Kingdom Launches First Pro-Celeb Golf Tournament
World number 3 Suzann Pettersen Joins Golfing Legends Paul Casey, Colin Montgomerie and Thomas Bjorn and Sporting Stars Tim Henman, Joe Montana, Gianluca Vialli and Ruud Gullit
This weekend will see four of the world’s best golfers together with four world renowned sports celebrities arrive in Bahrain to participate in the Kingdom’s first Pro-Celeb-Am competition. The Bahrain Invitational, a two day celebration of golf and sports, including a competitive golf tournament organised by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC), in conjunction with IMG Worldwide, will take place from April 13th to 14th 2012.
PGA Tour heavyweights and European Tour Champions Paul Casey, Colin Montgomerie and Thomas Bjorn as well as the LPGA champion Suzann Pettersen will lead teams in the unique tournament format, which will be held at the Royal Golf Club’s Montgomerie Course, which opened in 2009. Co-designed by Colin Montgomerie the 7,243 yard, Par-72 championship course is one of the finest in the world.
In addition to the golf tournament, the weekend will see a number of community sports coaching sessions involving approximately 250 school children in Bahrain. Tim Henman will lead a tennis workshop at the prestigious Bahrain Tennis Club. Football heroes, Gianluca Vialli and Ruud Gullit will hold coaching sessions at the Bahrain National Stadium. There will also be an opportunity to hear from the legendary Joe Montana, who will be taking part in a Sportsman’s Question Time at the Royal Golf Club, alongside Bahrain’s own basketball star ‘Shahram’.
The Bahrain Olympic Committee Secretary- General Shaikh Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalifa commented: “It is wonderful that Bahrain is carving an international name for itself in the sporting sphere. The Bahrain Invitational is just one of the great events that showcase the Kingdom as a high quality destination for sporting competitions, while also highlighting Bahrain as a destination for both business and leisure. We can truly be proud of Bahrain’s world class sporting facilities and the economic growth and development that helped build them.”
Guy Kinnings, Global Co-Managing Director of IMG, the global sports, fashion and media company said, “Bahrain is fast becoming one of the world’s leading players in staging large scale events. We are continuing to build on the Formula One success, the recent Bahrain International Air Show and Bahrain Boat Show, and now the Bahrain Invitational. We know it’s going to be a fantastic event and look forward to welcoming some of the world’s most inspirational sporting figures.”
Paul Casey, who won last year’s Volvo Golf Champions in Bahrain, said, “I’m very excited to be returning to Bahrain, a place where I’ve achieved great success in the past. The Montgomerie Course is a fantastic one to play on and the Bahraini people are always so welcoming. The pro-celeb tournament will undoubtedly be great fun for both the competitors and the spectators, and I am also looking forward to seeing more of the Kingdom during my weekend visit.”
Suzann Petersen, currently ranked No. 3 on the Rolex World Rankings, added, “There is clearly a real push in Bahrain to promote sport, and in particular golf, with children and in schools. Events like the Bahrain Invitational are, in my view, inspiring the stars of the future.”
The Bahrain Invitational is one of a growing number of international sporting events held in the Kingdom this April, with the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2012 taking place at the end of the month – the eighth time the race has been hosted in the Kingdom. The Bahrain Economic Development Board played an integral role in bringing Formula One to Bahrain and is a proud supporter of the race, recognising its central role in underpinning a diverse economy for the Kingdom and an open welcoming environment for international visitors and business.