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Rory McIlroy top draw for Egypt Open
October 8, 2010

Rory McIlroy will swap the rain of The Ryder Cup for the heat of the Middle East by heading a strong field of European Challenge Tour champions and promising local and regional talent when the Egyptian Open 2010 presented by SODIC is held in Cairo later this month.

With entries now closed, world number nine McIlroy - who played his part in helping Colin Montgomerie's European team defeat the US 14½ to 13½ at Celtic Manor in Wales - is the star man in a field that boasts some fifteen 2010 European Challenge Tour tournament winners.

Also confirmed in the 114-man line-up is England's lowest handicapper Jack Senior (+5) who secured his place with a play-off victory over fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell in the Egyptian Amateur Open, qualifier for the 2010 Egyptian Open presented by SODIC,

Senior and Pepperell are two of several qualifiers from the Egyptian Amateur Open and will join McIlroy when the $250,000 tournament gets underway from October 20-23 at the JW Marriott, Mirage City Golf Club. Others qualifying for the penultimate European Challenge Tour event of the season are Norway 's Mickel Andersson and Egyptian amateurs Soliman El Assar and Abdel Monem El Shafei, while Mamdouh El Sheikh qualifies from his Egyptian Golf Federation Order of Merit position.

Unable to participate is the dynamic Italian teenager Matteo Manassero who has already won his professional playing privileges and the Egyptian Golf Federation sends him their congratulations and looks forward to welcoming him to Cairo as the city aims at one day gaining full European Tour status.

With McIlroy set to make his Cairo debut, Egypt 's growing position as a major player on the regional golf scene has received positive backing in the amount of sponsors throwing their weight behind its first official appearance on the European Challenge Tour.

It may be the oldest tournament in the region but the Egyptian Open presented by SODIC will be the first time the event has offered world-ranking points as the cream of the European Challenge Tour have their last chance to secure a spot in the Apulla San Domenico Grand Final in Italy the following week. And with corporate backers eager to sign up as commercial partners, organisers are excited at the prospect of creating the best event ever staged on the fairways of Egypt .

"We are delighted as to how the 2010 tournament has been received by the local and intern ational business community," said Egyptian Golf Federation Chairman Ayman Hussein. "To have SODIC confirmed as our presenting sponsor is a massive boost to everyone involved in the tournament."

One of Egypt's fastest growing real estate development companies, SODIC is currently developing a number of the country's largest and most exciting projects in the most lucrative and prestigious real estate sectors. The event also enjoys a warm strategic partnership with the Egyptian Tourist Authority ( ), which is supporting the tournament as part of its initiative to develop golf tourism in the country.

Also signing up to back the Egyptian Open 2010 presented by SODIC are Mercedes - making their second consecutive appearance as Official Car sponsor - while national airline Egypt Air is also a commercial partner for the tournament. "These are strong brands to have associated with our event and we are grateful for the support of Mercedes and Egypt Air," added Hussein. "We also thank and welcome our family of support sponsors - JW Marriott, Mirage City Golf Club, Julius Bär Advisory SAE, Dell, Drexel, Club Car, Hydroturf, Toro, Microsoft, Global Brands, Toshiba and Heineken, while Coca Cola and Dockland are our official soft drink and clothing suppliers."

As well as the four days of tournament play, a pre-event Pro Am will be held on October 19 when Titleist and ECCO will join tournament sponsors by offering great prizes.

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