(SUZHOU, CHINA – Wednesday 28th October 2009) – Wales’ top golf star Becky Brewerton is set for a fortnight in Asia as she prepares for this week’s Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open in China.
The 27-year-old hopes to hit the pinnacle of European women’s golf with victories over the next two weeks in China and South Korea, which would see her eclipse Sophie Gustafson and Catriona Matthew on the Ladies European Tour’s Henderson Money List.
Brewerton is making her maiden appearance in China at the US$300,000 tournament which is taking place in Suzhou, 160km north of Shanghai.
“It would be nice to do really well these two weeks. Ideally I want to get ahead on the money list but the only way I’m going to do that is if I win them both, so that’s the aim. If not, it’s to try and get as close to Sophie and Catriona before Dubai and give myself a chance to win in Dubai,” said Brewerton, who is enjoying a fine run of form this year.
On the back of a terrific season, which has seen the Solheim Cup star earn her second LET victory at the Open de Espana Femenino in July and enjoy nine top ten finishes, she is third on the Henderson Money List and only €59,000 behind Sophie Gustafson in top spot. She has a chance to leapfrog the Swede with first prizes of €30,000 and €40,000 in China and Korea, but there is further reason to celebrate after she recently broke into the top 100 on the Rolex rankings, the official world rankings for women’s golf.
Statistically, Brewerton leads the LET in stroke average (70.97), number of eagles (10) and number of birdies (245) and also recently claimed the prestigious Golf Union of Wales (GUW) Welsh tour professional of the year 2009.
“I’ve been really consistent this year. I think I probably could have converted a couple of those tournaments into wins but haven’t managed to, especially Tenerife, that was a bit disappointing, but I was pleased I didn’t let that affect me and I managed to carry on my good form after that. Hopefully I can keep my good form going at the end of the season and convert one of these into a win at the end. It’s a chance to gain on a few other people that aren’t here and Catriona and Sophie aren’t here so I’ve got a good chance to catch them up or get as close as possible,” she said.
Joining Brewerton will be 44 other players from the Ladies European Tour, including two-time winner this season Marianne Skarpnord, ranked fourth in Europe, who is fresh off a victory at the Carta Si Ladies Italian Open in Milan a fortnight ago.
Skarpnord is aiming to become the only player to win three times on tour this year and said: “I feel pretty good. I’m just going to go out there and do the same as I did out in Italy: just be very relaxed and have fun and do my best and then I think I’ll have a good chance of winning.”
She has been busy since her win in Milan. “After I came home I had two days off and then I practised with my coach, spent some time with friends and family and then off to China. I was looking forward to coming out here and playing again. China and Korea will be very exciting.”
Former world number one Annika Sorenstam secured her last worldwide victory against top Chinese Player Li Ying Ye at Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club a year ago, but has since stepped away from competition to start a family.
Among those hoping to follow in her footsteps is Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera, who will be looking for her first victory of 2009 on the LET and 11th overall. Nocera starts the week ranked 10th on the money list but is far from satisfied, despite five top ten finishes and a best finish of equal second at the AIB Ladies Irish Open this year.
“Obviously it’s not been that fun this year. I did some really good and some bad so it’s been an up and down season. I’m happy to have played well at The Solheim Cup because that was a big thing for me and most of all I’m disappointed but that’s the way it is. You have to take the lessons and keep working. If I can finish the season with a big smile on my face, that will be nice,” she said.
As well as 45 players from the LET, the 106 woman field features 35 players from the China Golf Association (CGA), 22 from the Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT) and 4 invitations.
The event will be played at the 6320 yard, par-72 Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club in Suzhou Taihu National Tourism &Vacation Zone, Jiangsu Province.
Next week the LET will head to South Korea for the Daishin Securities Tomato Tour Korean Ladies Masters at Cypress Golf Club on Jeju Island.