The future of the Lalla Meryem Cup has been secured until at least 2018, with the first edition of the three-year extension due to be played at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, in the Moroccan capital of Rabat, from May 5-8, 2016.
The Lalla Meryem Cup was played at the Robert Trent Jones-designed venue from 1993-2008, with a one year hiatus in 2004, before the tournament joined the Ladies European Tour in 2010.
Fittingly, in the year that golf returns to the Olympic Games, both the Lalla Meryem Cup and Trophée Hassan II on the men’s PGA European Tour – won last year by Gwladys Nocera and Richie Ramsay in Agadir respectively, will be played in the same week at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam.
Situated just 15 minutes outside Rabat’s city centre, Royal Golf Dar Es Salam stretches across 440 hectares of cork oak forest. The 6,799 yards par 72 Blue Course will host the Lalla Meryem Cup, while the 7,434 yards, par 72 Red course will host the Trophée Hassan II.
Ivan Khodabakhsh, Chief Executive Officer of the Ladies European Tour, said: “We are delighted to announce that the Lalla Meryem Cup will run until at least 2018, which is fantastic news for the development of women’s golf in the region. Since the tournament first joined the LET schedule in 2010, Morocco has become a firm favourite with our Members, who are hugely excited that both the men’s and women’s events will be played at the same venue in May, prior to golf’s return to the Olympic Games in August.”
Named after Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem, the Lalla Meryem Cup is honoured to have the Royal Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, together with the support of His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid in his role as President of the Association Trophée Hassan II, the promoter of the tournament.
In 2015, Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera, who captured the 2007 Lalla Meryem Cup at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, won the event for the second time, albeit on the Ladies European Tour, when she finished two strokes ahead of three other players at Golf de L’Océan, host venue for the past four years.