Saudi Arabia Ladies Pro-Am: World No 131 takes part in event

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Emily Pedersen is ranked 131st in the world Swede Emily Pedersen, ranked 131 in the world, played a ball drop event to find out how the Saudi Arabian Ladies…

Saudi Arabia Ladies Pro-Am: World No 131 takes part in event

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Emily Pedersen is ranked 131st in the world

Swede Emily Pedersen, ranked 131 in the world, played a ball drop event to find out how the Saudi Arabian Ladies Pro-Am is run.

Golf’s governing body was forced to introduce the event because the country will not host its first women’s tournament until the end of this year.

The new championship is being run by the Ladies European Tour.

“This is interesting, but also something different for me,” said Pedersen, 25.

“It’s nice to meet new players.”

Race to Dubai leader Pedersen said she was hoping the game could be made more socially acceptable in Saudi Arabia.

“I wouldn’t say I’m against playing golf there but maybe we should try to change the attitude in order to make the sport better,” she added.

Vala Sorour, who won the event in 2018, finished tied for fifth place on 10 under after rounds of 74 and 72.

Image caption Four-time Major winner LPGA star Inbee Park made a birdie on her final hole

Back nine burlesque

Another golfer who missed the cut was Anna Nordqvist, who had spells in tears while on the course on Wednesday.

She finished 15 over and openly discussed her relationship problems in a post-round interview.

Swarmed by four caddies, including one who lent her a caddie-parking sign, Nordqvist – an Open winner who has 12 wins on the LPGA Tour – putted from the side of the fairway but managed to stay calm and finished with a birdie on the eighth.

Image caption Leona Maguire took inspiration from skater Tosi

Maguire launches bid for Visa Open title

One of the players who enjoyed the burlesque part of the Saudi event was Irish golfer Leona Maguire, 22, who finished joint fifth.

She was one of 25 competitors in the fortnight-long event, each being given two rehearsals before the tournament.

“I felt the first rehearsal was pretty good – it was maybe a bit more standy and things like that,” said Maguire.

“I was a bit scared for the second one, actually.”

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