(Scarperia, Italy, May 14 2003) Defending champion Iben Tinning from Denmark is brimming with confidence ahead of this weeks £125,000 La Perla Italian Open, which starts on Thursday at the glorious Poggio dei Medici GC among the rolling hills of Tuscany.

Esterl – looking for back-to-back wins

Tinning occupies third place in the Solheim rankings with 79 points. The top seven qualifiers after the Wales WPGA Championship of Europe in August earn an automatic berth on Catrin Nilsmark’s European team and the big hitting Dane knows that a win would virtually guarantee another battle against the USA in September.

“A win would be enough I think and after such a good start, I’m definitely going for a win again – I enjoyed it so much last year and it would be rude not to!” she giggled.

Germany’s Elisabeth Esterl, winner in Tenerife, is also in upbeat mood and has been enjoying a week off celebrating her victory. The 26-year-old from Dingolfing is looking to emulate Tinning’s back-to-back successes from last year and a berth at the Solheim is the main goal.

“Winning in Tenerife was a huge weight of my shoulders and everyone was happy for me and I’ve had lots of congratulations from my friends on the Tour,” said Esterl, who was the travelling reserve at last September’s clash.

“It was a nice move forward in the Solheim rankings and I want to take advantage over the next few weeks. I’m feeling good, my game is in good shape and the course this week is in great condition.”

And making her first appearance as a professional on the Tour is England’s Rebecca Hudson. The 23-year-old from Doncaster has arguably the finest amateur career in recent history which included representing GB&I in the Curtis Cup three times and winning ten major amateur titles since 2000.

But despite the pressures of being expected to perform well as a professional, Hudson is taking it in her stride.

“I don’t know what to expect really, but a lot of people expect quite a lot from me,” she explained.

“All I want to do is play golf and see how well I can do. My goal this week is to make the cut, other than that I’m not setting any goals but I’m going to give it 110 percent.”