Annika Sörenstam, Mel Reid and Beth Allen express their excitement ahead of the first LET competition in the capital
31 October 2016, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Before the first Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open on November 2, Guest of Honour Annika Sörenstam, along with tournament organisers and LET players, spoke at today’s press conference about the importance of this inaugural event.
The conference was opened by Dr Mai Al Jaber from Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA), as she stressed the significance of such a competition: “On this milestone occasion, we would like to express our deep gratitude and appreciation to the Mother of our Nation, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the UAE General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
“A part of our overall vision to promote female participation in sport and to organize world-class events to stimulate this, FBMA is proudly launching the first Ladies European Tour event to be held here in Abu Dhabi. This tournament will bring together the world’s best female golfers and give Emirati ladies the unique chance to meet their favourite stars. I hope you enjoy the stunning Saadiyat Beach Golf Club this week.”
Talal Al Hashemi, Technical Affairs Director at Abu Dhabi Sports Council spoke passionately about the four-day event. “It is an honor to be a part of this event at the stunning Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. Raising the profile of golf for women in the region is our goal, and we believe that with this golf club being one of the best 100 in the world, as well as an agreement made with the LET to run this for five years, we are confident we will attract more Emirati women to the game.
Solheim Cup captain and Guest of Honour Annika Sörenstam spoke about her involvement in the competition: “I’m very excited to be here and I’ve actually brought my whole family as we wanted to share this together. It’s terrific that the LET is here and with this being the first female golf event in Abu Dhabi I think says a lot.
“We’re here to inspire young girls and women to pick up the game and to introduce them to the game of golf. I’d like to congratulate everyone on what they have done to bring this together – I think it it’s going to be a great week.”
American Beth Allen, a seasoned professional LET player added: “It’s always special to be a part of something like this and as Annika says it’s great to be a part of such an event,” said Allen. “Obviously it would be great to win it! It’s a great golf course which I played this morning and I can’t wait to get out there.”
Mel Reid, a player with five LET titles under her belt, also expressed her enthusiasm ahead of the 2nd of November start: “This is a place that’s close to my heart” explained Reid. “Saadiyat is a place I always come to at the start of the year to do boot camps and I’m very proud that we have an LET tournament here. I think the course is superb. I feel it’s one of the better courses, if not the best course, that we play all year.
“But this week is also about making the game more attractive and to inspire local players. If we can get at least one lady to take up the game of golf then we have achieved something.”
The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open will take place from 2-5 November 2016 at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and is sponsored by: FBMA, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, TDIC, Al Masaood, CNBC, Etihad, Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi and Omega. The event is free to attend and more information is available from www.fbmladiesopen.com.