Cara Gainer came so close to victory at last year’s Belgian Ladies Open and ended the week in second place losing by one shot to Sweden’s Linn Grant.
But it was this tournament in 2022 that gave the Englishwoman a huge confidence boost which she carried with her for the rest of the season.
The 27-year-old finished 41st in the 2022 Race to Costa del Sol after her runner-up finish along with six further top-20 results.
And Gainer has great memories of her time at Naxhelet Golf Club and is looking forward to the week ahead.
“It’s obviously great to be back, I really enjoy this golf course,” she said. “The conditions look pretty similar. I’ve come in from America so have arrived a bit late, but I’m looking forward to playing in the Pro-Am today and getting to see the course again.
“Obviously, I just remember great things and rolling in a lot of putts. It’s pretty open and really scoreable so you want to get your wedges dialled in – I remember them being great – so hopefully I can continue that this week.”
Gainer has also had a solid start to the 2023 LET season with a top-10 finish at the season-opener – the Magical Kenya Ladies Open.
She followed that with a top-20 result at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International and having made every cut so far this season is 28th in the 2023 Race to Costa del Sol.
“I’ve started the season well,” explained Gainer. “I don’t know if the break helped me or not but I got a lot of good work in.
“I just want to get going and back into tournament play, make as many birdies as possible and get some good results. I have got a few mid-season goals; these next four events are really important.”
Gainer will begin her first round in Belgium at 8.55 am local time alongside Germany’s Olivia Cowan and New Zealand’s Momoka Kobori.
The Englishwoman believes the course suits her eye and having come so close to victory in 2022, she would like to go one better this year.
She added: “Visually off the tee, I really enjoy the course. It’s pretty wide open so you can open your shoulders and let it rip.
“It’s a bit different to last week where you had to drive it straight, so it’s a bit of a different test. The greens are different as well and rolling really nicely. They’re subtle slopes which I like, and I read them quite well.
“Last year Belgium really gave me a massive confidence boost and it allowed me to think this is where I deserve to be and where I deserve to play with the best players. It really helped boost me for the rest of the year.
“I’m hoping I can continue shooting low scores this week and get a great finish. A win would be even better than last year – we have no Linn Grant this week, so we could go one better!”
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