Rookie Ladies European Tour Q-School qualifier expected to have busy year

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CarolineHedwall

Caroline Hedwall

Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall will have a busy rookie year on the Ladies European Tour after triumphing in Qualifying School at La Manga Club and securing a full card for the coming season.

The 21-year-old was a worthy winner as her eight-under-par final round on the South course put her nine shots clear of her nearest rival, American Jaclyn Sweeney, who finished six-under-par for her five rounds.

Speaking after her victory, Hedwall, who turned professional at the end of October, said: “It feels good. I was really relaxed going into today and I played really well. It felt solid.

“It’s the third time I’ve shot eight-under so it ties my best score. I still missed a few putts. I hit all the greens and had a fair birdie chance on almost every hole. It felt like it was pretty easy today, probably because we had played it in really windy conditions. There was no wind at all. It feels like it’s short and easy.”

It was the competition’s third outing at the five-star La Manga Club resort, and the Qualifying School will return again in 2011 while the venue hopes to add to its roster of prestigious ladies’ tournaments.

The resort is currently bidding to host the 2015 Solheim Cup and bring the competition to Spain for the first time and the Qualifying School provided Tour dignitaries the ideal opportunity to see the venue host a large-scale competition at close quarters and meet with members of the bid team.

It is the official bid of the Murcia region, and as well as first-class facilities, La Manga Club possesses a strong pedigree in women’s golf, having hosted numerous high-profile events while it is also the official overseas resort of the English Women’s Golf Association.

La Manga Club boasts unrivalled facilities as a sport and leisure resort including three 18-hole championship golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre and a 2,000sqm spa complex. It also offers the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses, more than 20 bars and restaurants and great entertainment for children.

For more information or to book call 00 34 968 17 5577, email reserve@lamangaclub.com or visit www.lamangaclub.com.

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Australian Frances Bondad shoots 5-under on Friday to lead Suzhou Yaihu Ladies Open in Suzhou

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Frances Bondad

Frances Bondad of Australia shot a five-under par 67 on Friday to lead the Suzhou Yaihu Ladies Open in Suzhou, near Shanghai.

The 22-year old from Greystanes in New South Wales led by one shot from Thailand’s Nontaya Srisawang and Ireland’s Rebecca Coakley, Dewwi-Claire Schreefel from Netherland’s and Scot Vikki Laing tied for fourth on 69.

Bondad started slowly with a three-putt bogey on the fifth hole, but fired six birdies at Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club to rise above the rest of the field.

“It was very steady. I hit every single fairway and I made a lot putts.” said Bondad, who tied for fifth a the 2009 event.

Her putting was exceptional and she sank monster putts on the eighth, ninth, 11th and 17th holes, but said “It was just luck, luck and maybe a little bit of my practise as well.”

She chipped in from the fringe on the par-four 12th hole and holed a three-footer for birdie on 14.

The Los Angeles-born third year Ladies European Tour player is targeting her first victory on the tour after a career best tie for second and the Open de Espana Femenino last month.

She played in the more favourable afternoon conditions when there was less wind along with 23-year old Boeljon, from Beverwijk and Srisawang, 23 from Chaing Mai.

Despite playing in relatively warm weather compared to the early starters, with highs of around 15C, Srisawang was in shock from the cold. She said,v”That was one of the coldest days I’ve ever played and coming from Thailand it’s pretty different. I made four or five long putts and was lucky on the greens.”

Boeljon was more prepared coming from Europe and said, “I hit two bad shots and the resulted in two bogeys but other than that it was pretty solid. I just stuck to my game plan.

Coakley’s form was also steady. The 29-year-old from Carlow was up at 4:20am for her 6:40am tee time and carded three birdies in a flawless round of 69.

“I think the key today was just having control of the golf ball. It was very windy but I just hit fairways and greens and a couple of greens that I did miss. I missed in the right places and it was relatively easy to make up and downs” she said.

Like Bondad, she tied for fifth at the 2009 event and hopes to claim her first victory. “Obviously I’d love to win, but I just take each day as it comes. If I can play like I did today for the next two days, I think I’ll be in contention. “said Coakley, who was raised in Adelaide, Australia.

Laing, 29, from Musselburgh, was three under on the back nine, which she played first, but played the front nine in level par. She said, “I’m very happy with that and I would have taken it on the first tee.”

Fellow Scot Kylie Walker from Glasgow shared seveth place on 70 with Australian Nikki Garrett and the English trio of Florentyna Parker, Felicity Johnson and Sophie Walker.

Parker played in the misty, windy, morning conditions, and had her first career hole-in-one at the par-three 14th. Her tee shot landed six metres short of the cup before finding its way into the hole.

“I hit seven-iron very, very soft and it rolled in like a putt,” said 21-year-old Parker, the ABN AMRO Ladies Open champion who is a member at the Royal Birkdale.

The second round begins at 6:30am on Saturday and theere will be a cut to the leading 60 professional players and those tied at the completion of 36 holes.

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La Manga Club cements its place in the Ladies European Tour

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La Manga Club Resort

With an announcement that they will host the Murcia Ladies Open from November 18-20, the La Manga Club has cemented there position as one of the biggest supporters of women’s golf in Europe. The five-star Spanish Resort will again see aspiring Tour stars with hosting the LET Access Series, the official feeder tour to the Ladies European Tour.

