|Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist|
This week, the Ladies European Tour returns to Sweden for the first time since 2008 for the Helsingborg Open, at Vasatorp Golf Club. There is an exceptionally strong field of 126 competitors, including 27 Swedes and led by World No.10 I.K. Kim of South Korea.
The top of Thursday’s first-round draw is loaded with experienced Tour winners. Swedish Solheim Cup heroines Caroline Hedwall and Anna Nordqvist will tee off first alongside Kim at 8am. The trio are followed 10 minutes later by former Solheim Cup players Sophie Gustafson and Maria Hjorth of Sweden as well as Christina Kim from the USA.
Continuing The Solheim Cup theme, former team members Laura Davies, Melissa Reid and Helen Alfredsson are out third at 8.20am. Swede Carin Koch, Australian Stacey Keating and current LET order of merit leader Lee-Anne Pace from South Africa are out first in the afternoon at 12.20pm.
They are followed by three of this year’s tournament champions in Ann-Kathrin Lindner of Germany, Holly Clyburn from England and Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord and then Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg, Denmark’s Line Vedel and England’s Felicity Johnson.
Nordqvist, a star of Europe’s victorious Solheim Cup Team in Colorado three weeks ago, is looking forward to playing the Tournament Course for the first time in the Pro-Am on Wednesday.
”I’m excited to be here and looking forward to playing in Sweden as a professional,” said Nordqvist, who won the 2009 McDonald’s LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola and LPGA Tour Championship Presented by Rolex after turning pro in January that year.
”Of course I´m here to do my best and try to win the competition. But there are a lot of good players here, it’s one week before Evian and this is my fourth week in a row, but I will try my best.
”I feel great, I mean I´ve been playing good, hitting the ball well and I feel like I´m in a position to win tournaments. It´s going to be great meeting with my team here as well.
”I’m a bit tired, starting with Solheim, playing Canada, Portland and now Sweden. But I mean, with my family and friends here supporting me, just being home in Sweden playing, is going to give me enough energy to play a good game.”
At 23rd in the world, 26-year-old Nordqvist, from Eskilstuna, is the second highest ranked player in the field after World No.10 I.K. Kim, the 2009 Omega Dubai Ladies Masters champion and followed by Caroline Hedwall, ranked 25th in the world.