Germany’s Anja Monke will be hoping to reclaim the Lalla Meryem Cup title this week when the Ladies European Tour pays its first visit to Golf de l’Ocean in Agadir, Morocco.
The 34 year old from Herford won the 2010 event at Royal Golf Anfa Mohammedia when it was first played on the Ladies European Tour schedule to claim her third career title. She will be among the field of 126 competitors looking to unseat Slovakia’s Zuzana Kamasova, the 2011 champion who returns to defend her first LET title from March 22-25.
This will be Monke’s second start of the 2012 LET season having played in the World Ladies Championship in China three weeks ago. In addition to Monke and Kamasova, the 2006 champion Sophie Sandolo is also in the field, although the 35 year old Italian won the event before it was sanctioned by the LET.
Top players in the field who have recently known success are Englishwoman Felicity Johnson, who earned her second LET title at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France in Paris in September and Frenchwoman Jade Schaeffer who earned her second LET trophy at the Raiffeisenbank Prague Golf Masters last year.
Other notables in the field include Trish Johnson, Becky Brewerton, Virginie Lagoutte-Clement, Karen Lunn, Florentyna Parker, Marianne Skarpnord, Linda Wessberg, Tania Elosegui and Rebecca Hudson.
Morocco’s own Maha Haddioui is one of nine competitors to have received an invitation to join the field along with amateurs Juan Ru Yin from China and Manon Molle of France.
Several Ladies European Tour rookies are teeing up and will be hoping to make a big impression in the first start of their professional career.
Among the rookie players who qualified at La Manga Club in Spain in January are Switzerland’s Anais Maggetti, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Mireia Prat, Germany’s Stephanie Kirchmayr, England’s Charlotte Ellis, Hannah Burke, Eleanor Givens and Anna Scott, France’s Alexandra Vilatte, India’s Sharmila Nicollet, South African Monique Smit, Sweden’s Sara Djos, Finland’s Sofia Harkonen, Alison Whitaker of Australia, along with Jessica Yadloczy, Esther Choe, Ashley Knoll and Mary Mattson from the United States.
During the tournament, a KIA Soul car, worth 195,000 Moroccan dirhams (approximately 17,500 euros), will be offered as a hole in one prize. The tournament prize money is €325,000, with €48,750 for the winner.
The format of play is 72 holes of stroke play, with a cut to the leading 60 professionals and those tied after two rounds.