The European Challenge Tour will return to Egypt for the first time since 2010 – when Rory McIlroy made a much-publicised appearance – with the announcement of the Red Sea Egyptian Challenge.
The new event, which will take place at Sokhna Golf Club in Ain Sokhna, Suez, from April 20-23, will be the second tournament in the 2016 Challenge Tour schedule – which will be announced in full early next week – and will carry a prize fund of €180,000.
It follows the Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge and the Swedish Challenge hosted by Robert Karlsson as the third new tournament already announced for the 2016 Challenge Tour season.
Alain de Soultrait, Challenge Tour Director, said: “It is an exciting opportunity for our Members to return to Egypt and visit a new golf course in Sokhna Golf Club, which I know will provide a top-class test.
“It is important for the Challenge Tour to have tournaments early in the season, and with the Red Sea Egyptian Challenge we have a perfect opportunity to strengthen the start of our schedule.
“We have fond memories of our previous visit to Egypt and I have no doubt we will create many more when we arrive there in April.
“I would like to extend special thanks to Christian Arenz from TPC Touristic Promotion Company, who are promoting the event, and to Ali Mohamed, Director of Sokhna Golf Club, for making this tournament happen.”
On the Challenge Tour’s last visit to Egypt, Northern Irishman McIlroy – already a top ten player in the Official World Golf Ranking – memorably took aim at the Pyramids of Giza before finishing in a tie for 12th place behind Chile’s Mark Tullo.
European Ryder Cup hero Colin Montgomerie is another notable name to have previously teed it up in Egypt, while South African legend Gary Player announced himself to the golfing world with victory in the 1955 Egyptian Matchplay.
The return of the Challenge Tour will reinforce Egypt’s reputation as a growing golf destination and should help to support and encourage the growth of the sport in the country, and local talent will benefit enormously from rubbing shoulders with some of Europe’s brightest golfing prospects.
Sokhna Golf Club is one of the premier golf courses in the country, having hosted a tournament on the Pro Golf Tour and Alps Tour – the Challenge Tour’s satellite tours – for the last three years.
The golf course is a joint venture between the Little Venice Golf Resort – part of the Hassan Allam Properties portfolio – and EINBAY, owned by Galalah Touristic Investments Company.The par 72 Championship Golf Course was designed by renowned course architects John Sandford and Tim Lobb.