Home favourite Becky Brewerton is one of five European Solheim Cup team players teeing up in the S4C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe at Royal St. David’s Golf Club in Harlech this week.
The nationally and internationally renowned links golf course plays host to 135 of the best players from around the world competing for a prize fund of £350,000.
In its ninth year, the four day event, from August 6-9, has attracted its strongest field including Britons Brewerton, and Laura Davies, Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera, Italian Diana Luna and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist, the recent LPGA Major Champion. All five players were named as members of the The 2009 European Solheim Cup team on Sunday evening and will soon head to the United States for the matches at Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Grove, Illinois, from August 21-23.
This week they are part of a line-up which includes the 2004 Women’s British Open champion Karen Stupples from England, the 2009 ANZ Ladies Masters winner Katherine Hull from Australia and invited Americans Diana D’Alessio and Jill McGill.
Former winners of the event competing include defending champion Lotta Wahlin of Sweden, Australian Joanne Mills (2007, Machynys Peninsula), Linda Wessberg (2006, Machynys Peninsula), Kirsty Taylor (2005, Machynys Peninsula) and England’s Trish Johnson (2004, Royal Porthcawl).
Brewerton, from Abergele, will be one of 10 Welsh competitors, seven of whom are professionals: Becky Morgan, Lydia Hall, Breanne Loucks, Sahra Hassan, Jo Pritchard and Conwy’s Louise Davis.
“This is one tournament I would love to win as much as anything else; obviously being my home event,” said Brewerton, who won her second Ladies European Tour title at the Open de Espana Femenino three weeks ago.
She knows the course well having grown up just over an hour’s drive away, and won her Welsh Amateur title over the Royal St David’s course.
“I’ve played here many a time so I’m looking forward to it. It’s a tough course, like links golf always is, in different conditions. The wind normally is up.
“You’ve got to take advantage of the par fives I think because you can reach quite a few of them. Again, it’s just getting a great strategy, being in the right places and it’s tough sometimes to execute the shots in the wind. You’ve just got to do your best to stay out of trouble. I’m feeling good so hopefully we’re in for a good week.”
Wrexham’s Loucks will be pressing hard to challenge for her maiden victory, having finished second to Brewerton in Spain. She is also aiming to enhance her position on the Ladies European Tour’s ‘Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year’ table where she is fourth, with €31,268.95 from eight events played.
She fancies her chances having won the Welsh Ladies Amateur Matchplay at Royal St David’s last year, “It’s unbelievable and so beautiful, I love it,” she said.
There has never been a Welsh winner of the event, but with both Brewerton and Loucks in form, they could be about to end the drought.
Royal St. David’s Golf Club in one of the world’s finest traditional championship links courses, set in a breathtaking setting in the brooding presence of the magnificent Harlech Castle. The mountains of Snowdonia can be seen to the north, with a view of Tremodoc Bay and the Irish Sea from the 16th tee.
Steeped in history, the golf course has been established for more than 100 years and has been rated amongst the top 100 in the world by Golf World magazine.
The par-69 course has been increased to a par-72 for the championship, set at 6164 yards. The first, 13th and 15th holes have been turned into par fives.
Entry to the tournament is free of charge and there will be a family fun weekend as part of the tournament. Further information is available from Ryder Cup Wales on 029 2092 3951 or www.rydercupwales2010.com.