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Last year, the Ladies European Tour saw the introduction of the Aramco Team Series, which featured four events with a $1m purse in London, Sotogrande in Spain, New York and Jeddah. Now, it's back with a new venue - Bangkok, Thailand.
There were some big twists in the playing format for last year's series. Thirty-six teams of four, comprising three professionals and one amateur, competed over 54 holes. Each team captain chose one player in a pre-tournament draft, and another pro was selected randomly. Finally, an amateur completed each team.
The teams competed on Thursday and Friday as a fourball, with the two lowest scores per hole recorded and the lowest total score winning. Then, the amateur had the chance to sink the putts contributing to the team prize money. The innovations immediately captured the imaginations of some of the women’s game’s biggest names, including Georgia Hall, Charley Hull and Lexi Thompson, who took part.
This year, when it gets under way at in Bankgok on May 12, there will be two days of team competition, then an individual-only battle in the final round. There’s also an extra $1m in the prize purse for each tournament.
Ladies European Tour CEO Alexandra Armas is delighted the series is returning with the tournament in Thailand. She said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, the addition of the Aramco Team Series – Bangkok has truly helped us to elevate the Tour by driving up the prize funds. The players enjoy playing in the team format and the organisation around each of the Series’ events, from the quality of the courses to the build, facilities and the hospitality around them is elevating the standards across the board. To many of our members, these events feel like Majors – and they look forward to playing in them almost as much.”
The Aramco Team Series is driving innovation in other areas, too. The NFL-style draft is one part, but players can also choose their walk-on music. Other breaks from tradition include live on-course DJs and ice cream – moves that Armas says will appeal to the younger generation:
“In devising the concept for the Aramco Team Series events, we wanted to innovate and do something different. The LET is looking at ways of engaging with our fanbase to get them hooked on watching golf more regularly. New creative ideas and different ways of doing things can help with that. The Aramco Team Series events appeal to established golf fans and the next generation coming into the game.
Majed al Sorour, Deputy Chairman and CEO of one of the series’ principal backers, Golf Saudi, also points to the growth of the women’s game as a big part of the organisation’s involvement. He said: “To be expanding the Series into a new territory with our Thailand event for 2022 is a massively exciting next step. We can’t wait to be part of it and to see the role all five events continue to have in advancing women’s golf.”
Aramco Team Series Schedule 2022
- 12-14 May - Thai Country Club, Bangkok, Thailand
- 16-18 June - Centurion Club, London, England
- 18-20 August - La Reserva Club De Sotogrande, Sotogrande, Spain
- 13-15 October - Venue TBA, New York, USA
- 9-11 November - Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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