it has been elevated to become this year’s crucial season-ending finale, while the rebranding of the Challenge Tour Rankings as the ‘Road to Oman’ has kept the Sultanate in the media spotlight for throughout the year.  
 
Mohammed Mahfoudh Al Ardhi said: “It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final – four days of professional golf of the highest quality, here at Almouj Golf, Muscat, Oman, in spectacular surroundings.
 
“In hosting the NBO Golf Classic in 2013 and in 2014 we impressed many people in the golf world, not least the players, their managers and officials of The European Tour and the Challenge Tour.
 
“The overwhelming success of the two tournaments earned Oman the respect of all who attended the two events which led directly to the introduction of the ‘Road to Oman’ concept. In demonstrating that we could organise such a world-class enjoyable tournament we were able to utilise the opportunity to promote Oman to international corporate businesses and to promote golf tourism and tourism in general and show the world what the Sultanate has to offer.
 
“The 226 players who came to Amouj Golf to compete in the tournaments in 2013 and 2014 from all around the globe, left Muscat with glowing praise of the event, the golf course, the organisation, the Omani people and the Sultanate itself.
 
“It was a chance for us to showcase Oman to the world and we grasped the challenge enthusiastically. Those players, their families and supporters, officials and spectators took away some memorable moments which have enhanced the reputation of Oman as a must-visit destination.”
 
The battle to be named European Challenge Tour Number One is set to be a thrilling one this week with Ricardo Gouveia leading the Road to Oman Rankings by just under €4,000 from good friend Sebastien Gros. Third placed Borja Virto Astudillo, who won The Foshan Open recently, and fourth placed Bjorn Akesson are also in with a chance of topping the Rankings.  The player who tops the Rankings will receive an additional Bonus of €30,000 with €20,000 on offer for second place and €10,000 for third.
 
With only €36,166 separating John Hahn in 15th place on the Road to Oman and Peter Whitehead in 45th position, the stage is set for plenty of drama on the Gulf Coast this week.
Meanwhile NBO also signalled its commitment to helping to grow the game of golf at grassroots level in the Sultanate by hosting the first ever amateur event only for Omani amateurs.
 
The NBO Oman Amateur Final saw six Omani amateurs, including the country’s leading player, Azaan Al Rumhy, tee off directly after the final group of professionals to compete over two days on the stunning Greg Norman-designed course.
 
Following the opening ceremony the distinguished guests were given a guided tour of the tournament venue, media centre and public village before His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Omar Al-Marhoon got involved in the golfing action by hitting a ceremonial shot off the first tee.

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