Ladies professional golf is counting down to the biggest event on their calendar – The 2011 Solheim Cup. In just 50 days Ireland will stage the biggest international sporting event of 2011, when Europe takes on the USA for The 2011 Solheim Cup in Killeen Castle, county Meath this September 23rd to 25th. A host of Solheim Cup candidates are taking advantage of this week’s Ladies Irish Open, supported by Fáilte Ireland, which is also being played on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Killeen Castle.
To mark the occasion England’s Melissa Reid took on American Stacy Lewis in an unusual golf challenge in Grand Canal Dock, Dublin. The top professionals pitched out into a floating target in the water in front of lucky spectators who then got to attempt the shot for themselves. In an early victory for Europe, Reid won the dual in sudden-death. Reid and Lewis are making a big splash on their professional tours this year and are certainties to return to Ireland in September for The 2011 Solheim Cup. The event is set to attract thousands of international visitors and Fáilte Ireland has estimated it will be worth some €35 million to the Irish economy, providing a welcome boost for the tourism sector.
Along with Reid and Lewis, a host of Solheim stars will line-out for this week’s Ladies Irish Open, supported by Fáilte Ireland including golfing legend, England’s Laura Davies and world number three, Norway’s Suzann Pettersen. Top names including Angela Stanford, Christina Kim and 16 year old sensation Lexi Thompson have all made the trip from the USA.
Head of Golf Tourism for Fáilte Ireland, Keith McCormack commented, “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. Today’s event will bring The Solheim Cup to life as we mark 50 days to go. Both tournaments will showcase some of the best talent in the world and we would encourage the public to support these two world-class events being staged on our doorstep.”
The European team will comprise the top four players from the European points’ list, the next highest four from the Rolex World Rankings and four captains’ picks, so at present, the European team status is:
Top four from European points’ standings:
|1||Laura Davies (ENG)||176.33|
|2||Melissa Reid (ENG)||170.83|
|3||Christel Boeljon (NL)||151.59|
|4||Suzann Pettersen (NOR)||140.50|
The next four from the Rolex Rankings are made up of:
|Position||Player||Rolex Points Average|
|5||Maria Hjorth (SWE)||5.47|
|6||Anna Nordqvist (SWE)||3.94|
|7||Catriona Matthew (SCO)||3.26|
|8||Sophie Gustafson (SWE)||3.21|
The USA team will include the top 10 players from the points system along with two captain’s selections:
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.
For the latest information, and to purchase tickets for The 2011 Solheim Cup, visit – www.solheimcup.com.