Sweden’s Linda Wessberg is determined to retain her title at the UNIQA Ladies Open Presented by Raiffeisen at Golf Club Foehrenwald in Wiener Neustadt near Vienna this week.
The €200,000 tournament, from September 3-5, is the third last event in Europe before the Tour heads to Asia and Wessberg is keen to consolidate her recent rich form on the 6,243 yard, par-72 course.
The 30-year-old from Gothenburg earned her third Ladies European Tour title 12 months ago by defeating England’s Laura Davies at the second sudden death play-off hole.
Playing through pouring rain, both players took regulation pars on the 16th hole before Wessberg took advantage of Davies’ mistakes on the par-five 18th and won with a bogey six.
This year Wessberg’s best finish has been a tie for fifth at the UniCredit Ladies German Open but she feels ready for a fourth victory.
“Naturally I feel a little pressure. But I am in good form and have been in the top 10 six times this year already,” she said. “Since I know this course well and each year it’s prepared perfectly, it kind of feels like I have a good chance.”
Wessberg and Davies, seeking her third victory at the event, tied on nine-under-par after four rounds last year, but the tournament takes place over 54 holes this week.
Golf Club Foehrenwald plays host to the tournament for the sixth successive year. It first hosted the event in 2005, when Italy’s Federica Piovano took the title, followed by Sophie Gustafson in 2006 and Davies in 2007 and 2008.
Prior to 2005, the Austrian Ladies Golf Open was played three times at GC Murhof from 1998-2000. Lynette Brooky triumphed in 1998 followed by Marina Arruti in 1999 and Patricia Meunier Lebouc in 2000.
Golf Club Foehrenwald, which opened in 1968, has seen many improvements since the first Siemens Austrian Ladies Golf Open in 2005, in addition to the course conditioning.
In 2006, the car park was extended to cope with the demand from visitors while in 2007 a new par-three 16th hole was created over the lake adjacent to the 18th green.
In 2008, a magnificent new club house was erected to replace the existing and in 2010, there is scenic new lake and fountain next to the first tee.