|Christel Boeljon from the Netherlands gives us a taste of what to expect from The International, Amsterdam, when it hosts the Deloitte Ladies Open, from May 24-26.
Christel Boeljon hopes to benefit from home advantage when the Deloitte Ladies Open takes place at The International, a prestigious new venue near Amsterdam airport.
The four-time European Tour champion has played a few practice rounds at the venue ahead of the tournament and feels that local knowledge will be helpful.
“It’s definitely a golf course you want to have played once or twice before you go out,” said the 25-year-old from Beverwijk. “I’ve played it twice and will play it a couple more times when I’m home.
“It’s a good golf course. It’s brand new. It’s very tough. I think it’s pretty open so the wind will definitely come into effect. If it’s up, the wind will make it a lot harder. You have to have a good game plan and put the ball in play from the tee. It’s quite tough if you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Boeljon made history by becoming the first Dutch player to represent Europe in The Solheim Cup and was part of the victorious team of 2011 at Killeen Castle in Ireland.
She hopes to make further history by becoming the second Dutch player to win her national Open, following Liz Weima who won the event in 1994 at Rijk van Nijmegen.
Weima, now the Tournament Director from Promoter TIG Sports, is expecting a large gallery again this year and Boeljon agrees: “Because it’s so close to Amsterdam and it’s so easily accessible, close to the airport and where all the businesses are, it should attract a big crowd. I’ll have my family, friends and managers that support me. Everyone who wants to see me play is more than welcome to come.”
Weima commented: "The date and location of the Deloitte Ladies Open in 2013 give us the opportunity to continue to grow the tournament. The International is a fantastic course and the players look forward to spending the week there and in Amsterdam. In recent years, we have been spoiled with great public interest thanks to our ambassador Christel Boeljon and going to The International, partly due to the new location, will take this a step further. Spectators will be able to learn, practice golf and play games on the side themselves. It will be good fun too.”
The site of The International is one of the best kept secrets of Amsterdam. The location between Schiphol, the A9 and A10 provides excellent accessibility. The course was designed by former Ryder Cup Captain and Masters Champion Ian Woosnam and opened on 1st July 2012.
Marcel Welling, owner and founder The International, said: "We are delighted that the Deloitte Ladies Open is coming to The International. The tournament has the look and style befitting a venue such as The International. The brand new golf club could not wish for a better start than to host such a great event."
The Deloitte Ladies Open is the largest women’s golf tournament in Benelux and prize money has increased in recent years to 250,000 euro, of which the winner earns 37,500 euro.
In addition to the top Dutch professionals such as Christel Boeljon, Dewi-Claire Schreefel, Chrisje de Vries and Marjet van der Graaff, there is a strong international field of 126 competitors from 28 different countries, which includes seven former event champions.
Carlota Ciganda of Spain returns to defend the title having claimed a two stroke victory at Golfclub Broekpolder in Rotterdam in 2012.
She is joined by fellow former champions Melissa Reid (2011), Parker (2010), Tania Elosegui (2009), Gwladys Nocera (2008 and 2007), Virginie Lagoutte-Clement (2005) and Elisabeth Esterl (2004).
There are two of this season’s event champions with Marianne Skarpnord, winner of the South African Women’s Open and Lee-Anne Pace, who recently won the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open along with exciting young rookies Cheyenne Woods and Charley Hull.
Tickets are available online and a portion of the sales will be donated to Diabetes Research Foundation Netherlands (DON). Everyone who buys an entry ticket from deloitteladiesopen.nl/tickets will be entered into a competition for three people to win nine holes of golf and lunch with Christel Boeljon.
For more information: www.deloitteladiesopen.nl or www.facebook.com / deloitteladiesopen and Twitter: @ DeloitteGolf