Fourth tournament added to Gulf golf series will see Abu Dhabi and Dubai host back-to-back events
The European Tour has added Oman its tournament schedule for 2018, slotting it in alongside other tournaments in the region which form the so-called 'Desert Swing'.
Oman signed a three-year deal to host the event at Almouj Golf Club in Muscat, where it has previously hosted European Challenge Tour events.
In a change from last year, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (Jan 18-21) and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in Emirates Golf Club (Jan 25-28) will run back-to-back on consecutive weekends in January.
The NBO Oman Golf Classic, hosted at Almouj Golf, Muscat, will take place a month later, February 15-18, followed a week later by the Qatar Masters in Doha.
The season-ending tournament will once again be hosted at Jumeriah Golf Estates in Dubai (Nov 15-18).
“We are excited to have announced the 2018 European Tour International Schedule with a new Middle East country hosting a full European Tour event, the NBO Oman Golf Classic,” European Tour’s Middle East Director Nick Tarratt told Worldwide Golf.
“The tournament will carry a prize fund of 1.5 million euro. This is a first for the Tour and for the Sultanate of Oman. The tournament has grown from a European Challenge Tour event – the NBO Golf Classic in 2013 and 2014 – followed by the Challenge Tour’s NBO Golf Classic Grand Final at Al Mouj Golf, Muscat, in 2015 and 2016, the season-ending tournament on the Road to Oman.
“In 2018, the tournament becomes a full European Tour event as part of a three-year contract running to 2020. We thank National Bank of Oman for their enhanced support as well as the Oman Oil and Gas Minister HE Dr. Mohammed Al Rumhy and the Minister of Finance for Oman. As well as the NBO initiative there are other changes to the 2018 calendar.”