Paula Marti and Raquel Carriedo, Ladies European Tour number one players for 2002 and 2001 respectively, have been awarded the Spanish Royal Order of Merit for Sports in the bronze category – the equivalent to a British OBE.

Carriedo – has 2003 LPGA Card

Both players can take much of the credit for highlighting Iberian success in women’s golf, with two Tour events in Spain resulting from their success and profile.

“I’m so happy that the Royal house has recognised women’s golf,” said Carriedo at her home in Zaragoza.

“They wanted to give the award to all of the Spanish women players but they chose me and Paula. It’s the first time that two people have been given this award, it’s normally just one and we are only the second women to win in the sports category.”

Tennis player Arancha Sanchez-Vicario is the only other female sports personality to receive the award.

Marti and Carriedo will be presented with their medals from King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain at the Royal Palace in Madrid on January 5th 2003.