Golf Saudi picks Pablo Larrazábal as ambassador

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RIYADH — Golf Saudi has confirmed that Pablo Larrazábal is the latest professional player to join their ranks as an international golfing ambassador. The in-form Spaniard joins his fellow compatriot Adri Arnaus from the European Tour and Britain’s Amy Boulden and Sweden’s Camilla Lennarth from the Ladies European Tour, in representing Golf Saudi in its extensive efforts to promote the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia internationally as an exceptional golfing nation.

Born in Barcelona, Pablo Larrazábal started playing golf aged five and under the tutelage of his mother, went onto become a scratch handicapper. He has been a prominent figure on the European Tour for over a decade and burst onto the scene in his rookie season. Playing in 28 events and making 17 cuts, Larrazábal went on to earn the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award in 2008, after winning the Open de France, cementing a prolific start to his career, via a remarkable maiden campaign on tour.

Since making his debut and securing his first-ever tournament win, Pablo Larrazábal has gone on to win four additional titles, including two at the BMW International Open in 2011 and 2015. Larrazábal has also seen success in the Middle East on the Desert Swing, winning the 2014 edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Ranked outside of the top 100 at the time, Larrazábal put together a sublime performance to overcome both Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickleson, posting a solid final round of five-under par 67 that saw him triumph by a single shot.

December 2019 saw Larrazábal end a four-and-a-half-year wait for his fifth title with victory at the 2019 Alfred Dunhill Championship. Overcoming a series of painful blisters on the final day, Larrazábal made three birdies on his last four holes to secure a dramatic one-stroke victory.

“I feel honored to be part of the Golf Saudi team and I look forward to sharing the many wonders of Saudi Arabia with my golf fans. I love travelling to the Middle East and playing in tournaments there, a region where I have a strong record. Having played in this year’s Saudi International it’s clear that the golfing community is really making a foothold in the Kingdom,” commented Pablo Larrazábal. “As a Golf Saudi ambassador, I’d like to play a first-hand role in growing the game there, particularly with the younger generations. It’s important for golf to expand in new markets if our sport is to continue to grow and develop a sustainable legacy.”

Following his victory at the end of 2019, Pablo Larrazábal’s strong recent form continued well into 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic halted play worldwide. Larrazábal continued his affinity with the Middle East’s tournaments, posting strong performances at both the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and the Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers, finishing T7 and T13 respectively. — SG


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