Nuria Iturrios will launch her maiden title defence at the Lalla Meryem Cup in the company of Olympian Noora Tamminen and the Tipsport Golf Masters winner Nanna Koerstz Madsen when she tees off at 8:11 on the Blue Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat on Thursday.

Eleven months ago, the 21-year-old from Mallorca earned a six-stroke victory over Florentyna Parker in her second start as a professional on the Ladies European Tour.

She earned another great win on Tuesday, playing in the mixed par-3 challenge match, partnering former Masters champion Mike Weir, who is playing in the Trophée Hassan on the neighbouring Red Course this week.

“It was really fun and I enjoyed it a lot. It was nice to play with the guys,” said Nuria. “I’m really happy to be back here. The weather is going to be better this year and I want to enjoy the course, smile and play my best golf. We have 19 more bunkers this year, so the course is harder, but it is in the best condition I have seen. I want to enjoy and if I can, I want to win too.”

11/04/2017 Ladies European Tour 2016: Lalla Meryem Cup, Royal Golf Dar Es-Salam, Rabat, Morocco. 13-16 April 2017. Winners of the Challenge Mixte, Nuria Iturrios and Mike Weir. Credit: Tristan Jones

The reigning Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open champion Isabelle Boineau, Camilla Lennarth and Pamela Pretswell will tee off in the first group from the 10th, at 8am local time. Lucie Andre, Silvia Banon and Lina Boqvist will get play under way from the first hole.

Elsewhere, Emily Kristine Pedersen, Laura Davies and Florentyna Parker form a formidable three-ball at 12:50. Georgia Hall, who celebrates her 21st birthday day, will go out in the afternoon at 13:01 alongside Suzann Pettersen and former champion Gwladys Nocera. They are followed by Trish Johnson, Kylie Henry and Hannah Burke at 13:12.

Moroccan Olympian Maha Haddioui tees up at 8:33 alongside Chinese amateur Wenbo Liu and Sarah Kemp of Australia, while Moroccan amateur Lina Belmati goes out at 9:06 with LET Rookies Jenny Haglund from Sweden and Valdis Thora Jonsdottir from Iceland. The final tee time is 14:29.