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Fox credits Challenge Tour as aiding success on global stage

Fox credits Challenge Tour as aiding success on global stage

Ahead of this week’s UAE Challenge at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, one of its most successful graduates of recent years, Ryan Fox, has credited his time on the Challenge Tour for setting him up for the success he’s gone on to enjoy.

Ryan Fox

New Zealand’s Fox won two Challenge Tour titles before graduating to the DP World Tour at the end of the 2016 season having finished fourth in the Rankings. He’s since gone on to win four times on the DP World Tour including the biggest victory of his career to date at the prestigious BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last year.

“I’ve got such fond memories of my time on the Challenge Tour and it was crucial in preparing me for life on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour,” said the 37 year old who also won the Ras Al Khaimah Classic at Al Hamra Golf Club in 2022. “The standard is so high and I think it’s great for the development of the local players in the UAE to get the chance to play in the two events in Abu Dhabi.”

Life on Tour can be a costly business for up-and-coming players and equally important as top level tournament experience, is support from key sponsors. Aside for providing the infrastructure at this week’s UAE Challenge, last week’s Abu Dhabi Challenge and a plethora of events across the region and beyond including the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, The Open Championship and The Ryder Cup, Arena have helped Fox and others to fulfil their golfing dreams.

“The UAE and wider GCC region has a rich history of hosting events on the Challenge Tour and DP World Tour thanks in no small part to the support of key partners like Arena who have also been amazing sponsors for myself and have helped me to progress on my golfing journey,” said the winner of the 2022 Seve Ballesteros Award, given to the players’ player of the year. “I wish all the players the best of luck in Abu Dhabi!”

Among the rising stars of the Challenge Tour in this week’s field being supported by Arena is 23 year old rookie Curtis Knipes. The Englishman has enjoyed a solid start to his first full season on the Challenge Tour with his best result coming at the season-opening SDC Championship where he finished tied seventh.

“It’s obviously my first year on the Challenge Tour where I will be travelling around week in week out to tournaments and I’m looking forward to visiting new countries and playing new courses, including last week at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club and this week at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club,” said Knipes, who finished tied 27th in Al Ain last week.

“With Arena sponsoring the two tournaments in Abu Dhabi, they hold extra significance as they’ve been great to me since signing on as a sponsor in 2022. They’ve got a great history of providing infrastructure to global golf tournaments, so to have them by my side and supporting my journey as a professional golfer is really special.”

Paul Berger, CEO Arena Group added: "The Challenge Tour offers a competitive platform for rising stars to test their skills against established pros on a global stage, gaining invaluable experience that hones their skills and accelerates their development.

“At Arena Group, we're committed to nurturing the future of sports, and our partnership with the Challenge Tour perfectly aligns with our longstanding dedication to golf. We are passionate about supporting the sport beyond event delivery, fostering the next generation of golfing talent – and fostering the next generation of golfing talent is at the heart of this commitment."

Golf fans are encouraged to come along to the UAE Challenge, which is co-promoted by the Emirates Golf Federation and supported by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Arena, Phoenix Capital and Al Laith to see Knipes and the stars of tomorrow in action, alongside established names like Alex Levy and 2011 DP World Tour Championship winner Alvaro Quiros, with entry free of charge and no ticket required.

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