Ladies European Tour together with Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club and KhonRak Golf Co.,Ltd., in support of Sports Authority of Thailand and Thai LPGA are organizing the inaugural edition of Ladies European Thailand Championship 2017 which will be held July 6 to 9, 2017 at Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club, Pattaya –with total purse money of 300,000 euros (appx. 12 million baht) and special hole-in-one prizes. The tournament returns to Thailand after 12 years.
LET champion Florentyna Parker will be aiming for back-to-back victories on the Ladies European Tour when she plays here.
The 28-year-old Englishwoman, who recently claimed her third title at the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open in Spain, will have plenty of goals when she tees up in the new event.
Now in her ninth year on tour, she will be eager to build on her sensational start to the season. Currently lying in third place on the LET order of merit after four appearances, she will need to finish in fourth spot or better in Thailand to overtake the current OOM leader. She will also have a chance to take the lead in the European Solheim Cup rankings as she targets a place on the team in Iowa.
Parker said, “I am really looking forward to seeing Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club for the first time and playing in the inaugural Ladies European Thailand Championship. It looks like a stunning place and with a quality field of LET and Thai LPGA players, I am sure that it will be a fantastic new event.
“As this is one of the last three events to count for The Solheim Cup, it is also a very exciting tournament for me personally. My goal for the last two years has been to be part of the European team. With a good result in Thailand, I can get very close to confirming my place. In the last tournament that I played on the LET, I won a thrilling play-off, so I am still feeling very confident and I can’t wait to get started in Pattaya.”
The tournament will also feature a strong French challenge, with the 2008 order of merit winner Gwladys Nocera relishing a return to Thailand. The 42-year-old holds fond memories of finishing second to Shani Waugh after a play-off at the Thailand Ladies Open, played at Alpine Golf and Sports Club in Bangkok in 2005, during her third season on tour.
She has since become one of the leading names in European women’s golf, amassing 14 tournament victories all around the world from 2006-2015, the most recent of which was the LallaMeryem Cup in Morocco. She also holds the all-time LET record for the lowest 72-hole winning total of 29-under-par.
Nocera said: “I love Thailand, I’ve been there a couple of times, and each time it’s a real pleasure. Plus, I’m always looking forward to a tournament, I love to compete, so this is one more opportunity for me. The only expectation I have is to enjoy the week and play my best. I’m feeling good, in shape… so let’s have fun!”
Among the rising stars in the field is Nuria Iturrios, 21, from Mallorca, who shot to prominence when she won the LallaMeryem Cup as a rookie in early 2016. Currently lying in 17th place on the order of merit after a solid start to this season, she cannot wait to visit Thailand for the first time and said: “I’m excited to get the chance to go and play there and discover a new place. I know there are some great Thai players, but I don’t know how popular women’s golf is there, so if, with this event, we can help them to make it more visible and bring more players to the game, it would be great.I’ve been recovering from a small injury over the last few weeks, but I think I’m completely recovered now and I hope I can play my best golf and be amongst the last groups on the Sunday.”
The other rising stars in the field include Anne Van Dam from the Netherlands, who claimed her first trophy at the Xiamen International Ladies Open in China in October, Annabel Dimmock from England, who finished third in the recent LallaMeryem Cup in Morocco and Jenny Haglund from Sweden, currently the leading first year player on tour after a tied eighth place finish in the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open in Spain.
Ladies European Thailand Championship will be live broadcasted through LET media platform covering 573 million households worldwide and domestic broadcasting will be through True Sport 3 HD of True Visions in four days of tournament from 1 to 4 pm Admission ticket is available at ticket booth near public entrance during July 6 to 9 at 100 baht/person/day, free entry for spectators under 18 years old and over 60 years old.