|Rebecca Hudson hitting balls on the driving range at Golf Las Américas|
The competitors in the Tenerife Open de España Femenino who were at the Ricoh Women’s British Open last week are enjoying vastly different conditions at Golf Las Américas than at Royal Liverpool after they swapped wind and rain for glorious Spanish sunshine.
Whereas Hoylake in England experienced torrential rain and winds gusting 40 miles per hour last weekend, temperatures hit 35C in Tenerife on Monday and good weather is forecast for the rest of the week. Sunday’s forecast is for 32C with a gentle breeze.
|Rebecca Hudson playing at Royal Liverpool|
The clear blue skies, palm trees and panoramic scenes across the Atlantic Ocean have put many of the players in a lighter mood.
“I love coming to Tenerife: beautiful weather, beautiful golf courses; it’s great to be back,” said Rebecca Hudson, the 2008 Tenerife Ladies Open champion.
“Sunday and last week, we expect British weather, but that was pretty brutal and just to get on the plane and come out here and leave the water proofs at home, it’s only good.
“You know you’re going out and you don’t have to fight the conditions. You can just play golf and hopefully this week we’ll see some fantastic scores and the golf course is looking good.”
The 2009 Tenerife Ladies Open winner Felicity Johnson echoed those sentiments when she said: “It’s great to get some sunshine on the back and be back in Tenerife.
“Obviously Tenerife is always going to be a special place for me, getting my first win here.
“We can’t quite treat it like a holiday; maybe the odd day here and there. It’s great to be here. Last week wasn’t ideal but they are two ends of the spectrum, last week and this. I think we are all feeling the effects of the sun so we’ll keep drinking water and keeping hydrated but we’re not going to complain about that.
“This time of year is perfect. What is it, 24 degrees the whole of the year? That’s the tourist line, but it is perfect and I love it here. We’ve not had anything this hot for a little while so it takes a bit of acclimatising but after a few days you’re ready to go.
On the Golf Las Américas course, Johnson said: “It suits my game pretty well. Obviously I’ve got a decent record in Tenerife. It’s more kind of target golf, which I enjoy, as opposed to more linksy style, so I enjoy it. Have a target; fly it straight at it, which I enjoy. I’m looking forward to this week and the course is looking good so looking forward to tomorrow now.”
Melissa Reid, celebrating her 25th birthday on Wednesday, is the defending champion having won the Open de España Femenino at La Quinta Country Club on the Costa del Sol 12 months ago.
The Solheim Cup player will be amongst the favourites even though she has never previously played on the Golf Las Américas course.
“I’ve not been playing great this year but I’m hoping for a great result this week,” said Reid.
She was playing the first nine holes only in the Pro Am on Wednesday as this week the Pro Am takes a different format whereby each amateur team is playing with two professional golfers over 18 holes.
Although Reid wasn’t playing the full 18, she felt confident that her caddie Johnny Scott would be able to guide her around the course as he caddied for Laura Davies in the Tenerife Matchplay event at the same venue last year and she didn’t play a practice round before teeing up in the Raiffeisenbank Prague Golf Masters in June.
“I didn’t play Prague and won there. I played that course blind. Sometimes it’s for the best because you don’t know where everything is. Johnny’s been here before. That’s all you really need,” said Reid, who is joined by former winners Laura Davies, Nikki Garrett and Becky Brewerton in the 126-woman field.
The 72-hole tournament gets under way from Thursday on the 6403 yards / 5855 metres par-72 course and entry is free for spectators. After two rounds there will be a 36-hole cut to the leading 60 professionals and those tied.