After Lalla Aicha Tour School in December, the rookie class of 2017 returns to the Kingdom of Morocco this week for the Lalla Meryem Cup at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in the capital, Rabat.
Last year, LET Rookie Nuria Iturrios from Spain won the event in only her second start as a professional. The 20-year-old from Mallorca fired rounds of 70, 72, 70 and a sensational final round of seven-under-par 65 on the Blue Course for a total of 277, 11-under-par, to end six strokes clear of overnight leader Florentyna Parker, with fellow LET rookie Angel Yin a stroke further behind in third position.
This year, Iturrios returns to defend her title and there are 21 rookies in the 126-player field as follows:
- Jenny Haglund (Sweden)
- Valdis Thora Jonsdottir (Iceland)
- Celina Yuan (Australia)
- Amandeep Drall (India)
- Madelene Stavnar (Norway)
- Alexandra Bonetti (France)
- Cajsa Persson (Sweden)
- Inci Mehmet (England)
- Lauren Horsford (England)
- Camille Chevalier (France)
- Vani Kapoor (India)
- Andrea Wong (USA)
- Frida Gustafsson Spang (Sweden)
- Luna Sobron (Spain)
- Yan Liu (China)
- Eva Gilly (France)
- Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso (Italy)
- Angella Then (USA)
- Meghan MacLaren (England)
- Silvia Banon (Spain)
- Saaniya Sharma (India)
Cajsa Persson, Inci Mehmet, Lauren Horsford, Camille Chevalier, Andrea Wong, Frida Gustafsson Spang, Yan Liu, Eva Gilly, Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso, Angella Then, Silvia Banon, Meghan MacLaren and Saaniya Sharma will be making their debuts on the Ladies European Tour as first-year Members.
They will be part of a strong field which includes Laura Davies, Trish Johnson, Suzann Pettersen, Becky Brewerton, Gwladys Nocera, Florentyna Parker and Georgia Hall, as well as eight recent tournament winners: the defending champion Nuria Iturrios, Supamas Sangchan, Anne Van Dam, Isabelle Boineau, Nanna Koerstz Madsen, Emily Kristine Pedersen, Hannah Burke and Kylie Henry (formerly Walker).
About the Lalla Meryem Cup:
Named in honour of HRH Princess Lalla Meryem, the Lalla Meryem Cup was established in 1993 by His Majesty the Late King Hassan II and became sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour in 2010, which was the same year that the Trophée Hassan II joined the men’s PGA European Tour. Both tournaments are played concurrently under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, together with the support of His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid in his role as President of the Association Trophée Hassan, the promoters of the tournament.
From 2010-2015, the men’s and women’s tournaments were both played on nearby courses, during the same week, but in 2016, both events were played simultaneously at the same venue for the first time, albeit on different courses, with the men on the Red and the women on the Blue, at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam.
While Nuria Iturrios won on the Blue Course, South Korean Jeung-hun Wang, who went on to win the European Tour’s Rookie of the Year prize, clinched the Trophée Hassan II with a birdie on the second play-off hole on the Red Course. Both champions received their trophies from His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid at a joint prize giving ceremony and the successful format will be repeated this week.