women in sport
This week on the Ladies European Tour
2018 LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR SEASON ENDS WITH ANDALUCÍA COSTA DEL SOL OPEN DE ESPAÑA FEMENINO 2018
The 2018 Ladies European Tour season comes to a climax this week with the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino at La Quinta Golf & Country Club in Malaga, Spain, on November 22-25.
European No.1 Georgia Hall leads the field of 96 players and is set to become the youngest ever player to win two Ladies European Tour Order of Merit titles. At just 22, she will be a year younger than Dame Laura Davies was when she claimed her second consecutive order of merit title in 1986.
Hall will also become the seventh multiple LET order of merit winner, joining an elite group containing Jenny Lee Smith, Dame Laura Davies, Dale Reid, Marie Laure de Lorenzi, Annika Sorenstam and Sophie Gustafson. She will earn a seven-year exemption for LET membership, until the end of 2025, and a cheque for €20,000.
The Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino will mark Hall’s sixth LET tournament of 2018 and she will be looking for a second LET victory after winning her first major title in August, with a two-shot victory over Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum in the Ricoh Women’s British Open, at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club.
ENGSTRӦM LEADS ROOKIE RACE
Swedish schoolgirl Julia Engström leads the Rookie Ranking with 149.15 points after 11 events and is well positioned to become the youngest ever recipient of the award.
On Sunday, she will be 17 years, seven months and 29 days, whereas Charley Hull was aged 17 years, eight months and 17 days when she won the award on December 7, 2013.
There are four other women in the field who can deny Engström, including her closest challenger, Frenchwoman Manon Mollé, as well as Marita Engzelius, Karoline Lund and Piti Martinez Bernal.
THIRD SOLHEIM CUP VICE CAPTAIN TO BE NAMED ON TUESDAY
Next year’s European Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew has completed her back room staff and will name her third Vice Captain for The 2019 Solheim Cup at The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland, on Tuesday. Watch the announcement live on the Sky Sports Sportswomen show at 11.30am GMT, or follow all the news on the LET website and social media.
WHO’S IN THE FIELD?
Two of Hall’s main rivals for the title are expected to be the Spanish star Azahara Muñoz, who has won the title each of the last two years, including last year at her home club, Guadalmina, and Anne Van Dam, who dazzled less than two months ago at Terramar Golf Club to win the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open near Barcelona, for her second
There are 17 of the top 20 players competing in the final event of the year. Both No. 2 Caroline Hedwall and No.3 Jenny Haglund are winners this year, at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France and Lalla Meryem Cup respectively.
Rounding out the top 10 are No.4 Van Dam, No.5 Sarah Kemp, No.5 Becky Morgan, who claimed her maiden title in the Hero Women’s Indian Open last month, No.6 Christine Wolf, who finished second in India, No.8 Karolin Lampert and No.10 Olivia Cowan.
WINNERS ALL ROUND
There have been 14 different individual winners from as many events in 2018, with the addition of Linda Wessberg and Cajsa Persson, who combined to win gold medals in the European Golf Team Championships. Nine of those 16 winners are in the field: Hall, Morgan, Van Dam, Hedwall, Astrid Vayson de Pradenne, Haglund, Meghan MacLaren, Wessberg and Persson.
The three former winners of the Spanish Open in the field are Dame Laura Davies (1986 at La Manga Club and 2010 at Flamingos Golf Club), Becky Brewerton (2009 at Panoramica Club de Golf) and Azahara Muñoz (2016 at Aloha Golf Club and 2017 at Real Club de Golf Guadalmina).
Other notables in the field include The 2019 Solheim Cup Captain, Catriona Matthew and fellow 2017 European Solheim Cup players Florentyna Parker and Emily Kristine Pedersen, as well as PING Junior Solheim Cup player Julia Engström, who leads the Rookie of the Year Ranking and who won her second LETAS title of the season in Spain at the weekend.
YEAR VENUE WINNER
1982 Las Aves Rose Jones (224)
1984 La Manga Maxine Burton (286)
1985 La Manga A. Sheard (285)
1986 La Manga Laura Davies (286)
1987 La Manga Corinne Dibnah (276)*
1988 La Manga Marie Laure de Lorenzi (207)
1994 La Manga Marie Laure de Lorenzi (282)*
1995 La Manga Rachel Hetherington (202)
1996 La Manga Caryn Louw (206)
2002 Salamanca Karine Icher (277)
2003 Salamanca Federica Dassú (282)
2004 La Coruña Stephanie Arricau (279)*
2005 Panorámica Iben Tinning (273)
2006 Panorámica Lynette Brooky (275)
2007 Mediterráneo Nikki Garrett (275)
2008 Panorámica Emma Zackrisson (281)
2009 Panorámica Becky Brewerton (280)
2010 Flamingos Laura Davies (202)
2011 La Quinta Melissa Reid (280)
2012 Golf Las Américas Stacey Keating (279)*
2013 CC Villa Madrid Lee-Anne Pace (275)
2014 Costa Adeje Connie Chen (276)
2016 Aloha Golf Azahara Muñoz (278)
2017 RCG Guadalmina Azahara Muñoz (269)