A new chapter in the history of the Trophée Hassan II and the Lalla Meryem Cup will be written this week, when the two events are played simultaneously in the Moroccan city of Agadir from March 31 to April 3.
Officials from the Ladies European Tour, PGA European Tour and Association Trophée Hassan II, organiser of both the Trophée Hassan II and the Lalla Meryem Cup, attended a press conference at Golf du Soleil on Wednesday and explained why, for the first time in European golf history, this international resort will host both the Ladies European Tour and European Tour events in the same city in the same week.
Mustapha Zine (pictured centre) explained how the Association contributes to the development of national golf and that this year the Kingdom of Morocco aims to promote Agadir as a premium golf destination.
The Ladies European Tour professionals will compete in their first full field event of the season at Golf du Soleil, while in The Trophée Hassan II, which has a Pro Am format, the male pros will compete on two outstanding venues, the unique Golf du Palais Royal, designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr and considered by many to be one of the finest courses in the world, and the superb new course at Golf de L’Ocean.
Why on three courses? “You must have courses of quality in golf as it is international. We have two for the men and one for the ladies. We have two courses for The Trophée Hassan II because of its Alliance format and they will play one day on the Golf du Palais Royal followed by a day on L’Ocean. This will show them the region and the best of golf in Agadir,” explained Zine, through translation. “We wanted to have both tournaments during the same week as in Morocco we are striving for equality between men and women.”
Mohamed Chalbi, also a Vice President of the delegates, added that it was a unique organisation: “Not many tournaments have this format and it is very convivial with a host of celebrities including actors from cinema, film producers, rugby stars, people from culture and plenty of others. The uniqueness of the tournament is thanks to the combination of the sport and people.”
Speaking in French, Scott Kelly, Marketing Director of the PGA European Tour, said: “Two tournaments, men’s and women’s on the same week in the same town: it’s just like the Olympics!
“It’s always a pleasure to rediscover the sunshine and we consider it an exceptional occasion to be able to reunite with The Association Trophée Hassan II and the Ladies European Tour.”
Cyprien Comoy, Director of Operations for the Ladies European Tour, added that it was a privilege for the LET to be playing in a new country.
“Last year The Association Trophée Hassan II made a large decision to transform the Lalla Meryem Cup into a full field LET event and this year, with 50 per cent more Solheim Cup points available for European players finishing in the top 10, it has become a very important event on our schedule. We are very happy to be back in the sun and can all look forward to an exceptional tournament.”