Last year’s Saudi Cup-winning jockey, David Egan, swapped the racecourse for the golf course when teaming up with leading golfers Lee Westwood, Jason Kokrak and Jhonattan Vegas at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club to showcase sporting participation in Saudi Arabia ahead of two of the country’s biggest sporting events, the PIF Saudi International Powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers and The Saudi Cup.
Arriving at the iconic 16th tee on a racehorse, Egan was joined by former world number one Westwood and fellow PGA Tour winners Kokrak and Vegas to play the hole in preparation for his first ever appearance in a Pro-Am on Wednesday.
The fourth edition of the PIF Saudi International, a tournament owned by Golf Saudi, features a start-studded field including Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele and two-time champion Dustin Johnson, just three weeks before Egan climbs back aboard Mishriff to defend their crown in the $20m Saudi Cup.
Westwood, who has had plenty of success as a racehorse owner, said: “Horse racing has always been a huge passion of mine. I love horses, and spending time with family and friends during race days, both flat and jumps.
“It was great to meet David Egan. To win a race as big as The Saudi Cup at just 21-years-old is an amazing achievement, a bit like winning a Major. Hopefully Mishriff can do it again.
“Golf is growing in Saudi Arabia and the PIF Saudi International has become pivotal in adding the Kingdom to the golfing map each year, attracting the world’s best players from across the globe. As part of Vision 2030, the Kingdom is introducing sports to new audiences, and the PIF Saudi International and The Saudi Cup create the perfect opportunity to watch international champions compete in their own country."
Egan, a regular golfer, was understandably delighted to get the chance to play alongside three renowned names in the game: : “I’m a massive golf fan, so getting the chance to meet and play a hole with Lee Westwood, Jason Kokrak and Jhonattan Vegas at the PIF Saudi International was a dream come true.
“It’s a beautiful course and with so many of the world’s best players travelling to play the tournament, it’s clear that Saudi Arabia is becoming a real hub for top class sport.”
The Irish jockey won the world’s most valuable horse race last year aboard Mishriff and he is excited to be jumping back aboard the John & Thady Gosden-trained five-year-old at the end of the month: “Winning last year’s Saudi Cup for His Royal Highness Prince Faisal was such a special moment – it really made my career. I can’t wait to get back on Mishriff again and try to win it for a second time.
“The Saudi Cup has been a great addition to the racing calendar and the eyes of the world will be on Riyadh again later this month.”
The Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club runs from 3-6 February (tickets are available via www.golfsaudi.com), while the two-day Saudi Cup meeting at King Abdulaziz Racecourse takes place on 25-26 February (tickets can be bought at: https://tickets.thesaudicup.com.sa/).