|World No.16 Azahara Muñoz|
The Ladies European Tour returns to Spain this week for the Tenerife Open de España Femenino at the stunning Golf Costa Adeje on the south west of the island.
A field of 126 players will contest the 18th tournament on the 2014 LET calendar, including three of last year’s European Solheim Cup winners, Carlota Ciganda, Azahara Muñoz and Charley Hull, who will play together for the first two rounds, teeing off at 8.45am on Thursday.
They are joined by five of this year’s LET tournament winners: Trish Johnson (Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies’ Scottish Open), Julie Greciet (Sberbank Golf Masters in the Czech Republic), Florentyna Parker (Ladies Italian Open), Kylie Walker (Dutch and German Opens), and Hull (Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco) as well as the defending champion Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa who won the title last year in Madrid.
Pace and Parker will play together with talented rookie Amy Boulden in the second group out at 8.56am on Thursday. Pace, who earned a top 55 finish in the Evian Championship over the weekend, commented: “I really look forward to going to Tenerife every year. The people are really nice and the climate is fantastic. I love the ocean, I feel like I’m on holidays when I am there, so it is a very relaxing week.”
Hull, the 2013 rookie of the year who tied for 47th at the Evian Championship over the weekend, commented: “I’ve never been to Tenerife before but I’ve heard that’s its perfect for golf with a warm climate year round and lots of sunshine. When I won in Morocco it was in similar weather so I’m really looking forward to the Tenerife Open de España Femenino and hopefully I can earn my next Ladies European Tour win.”
Although Raquel Carriedo won the Tenerife Ladies Open at Golf del Sur in 2002, there has never been a home winner of Spain’s national women’s title and Muñoz is a player who would love to be the first to take that crown.
“I’ve been in Tenerife twice. I played in the Tenerife Open at Costa Adeje in 2008 when I was an amateur and then played a charity event couple of years ago,” said the 2013 Lacoste Ladies Open champion, from Malaga. “I love the weather because it’s always warm and sunny and I really love the people of the islands; everyone really seems to enjoy life, they are laid back and tend to smile a lot. I love that about people. I’m really looking forward to playing the Spanish Open again and I’m super excited to play in front of my people whom I know I’m going to get so much support from. It’s so much fun when you have people cheering for you. Winning the Spanish Open is definitely something that I would love to do.”
Muñoz’s Solheim Cup partner Ciganda has won every Spanish championship bar this one and would also be a popular winner, especially since she came close by tying for third as an amateur in the Tenerife Open at Costa Adeje in 2008.
That was the year when Rebecca Hudson won the title and she has returned to the scene of her triumph. Although the 2009 winner at Costa Adeje, Felicity Johnson, is not in the field, there will be plenty of competitors who will benefit from the experience of playing that week.