Maria Salinas of Peru is handed a KLM ticket by TIG Sports tournament director Liz Weima
The Deloitte Ladies Open kicked off with a spectacular hole-in-one challenge at the Museum Square in the city centre of Amsterdam on Tuesday evening.
Around 20 players gathered in the Stedelijk Museum café, where they were welcomed by TIG Sports tournament director, Liz Weima.
First present were top Dutch players Christel Boeljon and Dewi-Claire Schreefel, who had arrived from the United States that morning after a delayed flight connection.
Schreefel said: “I’m very happy to be home, playing for the home crowd and seeing my family and friends. I live in Irvine, California, but it’s nice to be back in my own culture.”
In the middle of the Museum Square, on a large lawn against the stunning backdrop of the famous Rijksmuseum, a teeing ground and green, mowed by a green keeper from Kennemer, were created.
All of the Ladies European Tour players – including Trish Johnson, Becky Brewerton, Rebecca Hudson, Florentyna Parker and Cheyenne Woods to name a few – had two chances to hole out from 70 metres, or 77 yards.
|LET players gathered in front of the historic Rijksmuseum|
Ultimately, no-one made a hole-in-one but Peruvian rookie Maria Salinas hit her ball nearest to the pin, within tap-in range and won a ticket to a European destination from Dutch airline KLM.
Salinas said: “When I heard that we were coming here, I was like, ‘I am going to go to Amsterdam and hit some balls!’ It’s pretty cool. It’s fun to have these types of things at tournaments and especially here in the middle of Amsterdam. I’m happy to get a free ticket around Europe, so it’s good. I’m looking forward to the three days. I hope the weather gets better but I’m looking forward.”
Boeljon added: “I think it’s a nice gesture from the tournament. It’s an opportunity for the players to see the city. It’s a shame about the weather but it’s a nice place. There are lots of museums to see and places to eat.”
Parker, who won the tournament when it was played at Broekpolder in 2010, commented: “It’s great fun. We’ve never done this before and even though it’s bad weather, loads of girls came. I love coming back to Holland and even though it’s changed venue now, that’s going to be different for me, but I love the hospitality here. We all get looked after and I can drive here from home (in Hamburg), which is perfect. Obviously I hope I can win nearly every week but it might be a lucky place for me so it would be great if I could win again.”
American rookie Woods added: “It’s exciting. It’s my first time here so I’ve heard the event is great and just hoping to stay a little warm this week. I’m coming from home where it’s 100 degrees Fahreinheit so this is very different for me. Hopefully the rain will stay away and it won’t get too bad this week. I’m really looking forward to playing. I haven’t seen the course yet so I’ll be out there tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and playing again on LET.”
The Deloitte Ladies Open is being played at The International in Amsterdam for the first time from May 24-26.
Tickets cost 10 euros and can be purchased through this link.
|South African Connie Chen hits a shot in front of the Rijksmuseum|