The opening round of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open (FBMLO) is heating up at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, where the second edition of Abu Dhabi’s first women’s professional golf event is in full swing.

Although cooler than yesterday’s 38C, temperatures are set to hit a scorching 33C (92F) by mid-afternoon, when defending champion Beth Allen from the United States will be playing alongside Lee-Anne Pace and Bronte Law, followed 10 minutes later by the newly appointed European Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew, Florentyna Parker and Nanna Koerstz Madsen.

Sweden’s Amanda Linnér, who played for Europe in the recent 2017 PING Junior Solheim Cup in Iowa, set the clubhouse target with a three-under-par 69 this morning. The 16-year-old from Gothenburg received an invitation to play in the event through the ANNIKA Foundation after winning the ANNIKA Invitational Europe.

Fellow Swede Jenny Haglund, who leads the LET’s Rookie of the Year rankings, Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord and Amy Boulden from Wales then registered five-under-par 67s, with Victoria Lovelady of Brazil and Celine Herbin a stroke further back. Also in the mix is England’s Georgia Hall (pictured), who posted a course-record 64 on her way to becoming the runner-up behind Allen in the event last year.

This year’s tournament is focused on family and community, with a range of fun activities, food trucks and entertainment as well as the world-class golf, making it a perfect day out for all the family, and a great opportunity for youngsters to get into golf and other sports. Golfing fun includes a bespoke crazy golf course, chipping challenge, the regions first-ever ‘paint golf’, and introductory beginners’ sessions, with other sports covered by the FIFA Club World Cup fan zone, and sessions from Abu Dhabi cricket and Troon Fit. Entry is free for all and the organisers hope that friends and families will be encouraged to attend, as part of growing the game of golf in the UAE, especially amongst females, and increasing participation in sport, health and fitness across the board.

The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open is sponsored by: FBMA, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, TDIC, Al Masaood, Etihad Airways, Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi and Omega.

About the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy – FBMA

The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) is a not-for-profit Government entity of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Established in October 2010, the Academy is headed by its Chairwoman, H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazaa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and is dedicated to promoting and facilitating women’s sports in the UAE. The FBMA strives to make sports an element of daily life for UAE national women of all ages, backgrounds, and physical condition; to encourage Emirati women to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle, and to further instill the values of sport in the public consciousness of the UAE. The FBMA serves this significant mission by hosting a number of local, regional and international sports events; facilitating community activities; managing and developing local talent and through its education and research work. http://www.fbma.ae

About Abu Dhabi Sports Council

Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) was established in 2006 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. ADSC is aligned to the emirate’s leadership vision to develop sport and youth activities. The Council promotes an effective, emirate-wide sports calendar that stimulates the desire to participate in quality sports among all Abu Dhabi residents and helps the talented and motivated reach their sporting potential. The Council also hosts and supports the staging of international world-class sporting events, including the annual Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, the Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the ITU World Triathlon Series, the Gary Player Invitational, the Abu Dhabi Invitational, the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final, the Red Bull Air Race, the hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race round-the-world sailing epic and the Abu Dhabi Cycling Tour. We at ADSC firmly believe that sporting events deliver a host of benefits for the emirate and its residents. These span improved health and wellness, the building of community spirit, the discovering of local talent and the delivery of international exposure of the emirate as a world-class sporting events hub. Whether it is land, sea or air, we have sport covered. http://www.adsc.ae