LARVIK, NORWAY (Wednesday 1st July 2009) – LET No.1 Marianne Skarpnord is aiming to produce the performance of her life this week when she tees up on home turf at the €200,000 SAS Ladies Masters.
For the 23-year-old Norwegian is intent on taking her second victory of the season and securing a berth on Alison Nicholas’ 12-woman European Solheim Cup Team, due to travel to Rich Harvest Farms in the United States late next month. She currently lies in seventh place on the standings, just outside the top five places for automatic team selection.
The Borgenhavgen resident leads the 2009 Henderson Money List with season’s earnings of €128,384.68 after claiming her maiden victory at the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open in May, along with four further top ten finishes.
A win at Larvik Golfklubb in Larvik this week would be a dream for the fifth year tour player, as it would give her 30 additional Solheim Cup points and leave no doubt in anyone’s mind who this season’s top performer is.
“The focus is very good so I’m looking forward to playing, although I hadn’t played the course for six or seven years before this week,” Skarpnord said.
Forecasts are for warm weather with light airs this week. Skarpnord added: “The course is pretty good and the weather is very nice; you can’t ask for more.
“It’s a very nice place to be in the summer time because its by the sea and its beautiful. I think there will be a lot of people, especially if there is good weather.”
In its fourth consecutive staging, the tournament moves to Larvik, a popular summer-time tourist destination located approximately 105 kilometres, (65 miles), southwest of Oslo.
Unusually, the par 73 course features seven par-fives, six par-threes and five par-four holes. The 108 player tournament starts on Thursday, with the leading 50 players and ties contesting the final round on Saturday.
Last year’s European No.1, Gwladys Nocera from France, 34, will defend the title she earned last year in contrasting wet conditions at Haga Golf Course near Oslo.
The 10-time Ladies European Tour champion, who collected five titles in 2008, said: “I’m excited. If I keep playing the way I am playing then I will be happy to win back to back: that’s why I’m playing. The course is nice, the place is nice and the hotel is nice, so I’m looking forward to defending my title.”