The Open de España Femenino is being used as a platform to show that Madrid is worthy of hosting the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Along with Istanbul and Tokyo, Madrid is one of three candidate cities bidding for the 2020 Olympics. Should Madrid be successful when the decision is made by the International Olympic Committee on 7 September, then Club de Campo Villa de Madrid will host Olympic golf.
Javier Arana began work on the reconstruction of the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid in 1940. The Civil war had devastated several of the best Spanish courses and this MacKenzie Ross course, dating back to 1932, had seen how his sand bunkers were used as bunkers of war at the battle of City University, one of the fiercest in the history of the capital.
His works were extended until 1955 and because Arana had studied the best British, Argentinian and European courses, he managed to give life to the Black course.
Since then, it has hosted many tournaments on the European tour, including nine Spanish Opens and many other Madrid Opens, but never a women’s Open.
From 18-21 July, 126 of the world’s best female golfers, including four past champions (Melissa Reid, Becky Brewerton, Nikki Garrett and Stacey Keating) will contest the 350,000 euro event over four rounds for the prestigious trophy, proving that Madrid is a leader in hosting diverse, international golf tournaments.
No less that seven of the top 10 players on the Ladies European Tour’s ISPS HANDA Order of Merit will compete in the tournament, including five winners on Tour so far this season.
The greatest home hope is Carlota Ciganda, winner of the 2012 ISPS HANDA Order of Merit, Rookie of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year titles.
The current European No.1, France's Gwladys Nocera, winner of the last tournament on the Ladies European Tour, the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open, is hungry to regain the No.1 ranking she earned with five wins in 2008 – including the Madrid Ladies Masters at Retamares.
The current European No.2, Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa, who won the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open, is another player to watch.
No.3, Charley Hull from England, who turned professional at the beginning of the season aged 17, has become a regular contender with five straight runner-up finishes in as many starts.
Ciganda, ranked No.4, also knows what it takes to win having claimed her third LET title at the beginning of June in the UniCredit Ladies German Open.
Eighth ranked Holly Clyburn, another English rookie, returns to the Tour for the first time since the German Open having recovered from a hip injury, after earning her maiden win at the Deloitte Ladies Open in Holland.
American Beth Allen is ranked ninth and hunting her first LET victory along with Hull after several second place finishes.
Rounding out the top seven is tenth ranked Stacey Keating from Australia who arrives in Madrid to defend the title she won last year in Tenerife.
There are a further six players from the top 20 on the Order of Merit. Just outside the top ten is England’s Florentyna Parker (11), followed by Australian Nikki Campbell (13), Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord, who won the 2013 South African Women’s Open (14), Australian Whitney Hillier (15), Mikaela Parmlid of Sweden (16) and England’s Liz Young (17).
The results of the Open de España Femenino at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid Open may be an indicator of future medallists and home hopes will be carried by Ciganda, as well as María Hernández, Patricia Sanz, Emma Cabrera-Bello, María Beautell, Raquel Carriedo, Ana Belén Sánchez, Adriana Zwanck, Marta Sanz, Tania Elósegui, Ana Larrañeta, Laura Cabanillas, Virginia Espejo, Marta Silva, Mireia Prat and Carmen Alonso.
Ciganda would love to play in an Olympics in her home country and said: "Participating in the Olympic Games is the greatest joy that an athlete can have. I'd love to be there, whether in Rio (in 2016) or in Madrid.”
Open de España Femenino 2013, Madrid 2020 – Comunidad de Madrid
The Open de España Femenino 2013 is sponsored by Turismo de Madrid, Consejería de Educación, Juventud y Deporte de la Comunidad de Madrid and Federación de Golf de Madrid. Assisting in the promotion of the tournament are Candidatura Madrid 2020, Turespaña, Reale Seguros and Madrid Network.
Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, Carretera de Castilla, km 2,5. 28040 Madrid
Designer: Javier Arana
Government sponsors: Turismo de Madrid, Consejería de Educación, Juventud y Deporte de la Comunidad de Madrid and Federación de Golf de Madrid.
Collaborating sponsors: Candidatura Madrid 2020, Turespaña, Reale Seguros and Madrid Network.
Promoter: Real Federación Española de Golf