Saudi Arabia to host Ladies European Tour - its first women's golf tournament

The Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in Jeddah
The Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in Jeddah will host the first professional women's golf tournament in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia will host its first women's tournament in March 2020 when it stages a Ladies European Tour event.

A prize fund of $1m (£750,000) will be on offer at The Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in Jeddah.

"It is an honour for the Tour to be part of history," said the LET's acting chief executive Alexandra Armas. "This will be a fantastic experience."

Britain's Carly Booth, Amy Boulden and Rachel Drummond are among players named as ambassadors for the event.

Three-time Tour winner Booth said: "I have visited Saudi Arabia on a number of occasions and been lucky enough to spend some time teaching local women and girls how to play; they have been so enthusiastic and I am sure that seeing professional golfers compete in their country will inspire them to take up the game and strive for their dreams."

Amnesty International describes the Saudi regime's human rights records as "heinous" but the country has been attempting to lure big sporting events to the kingdom, notably the world heavyweight boxing title fight between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr in Riyadh.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy has declined to compete in the second men's Saudi International in January despite the offer of a lucrative appearance fee because the event "didn't excite" him, adding that "100%, there's a morality to it as well".

The Middle East country, which is gradually relaxing some of its strict social rules and recently announced it was ending segregating restaurant entrances by sex.

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