England’s Alice Hewson is excited to be part of another groundbreaking event in 2021 as she gets ready to tee it up at the ISPS HANDA World Invitational Presented By Modest! Golf.
The 23-year-old enjoys getting stuck into innovative formats on Tour and has found previous success in them too.
At the Scandinavian Mixed in Sweden, where men and women were competing for the same prize pot, Hewson finished in third place, while she finished T6 in the individual event of the Aramco Team Series – London.
Hewson, who is third in the LET Solheim Cup Points standings, said: “It’s really exciting, and it’s definitely an honour to be a part of the first one of each event. Scandinavian Mixed was the first of its kind, but all these weeks, I just really enjoy being here, and I think it’s so great to see more of those mixed events and I’d like to see more of them in the future.”
It is another historic week ahead as this is the first time an event of this format has been tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, LPGA and LET in the northern hemisphere.
There will be 288 players, 144 men and 144 women, taking part in the competition with the women’s field split equally between the LET and LPGA.
While the tournament comprises of two separate 72-hole stroke play events for the men and women, the $3 million prize purse will be split equally.
The players will be tested on two different golf courses in the first two rounds as they tee it up around Massereene and Galgorm Castle, before the final two rounds are completed at Galgorm.
“It definitely mixes it up compared to normal weeks. It is obviously different in that we are only playing Massereene once this year where potentially Galgorm three times, so I’d say a little more preparation here at Galgorm. But again, same as always, just one shot at a time and try and have fun,” the Clemson graduate explained.
There are LET and LPGA stars aplenty teeing it up this week in Northern Ireland with five winners of the LET Order of Merit in town: Lee-Anne Pace (2010), Charley Hull (2014), Beth Allen (2016), Georgia Hall (2017, 2018) and Esther Henseleit (2019).
Four LET winners from this season are also playing including 2021 Race to Costa del Sol leader Atthaya Thitikul, who is now ranked 61 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
While the three professionals from Team Cowan, who won the inaugural Aramco Team Series – London, are all teeing it up this week too.
Diksha Dagar and Sarina Schmidt playing together alongside Muni He, while Olivia Cowan is in a group with Alison Lee and Nicole Broch Larsen.
Cowan is relishing the chance to be back in Northern Ireland and is hoping to build confidence from the victory in London.
“It’s great to be back. I was here two years ago in 2019, and it was a really fun event then. It is great playing with the men here, to see them practice and just chat because we don’t see them that often,” she said.
“I think it’s helped massively. I think it’s given me some confidence. I’ve been close on the LET for a few times now over the past five years and coming down that stretch we needed to obviously score some more birdies. I think that has definitely helped winning that, as well, building up my confidence going forward.”
England’s Thalia Martin qualified for this tournament back in June when she played in the Northern Ireland Open at Cairndhu.
Martin, who is sixth in the LET Access Series Order of Merit, only turned professional earlier this year and is proud to be making her LET and LPGA debut.
She said: “I just can’t believe it. I keep on forgetting I’m a player. I keep thinking I’m spectating. It was hard to get used to for the first few days, but now just closer to the event, I start to realize, okay, I’m competing against them, and it’s just a dream come true.”
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