Eimrates Airline Invitational Takes Off

Emirates Airline has been unveiled as the Title Partner of The Invitational Hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah to be played at Yas Links Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, on Monday, January 17. This is the fifth running of the event, after two years at the Four Seasons Golf Club, Dubai and two years at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. The one-day tournament is universally recognised as one of the most popular and prestigious Pro-Ams in golf and with Emirates Airline taking up the title partnership the event has taken off as a world-class golf tournament.

The event is played in a better-ball format and among the 52 European Tour Professionals taking part – one Tour Pro per pair – there are 41 European Tour Champions, 11 Ryder Cup players, three Major Champions and the World No.1. This year the Emirates Airline Invitational, will be the curtain-raiser for the four-tournament European Tour Middle East Swing.

Abdullah Al Naboodah is delighted at Emirates’ support, saying: “Emirates Airline’s Title Partnership is great news for The Invitational. “We have been successful in building a base of select international brands as Premier Partners and Partners over the past few years but to go into our fifth year with the addition of Emirates Airline as Title Partner is a huge step forward. “The Emirates Airline Invitational will benefit the Pro-Am, and particularly the charities that we – and the Professional Tour players – support. It really does take the Pro-Am to a new level and establishes the event as a world-class golf tournament.”

Khalid bel Jaflah, Emirates’ VP Commercial Operations, UAE: commented: “Emirates has a great affinity with golf and it is tremendous to be strengthening our commitment to the sport further by supporting a tournament which will feature players of the calibre of Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell. “Although we are proud of our involvement in golf around the world, with prestigious properties such as The Ryder Cup, our sponsorship of local events – including the Dubai World Championship, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the Omega Dubai Ladies’ Masters – is particularly special to us. “It is with great pride that we are now the Title Partner of the Emirates Airline Invitational Hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah, and we look forward to helping the event grow from strength to strength.”

World No.6 Graeme McDowell, who won the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach and sank the winning putt for Europe in The Ryder Cup, said: “The Emirates Airline Title Partnership is a great boost for The Invitational. It was already one of the best Pro-Ams in the game but this takes the event to a new international level.”

World No.1 Lee Westwood added: “The Emirates Airline Invitational now ranks with the biggest world-class tournaments of its kind. It’s just reward for everything Abdullah has put into the game over recent years. It will also help enormously to raise funds for the charities.”

Ross Fisher, reigning Volvo World Match Play Champion and 2010 Irish Open Champion, commented: “The Emirates Airline Invitational has gone from strength to strength over the past four years. It’s an event all the players really look forward to taking part in, and the fact that a global company of the stature of Emirates Airline is involved as Title Partnership shows how highly regarded the tournament has become.”

EMIRATES AIRLINE INVITATIONAL hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah will be contested by 52 European Tour professionals partnered by 52 amateurs globally from the world of sport, entertainment and commerce in an 18-hole one-day tournament, playing for a prize fund of US$500,000 of which US$150,000 will be donated to local charities by the top 4 professionals to the charities of their choice. Already confirmed for the 2011 event are World Number One, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Ross Fisher, Oliver Wilson, Simon Dyson and Henrik Stenson.

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