(Tytherington, June 13 2003) The Ladies European Tour announced today the return of a Tournament in Northern Ireland to its 2003 schedule after a break of 16 years when Scotland’s Dale Reid won the Ulster Open at Belvoir Park in 1987.

The 2003 Northern Ireland Ladies Open, which will carry a prizefund of £150,000, will be played over Warrenpoint GC amidst the stunning scenery of the mountains of Mourne and Carlingford Lough.

The event will take advantage of a key date in the 2003 calendar created by the unfortunate postponement of the P4 Norwegian Masters in Oslo due to the untimely bankruptcy of the tournament promoter, Sponsor Service. However, the Tour and its partners in Norway are extremely confident that this event will return to the schedule in 2004.

The Northern Ireland Ladies Open has been developed through a partnership between Northern Ireland Events Company, Newry council, the Northern Ireland Tourist board & the Ladies European Tour. Welcoming the Ladies European Tour back to Northern Ireland, Mervyn Elder, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Events Company said:

“We have many superb golf courses and the huge international media exposure associated with this event will allow us both to project very positive images of Northern Ireland around the world and to promote golf tourism.

“It will also provide a rare opportunity for golf fans here to see some of the best lady golfers in the world play at Warrenpoint in August.”

Whilst disappointed at the postponement of the Norwegian event, Ian Randell, chief executive of the Ladies European Tour was delighted to see another promoter step in and provide another event.

“We are all very grateful to the Northern Ireland Events Company for coming in at such short notice,” said Randell.

“The members are already looking forward to heading to Northern Ireland and we hope this will be the start of a long term deal and to develop an “Irish Swing” on the Tour.

“It is another example of an organisation having the foresight to see the benefits associated with Ladies’ professional golf and how it can showcase their country as a leading golfing destination.”