The 2018 Ladies European Tour season-ending tournament will be played at La Quinta Golf & Country Club on November 22-25
Azahara Muñoz, one of the best Spanish golfers in history, has confirmed her participation in the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España, which will provide an exciting climax to the 2018 Ladies European Tour season when it is played on November 22-25, at La Quinta Golf & Country Club in Málaga.
Local heroine Muñoz, ranked 61st in the world, has a double motivation: firstly, to successfully defend the title, and secondly, to win it for the third year running. Muñoz was the first Spanish golfer to win the Open de España Femenino, at Aloha Golf Club, in 2016, a victory she repeated in 2017 at her home club, Royal Club de Golf Guadalmina.
History for Spanish Golf
Muñoz became the first home winner of the women’s Open de España in 2016, when she defeated the American Beth Allen on the final hole, producing a winning score of 10-under-par. Her triumph came just a month after becoming the first Spanish woman to tee off in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Fighting back tears and almost overcome with emotion, Azahara Muñoz said: “It’s amazing. A victory is always a victory and it’s nice but winning at home is incredible. You know, having everyone here, my family, my friends, I can’t even describe it.”
Second consecutive victory
Muñoz delighted the home galleries when she retained her title in the Andalucia Costa del Sol Open de España at Guadalmina.
The 29-year-old from the nearby village of San Pedro Alcantara, who had been winning tournaments at the club since the age of nine, carded rounds of 68-64-67 and 69 to finish two strokes clear of Carlota Ciganda and Lee-Anne Pace on 19-under-par, with former Ryder Cup player Miguel Angel Jimenez following the action on the fairways during the final round.
She joined European legends Dame Laura Davies, (1986 and 2010) and Marie Laure de Lorenzi (1988 and 1994) as multiple winners of the Open de España.
A Swift Trajectory
Muñoz enjoyed an extremely successful amateur career, winning the Spanish Alevín Championship, the Infant, Under-18, Junior and Spanish Amateur titles, as well as the British Girls, British Ladies Amateur and NCAA Individual Champion titles – as well as winning gold medals in the Spanish and European Championships and in the Mediterranean Games. She was also a three-time member of Europe’s PING Junior Solheim Cup team, in 2002, 2003 and 2005. She turned professional in September 2009, winning the Madrid Ladies Masters on her professional debut. She claimed her first Ladies European Tour title after firing 64 (-9) in the final round and defeating Anna Nordqvist in a play-off with an eagle putt.
She has won five titles on the LET including the Lacoste Ladies Open de France in 2013 and 2014 and the Open de España in 2016 and 2017, and one individual title on the LPGA Tour: the Sybase Match Play Championship in 2012.
She has also been on three European Solheim Cup teams, including two victorious teams in 2011 in Ireland and in 2013 in Colorado, Europe’s first away victory. She also won the 2014 International Crown representing Spain.
The next chapter
Muñoz will be looking to reaffirm her status as one of Spain’s best ever golfers by targeting a hat-trick of three consecutive Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España titles at La Quinta Golf & Country Club, thanks to the sponsorship of the Tourism Andalucía, Costa del Sol and Mancomunidad de Municipios de la Costa del Sol Occidental.
The field includes recent winners Becky Morgan, Anne Van Dam, Caroline Hedwall, Astrid Vayson de Pradenne, Linda Wessberg, Cajsa Persson, Meghan MacLaren and the Ricoh Women’s British Open champion, Georgia Hall.
As well as playing, the 2019 European Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew will also be keeping a close eye on her potential prospects for the match at Gleneagles with less than a year to go.
A message from Azahara Muñoz: