This year there is a diverse class of first year competitors on the LET who between them represent 14 countries and speak a number of different languages. The USA leads the way with eight rookies, while there are six representatives from England, five from Korea and three from each of Spain and Sweden. There are two each from Australia, Japan and Scotland, with one from each of Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Wales.

With the start of the 2010 Ladies European Tour season at the Pegasus New Zealand Women’s Open, hosted by Christchurch, just weeks away, here is the second of a four part series detailing who to watch out for and why as they play their first full season as a member of the LET, starting with Caroline Masson, who won the LET’s Final Stage Qualifying School at La Manga Club in Spain…

Caroline Masson, 22, GermanyCaroline Masson, from Gladbeck, won the Ladies European Tour’s Final Qualifying School at La Manga Club in Murcia, Spain, in December. Anna Nordqvist won this event the previous year so it’s possibly a sign of great things to come. A member of the German National Team which competed at the 2006 World Amateur Team Championship, Masson enjoyed a successful amateur career, winning the 2008 Spanish Ladies Open Amateur Championship at the Club de Golf la Reserva and seven German national championships. As a junior, she represented Europe on the Junior Solheim Cup Team in 2005 and 2007. She turned professional in December 2009 with a handicap of +4.8. Masson is the daughter of Stefan and Gabriele Masson. Her father is a tennis coach in Germany and she has one brother, Alex. She attended Oklahoma State University for a short time.
Kristie Smith, 21, AustraliaKristie Smith hails from Margaret River in Western Australia and is the daughter of Australian professional golfer Wayne Smith. She was a member of the Golf Australia National Squad and enjoyed a successful amateur career, as the 2008 Australian amateur champion and the low amateur at the 2008 MFS Women’s Australian Open at Kingston Heath Golf Club, where she finished in equal 5th place. She turned professional at the end of 2008 and has since played on the Duramed Futures Tour in the United States, where her best finish was a tie for 2nd at the 2009 ING New England Golf Classic in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Back on home soil, she tied for 20th at the 2009 ANZ Ladies Masters. With her second round of 62 (-10) in the second round at Royal Pines, she set an all-time LET record for most birdies in a round with 12 and equalled the record for most consecutive birdies in a round with seven in a row. Kristie enjoyed a great start to 2010 as she won the Royal Canberra Ladies Classic on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) Tour.
Maria Jose Uribe, 19, Colombia Watch this name: María José Uribe, who likes to be known as “Mariajo”. She wants to reach the summit of world golf and might just get there. Uribe turned professional in July 2009 and played in the ING New England Golf Classic, where she tied for 15th. As an amateur, Uribe played collegiate golf at the UCLA. She was a two-time All-American First Team selection (2008, 2009), and won three events. In 2007, she won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. In 2008, she finished in a tie for 10th at the US Women’s Open and was the first amateur to compete in all four LPGA Majors. She says she is influenced by Tiger Woods and Lorena Ochoa, whom she aims to eclipse as the world’s number one player. She grew up in the city of Bucaramanga, which is close to the border with Venezuela. Uribe started playing golf at the age of nine and lists her interests as music and dancing, especially to Latin Rhythms.
Julie Maisongrosse, 21, FranceBorn in Bogota, Colombia, Maisongrosse learned her golf in France and turned professional after finishing in the top 30 at LET Qualifying School, with a final handicap of +2.2. Maisongrosse experienced her most successful year as an amateur in 2005, when she was the Champion of France and also won the International of France. Off course, her interests include judo, rugby, basketball, tennis, playing the piano, guitar and going to the cinema.
Hannah Jun, 24, USAHannah Jun from San Diego, California, has played on the Duramed Futures Tour in the USA since 2007 and was a non-exempt member of the LPGA in 2008, but she said: “I wanted to experience overseas golf.” Jun’s junior career was highlighted by three consecutive California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) individual titles (2000-02), as well as Second-Team All-America honors by the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA). She was runner-up at the 2002 Junior World Championship and, in 2003, won the Callaway Golf Junior World Championships and earned her second consecutive AJGA Second-Team All-America honor. She joined the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) women’s golf team in 2003, earning Second-Team All-Pac-10 honors and was named the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year after a runner-up individual finish at the Pac-10 Championship. Jun captured medalist honors at the 2004 NCAA West Regional, and was a quarterfinalist at the 2004 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, losing to eventual winner Yani Tseng. She won the 2005 Las Vegas Founders Collegiate Showdown as a junior, and was a co-medalist at the 2006 U.S.Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship. She started playing golf at the age of 12 and credits her dad and first swing coach as the individuals most influencing her career. Her hobbies include working out, travelling, reading and shopping.
Dewi-Claire Schreefel, 24, the NetherlandsDewi-Claire Schreefel turned professional in October 2008 and spent the 2009 season competing on the Duramed Futures Tour in the United States, where she won the ING New England Golf Classic, and finished in the top-10 four additional times. She finished 10th on the Duramed FUTURES Tour season-ending money list to earn membership for the 2010 LPGA season. She started playing golf at the age of 9 and enjoyed a successful amateur career, winning the 2004 Italian Women’s Amateur Championship and the Dutch Match-Play Championship. As a junior she won the Dutch Stroke-Play Championship five times (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004). At the University of Southern California, Schreefel was a member of the 2008 NCAA National Championship team, the 2006 NCAA Individual champion, a three-time All-American and finished in the top-10 14 times, including three wins. In addition to golf she enjoys field hockey and sailing.
Josefin Leijon, 26, SwedenJosefin Leijon finished eighth at Final Ladies European Tour Qualifying School at La Manga Club in December, thereby earning her full card for 2010. Leijon has been competing on some minor tours such as the Hi5 Tour since turning professional in May 2006. She started playing golf at the age of six and is attached to Isaberg Golf Club. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, sports and shopping.
Kylie Walker, 23, ScotlandKylie Walker turned professional with a handicap of +3 after finishing ninth at LET Final Qualifying School. She enjoyed a successful amateur career, representing GB&I in the 2009 Vagliano Trophy. She won the St Rule Trophy in 2008 & 2009; the Scottish Order of Merit in 2008 and the Silver Medal at the European Individual 2009. She started playing golf at the age of 14 and says that she was influenced by her family. She enjoys most sports, swimming, skiing, running, watching films and listening to music.
Maria Hernández, 23, Spain Hernández, the 2009 NCAA Player of the Year out of Purdue University, turned in a strong collegiate career, which was capped off with the NCAA Division I Individual Championship. She won eight times while at Purdue University, and in 2008, she won the Big Ten Conference Championship and was named the Purdue Female Athlete of the Year. She’s a two-time Duramed National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-American First Team selection, and a two-time Big Ten Conference Player of the Year, both in 2007 and 2008. An eight-year member of the Spanish National Team (2002-09), Hernández is a five-time European Team Championship gold medalist, and she also earned a gold medal at the 2005 Mediterranean Games as both an individual and team. When away from golf, Hernández enjoys soccer, skiing and watching movies.
Hannah Ralph, 21, EnglandHannah Ralph, who was born in Chichester, is the daughter of respected golf professional Glenn Ralph, with more than 20 years experience on the European Tour and now on the Seniors Tour. He is the professional at Camberley Heath Golf Club. Hannah Ralph started playing golf at the age of nine and turned pro after Qualifying School with a handicap of +2. Away from golf she enjoys most sports, music, family, shopping and being active.
Jeehae Lee, 27, KoreaJeehae Lee, from Seoul, turned professional in August 2006 after studying Economics at Yale University. As an amateur, Lee recorded one win in American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) competition. While at Yale University, she finished third individually at the 2003 Ivy League Championship and was a member of the Ivy League Championship team in 2003 and 2006.She was also the low amateur at the 2006 Connecticut Women’s Open. As a professional, her best finish on the LPGA was a tie for 55th. She has also competed on the Duramed FUTURES Tour and Suncoast Ladies Series, where she recorded two wins. She started playing golf aged eight.