With a purse of 525,000 Euros, the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open at Golf Gerre Losone is the third largest tournament on the 2011 Ladies European Tour schedule. As such, the sixth edition of the event has attracted a star studded field.
The 2010 champion, Lee-Anne Pace from South Africa, earned a one stroke victory over Scotland’s Vikki Laing last year, when she fired rounds of 69, 67 and 68 for a winning total of 12 under par 204.
Pace, who went on to win five times last season, has returned to Switzerland hoping for repeat glory, as have former event champions Bettina Hauert and Marianne Skarpnord, who won in 2007 and 2009 respectively.
They will be joined by eight of this year’s tournament champions: Becky Brewerton, Caroline Hedwall, Diana Luna, Ashleigh Simon, Christel Boeljon, Zuzana Kamasova, Kristie Smith and Melissa Reid.
Brewerton will be hoping to stay on form after her win at the Tenerife Ladies Match Play on Sunday; while Reid is playing in her first event since securing the Deloitte Ladies Open in the Netherlands a fortnight ago.
Hedwall did not play in Tenerife but finished joint second in Holland, after winning the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open the previous week.
Diana Luna is one to watch after staying bogey-free for four rounds to win in Germany and Simon, who claimed the ISPS Handa Portugal Ladies Open, is also teeing up in Switzerland.
The LET’s current Henderson Money List leader, Boeljon, will be eying a second title after her maiden win at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open.
Meanwhile, Zuzana Kamasova, who became the LET’s first ever winner from Slovakia at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, will also tee up along with Kristie Smith, who won the Pegasus New Zealand Women’s Open in February.
The likes of Laura Davies will be joined by a number of other players bidding to make The 2011 European Solheim Cup Team at Killeen Castle in Ireland this September, such as Virginie Lagoutte-Clement, Florentyna Parker and Tania Elosegui.
Other names to watch include Karen Lunn, Felicity Johnson, Minea Blomqvist, Linda Wessberg, Rebecca Hudson, Carin Koch, Louise Friberg, Lisa Hall and Anne-Lise Caudal.
Carlota Ciganda, who tied for second on her professional debut in Tenerife last week, has received an invitation to play in the event.
She will have drawn confidence from that result, as will Nikki Garrett, whose joint runner-up place at the weekend was her best finish since 2008.
Switzerland will be represented by six players, including professionals Caroline Rominger, Frederique Seeholzer and Florence Lüscher, as well as 2011 rookie Melanie Maetzler and amateurs Anais Maggetti and Valeria Martinoli.
The 126 player field includes players from 25 different nations. England leads the way with 19 players, followed by France and Sweden with 12 each, eight from Australia and Spain and seven from South Africa and the USA. Players have travelled from as far afield as Korea, Thailand and New Zealand.
The Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open is a player favourite on the schedule at a stunning venue and with a first prize of 78,750 Euros, so whoever emerges victorious will be one to watch in the race for Player of the Year.