The resort was the host of the LET’s Qualifying School over the last two years so for many of the competitors it will be a familiar setting. This relationship will continue in December for the 2010 event. The Open’s 54-hole tournament will be played on the resort’s prestigious South course. This tournament is just one more step as the La Manga Club resort has taken to demonstrate its support of women’s golf. Earlier this year the resort was also the host of the English Women’s Golf Association’s inaugural overseas event. This was just one of the activities that the resort has taken in it’s role as the organization’s official overseas resort partner.

It is the hope of the La Manga Club to continue their connection with another ladies golf event as it has put itself in the bidding to bring the Solheim Cup to to Spain for the first time in 2015. This would be another feather in the portfolio cap of the La Manga Club Resort.

Julio Delgado, CEO of La Manga Club, said: “La Manga Club is passionate about women’s golf and we’re delighted to be holding an event which can help aspiring players achieve their dream of playing on Tour.

“La Manga Club’s pedigree in holding prestigious events is well established, and will hopefully be even stronger with the Solheim Cup. It will be a great experience for the players as the South course is in exceptional condition.”

If you are interested in a very unique package to compete in a post-event pro-am which will follow with a cocktail and prize-giving ceremony, enjoy two nights in the five star Hotel La Manga Club Principe Felipe and receive VIP passes to the final day of the Ladies Murcia Open, the cost for it would be €220.

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Austrailia’s Stefanie Michl grabs lead in Sanya Ladies Open on Ladies European Tour

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Stefanie Michl

In the best score that she has ever shot, Australia’s Stefanie Michl fired a 7 under 65 to take the lead in the inaugural Sanya Ladies Open on Friday. This round found her three shots ahead of England’s Florentyna Parker, South African Lee-Ann Pace and Cecile Lundgreen from Norway, who all are tied for second at 68. The 24 year-old Michl was in incredible form on an incredibly hot day on the Yalong Bay Golf Club in Sanya, located on Hainan Island, in southern China.

Stating the she will be staying in Orlando, Florida for the winter, which has similar type temperatures, Stefanie took advantage of the mornings hot and benign conditions. With the temperature topping 31 degrees Celsius, Michl said “It was a calm day, really nice. Luckily I am staying in Orlando, Florida, which is similar weather to here, so I like it.”

“I stayed out of trouble pretty well. I’ve been hitting my driver alright. My irons have been okay too but the best part of my game today was definitely my putting. I’ve been sinking a lot of short putts and medium-long putts and two ro three longer putts I holed out. That helped to get my score low.”

This is the fourth season for this Ladies European Tour player but she has not yet won any tournaments. She had a terrific back nine when she attacked with birdies on the 12th, 13th, 15th and 17th holes. She was able to pick up three shots and ended coming in with seven birdies in all.

“I was actually surprised that I was playing that well today, because I didn’t expect anything. I was just working on my swing the last few weeks.” she said.

“The pro-am was my first 18-hole round in four weeks, so it took a while to get into my game and get into the rythm and then I saw it was going quite well and I started to really go for the flags.”

Although her competition were faced with a much breezier afternoon, Parker, Pace and Lundgreen were very happy to be in contention at all.

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Hyun-Ji Kim Looking to Defend Korean Ladies Masters

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Hyun-Ji Kim

One young 22 year old from Incheon is looking forward to defending her title from the Korean Ladies Masters from November 5th – 7th. Hyun-Ji Kim will attempt to hold onto her title that she won just over 11 months ago at the co-sanctioned event between the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Ladies European Tour.

Although she had won three earlier tournaments on the feeder tour, called the Dream Tour, this was Hyun-Ji’s first victory on the KLPGA. With the wins on that tour, she was given the chance to join the Ladies European Tour. She is now hoping to repeat her accomplishments early next month at the Haevichi Hotel and Resort on Jeju Island.

“I’s like to win again at the same tournament where I recorded my first win on the KLPGA Tour.” said Kim, who was 10th on the KLPGA Money List last season, but is struggling somewhat this year. “I think I can win again, because I already have done it before. I will make myself strong and steady with my mind. Everyone dreams of the very first win. Fortunately, my first win was on the Korean and European Tours so I could get a card for the Ladies European Tour. That was excellent. I didn’t do well this year. In the early season, I felt something was missing. As time went by. it was getting worse and I couldn’t get my confidence when I hit driver. I missed cuts after the summer, but now it’s getting better.”

Weather conditions were not terrific when Kim fired rounds of 69, 73, and 73 to make and then capture the play-off to capture the title last year.

“I want to remember the feeling from last year. I always try to be better and I need the champion’s trophy again! The only thing I can do is keep it simple, hit the ball straight a make some putts. I will do my best,” she said.

There is no doubt that Kim will be facing some pretty good competition when she goes after the title again. Some of the player she will be facing include No 1 Laura Davies, No2 Lee-Anne Pace and Melissa Reid, Trish Johnson and Karen Lunn. Reid was ranked third on the 2010 Henderson Money List.

The field will consist of 102 strong players. 45 from the LET, seven sponsor invitations and 50 players from the KLPGA.

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