This week’s Lalla Meryem Cup in Rabat will see a reunion of the LET’s Rookie Class of 2016 with 15 first year professionals who qualified for LET Membership through Lalla Aicha Tour School in Marrakech returning to Morocco.
There are 20 LET Rookies from 12 different countries teeing up on the Blue Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat, as the men’s Trophée Hassan II on the PGA European Tour is played simultaneously on the club’s Red Course in an historic week for professional golf.
Three of the LET Rookies in the Lalla Meryem Cup qualified for the 2016 LET via the 2015 LET Access Series and include its Order of Merit winner, Olivia Cowan from Germany, who claimed three LETAS victories last year at the ASGI Ladies Open, Boras Ladies Open and the Norrporten Ladies Open, with four further top 10s during the 2015 season. Cowan made a tremendous start to 2016 on the LET, with a tie for 10th in the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Women’s Open, followed by a missed cut at the RACV Ladies Masters.
Natalia Escuriola Martinez from Spain finished second on the 2015 LETAS Order of Merit after two wins, firstly at the CitizenGuard LETAS Trophy as an amateur and then at the season-ending WPGA International Challenge in only her second tournament as a professional. She missed the cut on her LET debut as a Rookie at the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Women’s Open.
Sweden’s Johanna Gustavsson placed fourth on the 2015 LETAS Order of Merit after claiming victory at the Larvik Ladies Open, with a record breaking 14-hole play-off. Johanna had a further 11 top twenty finishes during the season. She has already played in two LET events this year, at the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Women’s Open and RACV Ladies Masters.
Another 14 of the Rookies set to feature in the Lalla Meryem Cup gained Category 8a Membership at Lalla Aicha Tour School in Marrakech. They include India’s Aditi Ashok, who won that event before missing the cut in New Zealand as well as Nuria Iturrios from Spain, who tied for 24th.
Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh, Spain’s Noemi Jimenez Martin and Justine Dreher from France all finished in the top 10 in New Zealand. Dreher currently leads the Rookie Rankings after her fifth place finish at the ISPS HANDA Women’s New Zealand Open, followed by a missed cut at the ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open and a tie for 51st at the RACV Ladies Masters in Queensland.
While England’s Rosie Davies and Leticia Ras Anderica from Spain both missed the cut in New Zealand, Angel Yin of the USA finished in tied 24th.
There are seven further players who will make their first appearance as a Ladies European Tour Rookie in 2016. They are Anaelle Carnet and Agathe Sauzon from France, Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul from Thailand, Jessica Bradley from England, Oona Vartiainen from Finland and Olafia Kristinsdottir from Iceland, as well as Maribel Lopez Porras from Colombia, who has received a sponsor’s invitation.