Zurich/Losone, 17/18 May 2010 – The countdown to the Deutsche Bank Ladies’ Swiss Open on the 5,730-metre championship course at Golf Gerre Losone has begun. This sports event, which has become one of the three most important golf tournaments on the Ladies European Tour (LET), will be held in the Ascona–Locarno region for the fifth time from 14 to 20 June 2010 – a little anniversary.
‘We are proud that the Deutsche Bank Ladies’ Swiss Open has established itself so quickly as a highlight in the Ladies European Tour calendar alongside the Women’s British Open and the Evian Masters, and that the professionals recently voted Golf Gerre Losone their absolute favourite LET course,’ says Tournament Director Hanns Michael Hölz. ‘This support and appreciation from the LET, the national and international media and from the Swiss fans, particularly those from Ticino, is the reason and the motivation behind our decision to extend our commitment as the event organizer and title sponsor of the Deutsche Bank Ladies’ Swiss Open for another three years.’
Taking a look back demonstrates the significance of this international sports event: over 7,500 spectators attended the event in Losone in 2009. Over 70 representatives from the national and international media ensured that millions of golf fans around the world watched the first and only climate-neutral event on the LET during approx. 3,600 minutes of television coverage on four continents – and the gripping head-to-head between Marianne Skarpnord (NOR) and Melissa Reid (ENG), which ultimately resulted in the Norwegian winning at the 72nd hole and taking home the winner’s cheque for 78,750 euros.
And the appeal of the tournament, which has a total prize of 525,000 euros, is showing no signs of fading even in its fifth year. The 2010 entry list already confirms famous players such as Becky Brewerton (ENG, winner of the Spanish Ladies’ Open and ranked third on the LET Money List 2009), Tania Elosegui (ESP, winner of the AMRO Ladies Open and ranked fifth on the LET Money List 2009), Melissa Reid (ENG, last year’s runner-up and ranked seventh on last year’s LET Money List), Felicity Johnson (ENG, winner of the Tenerife Ladies Open and ranked fifteenth on the LET Money List 2009) and Anja Monke (GER, winner of the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, which took place for the first time in March of this year).
Australian superstar Kristie Smith (AUS, winner of the Royal Canberra Ladies Classic on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour in January 2010); back-on-form DBLSO 2007 champion, Bettina Hauert (GER); Nicole Gergely (AUT, winner of last year’s Open de France Dames); Lisa Hall (ENG, LET member since 1991 and multiple tournament champion); Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA, tenth at the DBLSO 2009) and Lotta Wahlin (SWE), three-time LET champion and eighth best professional female golfer of 2008, who will only be appearing at the LET events in Losone, Switzerland, and in Finland this year, have also all confirmed their attendance.
Swiss hopes are again resting on the up-and-coming professional golfer Caroline Rominger, who was a positive surprise from the Swiss point of view last year. The amicable woman from Engadin, Pontresina, Switzerland, celebrated a fantastic achievement at her professional debut in Losone.
During a 70-stroke round (–3), Rominger played her way to joint 41st place after five weeks of intensive training in South Africa. Rominger began her second professional season w ith 21st place in the New Zealand Women’s Open. By invitation from Deutsche Bank, the Swiss players Nora Angehrn and Anais Maggetti (Golf Gerre Losone) will also be in the starting line-up once again.
An appearance by the young Swiss player Sherlyn Popelka, who has been given a wild card entry by the event organiser Deutsche Bank and the Association Suisse de Golf, is eagerly awaited. The 18-year-old, who was already holding a golf club at the age of five and was the first Swiss woman ever to take part in the Junior Solheim Cup (winning two of her three matches), is an extraordinarily talented golfer. She has been living and training in Florida since summer 2004, and her coach Henri Reis, who also trained the long-standing number one in ladies’ golf, Annika Sorenstam from Sweden, believes that she could be Europe’s next top female golfer.
Lara Katzy from the G&LC Berlin-Wannsee, the current Swiss international amateur champion and German vice-champion, will also be in the starting line-up thanks to a wild card entry. Katzy also celebrated victory with the German national ladies’ team at the European Ladies Team Championship in Slovenia in 2009 and also won the Berlin Open Championship.
The rising ‘Northern Lights’ from Scandinavia are likely to be among the favourites once again. Five northern Europeans were ultimately among the top ten at the DBLSO 2009, including the long-reigning leader Jenni Kuosa from Finland, who wants to take another shot at the title in June.
Tournament Director Hanns Michael Hölz is not surprised by the calibre of the players:‘The 129 female professionals who play at the DBLSO are the crème de la crème of the Ladies European Tour, and every one of them wants to score key points for the Solheim Cup here. So there are bound to be top performances.’
The Deutsche Bank Ladies’ Swiss Open will once again be the only climate-neutral tournament on the LET in 2010. Many measures are in place to help avoid CO2 emissions. Where this is not possible, they are offset using climate certificates – to help preserve the environment and the climate. ‘With this Deutsche Bank is highlighting its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility once again,’ says Hanns Michael Hölz. As part of its social commitment, Deutsche Bank is also focussing on diversity: ‘Promoting diversity as an integral part of our corporate culture is one of the key foundations of our international activities. That includes this tournament.’
See the top stars in person and enjoy the events in a climate-neutral setting – both are possible at the Deutsche Bank Ladies’ Swiss Open 2010. Admission to the only climate-neutral event on the Ladies European Tour is free on all tournament days for the first time. Comprehensive details and the latest information on the tournament can also be found at www.dblso.ch.