|Ariel view of Killeen Castle, Meath, which will host the Ladies Irish Open, supported by Fáilte Ireland, in August and The 2011 Solheim Cup this September.|
The Ladies Irish Open, supported by Fáilte Ireland, has received a major boost with a host of Europe and America’s top female golf professionals confirming their participation in the event at Killeen Castle, Meath, this August 5th to 7th. The €400,000 Ladies European Tour event has attracted the strongest field in its history and is expecting a large crowd to witness Solheim Cup hopefuls tackle the Jack Nicklaus course which will host The 2011 Solheim Cup this September.Several Solheim candidates for the American team have confirmed their entry in the event including Stacy Lewis, third in the current U.S. team standing and a major winner this year capturing the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April. Lewis will be joined by three-time Solheim Cup player Angela Stanford, currently in sixth place, and Irish favourite Christina Kim who occupies the tenth and final automatic selection. Spectators will also see 16 year old U.S. golfing sensation, Lexi Thompson, in action. Thompson is the youngest ever golfer to compete in the U.S. Women’s Open, having qualified at just 12 years of age.
|Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson will attempt to defend the Ladies Irish Open|
As expected, an extremely strong European contingent will be on show in this year’s Ladies Irish Open, supported by Fáilte Ireland. One of the most successful golfers of all time, Laura Davies, heads up this year’s European Solheim list and will be joined at Killeen Castle by her English compatriot, Melissa Reid, recent winner of the Deloitte Dutch Ladies Open. Diana Luna from Italy and Swedish rookie Caroline Hedwall, both having won twice already on this season’s Ladies European Tour, bring good form into the event. As do European winners on the U.S. Tour this season, Sweden’s Maria Hjorth who captured the Avnet LPGA Classic and Germany’s Sandra Gal, who won the KIA Classic. Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson will attempt to defend her Ladies Irish Open crown at Killeen Castle.There will also be plenty of home grown talent on show including Irelands’ top player Rebecca Codd, who lies 25th in the European Solheim standings. Codd will be joined by fellow Irish professional, Martina Gillen. Ireland’s top amateurs, Danielle McVeigh from County Down and the sensational 16 year old twins from Cavan, Leona and Lisa Maguire, will relish of the chance of competing against the world’s best professionals.
|Kraft Nabisco champion Stacy Lewis|
Tournament Director Roddy Carr commented, “This is an extremely important year for both the players and ladies golf in Ireland as we prepare to stage The 2011 Solheim Cup , and I am delighted with the strength of this year’s Ladies Irish Open field. The large crowd that attended the event at Killeen Castle last year witnessed an amazing tournament and with an even stronger field this year, spectators are in store for a feast of world class golf.”Head of Golf Tourism for Fáilte Ireland, Keith McCormack added, “For Ireland to stage both the Ladies Irish Open and The Solheim Cup in one year is a major boost for Irish golf, the Irish Economy and indeed the Boyne Valley region. The events will showcase some of the best golfing talent in the world and will be witnessed by millions worldwide, providing Ireland with the perfect platform to showcase itself in terms of tourism. We encourage the Irish public to support both events in this unique year for Irish golf.”The Ladies Irish Open, supported by Fáilte Ireland, takes place from August 5th to 7th at Killeen Castle, Dunsany, Co. Meath. Located just off exit six on the M3, just fifteen minutes from the Blanchardstown M50 turn-off, the event is very accessible to the greater Dublin area and surrounding counties. The event is very family friendly with free tickets for children and senior citizens. Standard tickets are just €10, with season passes for €25. Public parking is available on-site and tickets can be purchased on entry or by visiting www.ladiesirishopen.ie.