Andalucia Costa del Sol Open de España: 23 – 26 Nov’23
Despite the unusual state of the world this year, and the uncertainty around most events, the LET Race to Costa del Sol has teed off as usual, making a stop in Aberdeen for the Ladies Scottish Open. Sponsored by the Costa del Sol Tourism Board – which is where the race gets its name from – the Ladies European Golf Tour graced Scotland last month, following a successful initial start in Australia back in February.
The Scottish leg of the race featured the crème de la crème of female Spanish golfers including some household names like Azahara Muñoz, Nuria Iturrios, Luna Sobrón, Carmen Alonso, Noemí Jiménez, María Hernández and Silvia Bañón.
Following this, the next part of the LET Race to Costa del Sol then graces the Czech Republic for the Tipsport Czech Ladies Open, followed by the Swiss and French ladies opens respectively in September, before taking a brief pause and heading over to the United Arab Emirates for the penultimate event; the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic.
As always, the final leg of the race will take place at the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Feminino, which is being held in November. With an ever-growing prize fund, the event is likely to attract the best in both local and international talent, which will no doubt attract a large crowd of golf enthusiasts as in previous years.
Although three Spanish golfers have in the past laid claim to the title of winner of the LET Order of Merit, this year’s race is dominated by Swedish Julia Engström, with English-born Alice Hewson and Belgium’s Manon De Roey hot on her heels.
Speaking about their involvement with this year’s event, Francisco Salado, President of Costa del Sol Tourist Board, said: “The Costa del Sol Tourist Board is proud to be part of this new stage in the history of LET. Women’s professional golf will continue to grow in popularity, thanks to the dedication, and mastery, of LET’s incredible players and the message that Costa del Sol is a champion of women’s golf will be welcomed by golfers throughout the world.”
To further prove their commitment to women’s golf, the Costa del Sol Tourist Board has doubled the prize money to a staggering €600,000. And if that wasn’t enough, the top three finalists will also be well rewarded for their skill in the game. The winner of the 2020 Order or Merit will receive €125,000 while the LET players in second and third place will be awarded with €75,000 and €50,000 each.
Learn More About the Ladies European Tour
The Ladies European Tour has become much more prominent in recent years after a rocky start in the early 1980s! The LET is a professional golf tour for women, originally founded in 1978, which is 28 years after the US-based LPGA was founded.
The LET experienced a number of challenges before entering its more recent successful years, as TA-DAH.TV looks into here.
What is the Ladies European Tour?
Despite being founded in the late 1970s, the LET experienced a much slower establishment than its American counterpart and didn’t really find its feet until the late 1990s. There were troubles in getting both tours and sponsors established, with Carlsberg ending their sponsorship in 1981.
The LET was originally established as the Women’s Professional Golfers’ Association, and by 1988 the members decided to form an independent company that moved away from the headquarters of the PGA. 10 years later, there was another name change to European Ladies’ Professional Golf Association, before settling on the Ladies European Tour in 2000.
Based at Buckinghamshire Golf Club, the LET now offers a huge range of tournaments across the year, with locations such as Dubai, USA, Spain, Japan, Finland and South Africa.
LET and LPGA
In January 2020, the LET entered into a joint venture with the American LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association). This was organised to allow for better opportunities for female golfers across Europe.
The board of directors has some of the highest representatives from the LPGA Tour, European Tour and The R&A.
Race to the Costa Del Sol
In 2020, Costa del Sol Tourist Board became a partner of the LET by sponsoring the Order of Merit, called the Race to Costa del Sol. Costa del Sol is recognised as one of the top European Golf Destinations, with over 70 golf courses to choose from.
The winner receives prize money of $125,00, with an additional bonus of $250,000 split between the top 3 finishers of the competition. The inaugural season was won by Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen, who won a record-breaking victory and won by a huge 834-point margin. She finished the year with more than triple the points of the nearest challenger.
The Solheim Cup is a biennial golf tournament, with professional women golfers forming a European team and US team. It was first held in 1990 and generally took place in the alternate years to the Ryder Cup.
Due to disruptions in the calendar due to world events, the Solheim Cup switched to odd numbers, with the next one being held in 2023. After that, it will return to even-numbered years once more.
The US have won the Solheim Cup 10 times, while Europe have won 7. Europe are the current holders of the Solheim Cup, after winning in Ohio last year.
Biggest winners in the LET
Laura Davies currently has the biggest winning span, from 1985 to 2010 with a huge 45 wins under her belt. Suzann Pettersen, the European Team Captain for the Solheim Cup in 2023, has won 7 Ladies European Tours and a huge 15 LPGA Tours in her years.
In more recent news, Anne van Dam has 5 European Tour victories to her name and has now been named as an ambassador for Golf Saudi. She took part in the Inaugural Aramco Saudi Ladies International in a huge step toward growing the game for women across the country.
The LET will certainly be a fascinating sport to keep an eye on in the coming months and years! Want to know more about some of the most exciting sports events happening soon? Check out our sports channel!
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