Left to right: LET professionals Maha Haddioui and Georgia Hall with Fahad Nasser Al Naimi and Mohammed Faisal Al Naimi of Qatar Golf Golf Association, LET professional Aditi Ashok and LET Tournament Director and Technical Manager Michael Wood at Doha Golf Club ahead of the first Ladies European Tour (LET) tournament in Qatar
The stage is set for brilliance with golf’s young stars Aditi Ashok, Georgia Hall and Maha Haddioui among the 108 players set for the inaugural Qatar Ladies Open (QLO), which will be staged at the Doha Golf Club from Wednesday (November 23) to Saturday (November 26).
Aditi Ashok from India, a star of the Olympic Games in Rio, (below right), has arrived in the capital fresh off the back of her maiden win at the Hero Women’s Indian Open and is brimming with confidence.
Speaking at today’s official launch press conference, she said: “Obviously it was my first win (Hero Women’s Indian Open) of my career, which is always the hardest, and now I’m more confident going into every event.
“I’ve only played the front nine since I’ve been here and I think it’s a challenging course and with the wind it’ll play different every day. I’m sure if I can keep my momentum I can do well again this week.”
Haddioui, (below left), the first full-time Arab golfer on the LET who represented Morocco at the Olympic Games, said: “It’s always great to have new tournaments but to me it’s extra special playing in Qatar being an Arab country, so it feels a bit like home. I’m really excited to represent Morocco here and mostly I’m really proud to be representing Arabs in general, playing this week and the LET all year. I’m looking for a top ten finish. I really like the course and it’s the type of course I enjoy playing on.”
Hall, (below centre), who has finished tied-third, fourth and second in her last three tournaments, enters the week in fourth place on the LET Order of Merit and has a strong record in the Middle East. She said: “It’s my first time here and I’m excited because the golf course is in great shape – the setup is brilliant. This course is a slightly short for me, but you get some reachable par 5s so it’s a bit of a risk reward course. I’m playing really well at the moment and I’m confident going into Wednesday. I’ve got to stay patient and hopefully a win is around the corner for me.”
There are five recent tournament winners in the field, with the addition of Anne Van Dam from the Netherlands (Xiamen International Ladies Open), Isabelle Boineau from France (Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open), Nanna Koerstz Madsen from Denmark (Tipsport Golf Masters) and Nuria Iturrios from Spain (Lalla Meryem Cup).
The more experienced competitors in the field who could upset the applecart include Florentyna Parker, who is ranked fifth on the Order of Merit after six top 10 finishes in 2016, LET Life Members Dame Laura Davies and Trish Johnson, Gwladys Nocera and Swedish Solheim Cup partners Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall.
With a world class field of competitors and a stunning course at Doha Golf Club, the tournament is shaping to be an unforgettable showdown in the inaugural Qatar Ladies Open.