• LET Tournament to be played next week on June 2-4 at Margara Golf Club in Fubine Monferrato (Alessandria)
  • 11 Italian players in the field

The stars of the LET are ready to light up the 26th edition of the Ladies Italian Open presented by Regione Piemonte, scheduled from June 2-4 (with the Piedmont Region Pro-Am scheduled for Wednesday 1 June) at the Margara Golf Club in Fubine Monferrato (Alessandria ) which will host the competition for the second consecutive year.

The tournament – included in the Ryder Cup 2023 project, with the support of the FIG Official Advisor, Infront – will see 126 competitors from 28 different countries compete, including 11 Italians.

While last year’s tournament was played behind closed doors due to Covid-19, this year’s competition will be open to everyone to attend. The title will be defended by the French player Lucie Malchirand, in a region with a great golfing tradition, where the Molinari brothers were born and raised.

Piedmont is the European Region of Sport 2022 and is hosting the Italian Disabled – Sanofi Open at the Royal Park I Roveri in Fiano (Turin) at present.

At a press conference in the “Sala Trasparenza” of the Piedmont Region in Turin today, the curtain was raised to the tournament by the President of the Piedmont Region, along with the Councillor for Tourism, Culture and Commerce; the Councillor for Sport. VisitPiemonte was represented by the President of the Board of Directors. For the Italian Golf Federation, the President Franco Chimenti was in attendance, joined by Gian Paolo Montali, General Manager of the Ryder Cup 2023 Project. Isabella Calogero, TV commentator for Discovery, Eurosport and GOLFTV moderated the press conference.

The return of the prestigious Ladies Italian Open confirms the strong sporting vocation of the Piedmont area and the intention of the Piedmont Region to focus on major events as a vehicle for tourism promotion. The President of the Regional Council underlined this: “After the great success of the Eurovision Song Contest music festival, the Ladies Italian Open is a new opportunity for international visibility that allows us to keep our attention high and to strengthen our image and attractiveness of the whole region.”

For the Regional Councillor for Sport, “The important Piedmontese stage of the Ladies European Tour is a key moment in the long series of promotional initiatives linked to the proclamation of the European Region of Sport 2022, both with a view to being a good example of sport for all as a tool for health, integration, education and respect, and as an example of our organisational capacity.”

The Regional Councillor for Culture, Commerce and Tourism highlighted how golf is an important element of tourism impact thanks to the mix of sports and artistic, cultural, food and wine attractions that the Piedmont area can offer, as well as the very high level of the Piedmontese courses. This was reaffirmed by the President of the Board of VisitPiemonte: “60 million players make golf one of the most practised sports in the world and Piedmont can boast spectacular locations among its courses. In Piedmont, golf enthusiasts can combine golf with a great variety of other sports and non-sporting experiences, generating important economic benefits for the area.”

Piedmont is the location for more than 14% of Italian golf courses, with 52 golf clubs, including 16 driving ranges, for each level of play: elements that confirm the region amongst the most attractive destinations for golfers, who have the option to choose between the high mountains, up to 2,035 meters in Sestriere, the highest course in Europe, the Unesco heritage hills of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato, the Alessandria area, the Novara plain, the splendid golf clubs in the parks a few steps from the city of Turin, the suggestive Biella countryside or to play with a view of Lake Maggiore.

Franco Chimenti: President of the Italian Golf Federation, (pictured above) said: “We are very happy that the Ladies’ Italian Open is confirmed once again this year as one of the most anticipated stops of the Ladies European Tour. The Italian women’s movement closed in 2021 with extremely encouraging numbers. Being able to see the international champions in action in Italy will give further impetus to the increase in the number of players. Thanks to President Cirio and the Piedmont Region which confirms itself as an area with a golf vocation. Thanks to the Infront advisors and to all the sponsors for believing in the potential of a tournament that returns for the second consecutive year to the Margara Golf Club, a club that combines tradition and innovation chaired by Maria Amelia Lolli Ghetti “.

Gian Paolo Montali: General Manager of the Ryder Cup 2023 Project, (pictured below), commented: “The Ryder Cup Project has in competitive competitions the fulcrum of its sporting dimension. The Ladies Italian Open, in addition to offering an opportunity for technical growth to all Italian players, represents an international showcase from a golf tourism point of view for Piedmont, which this week also hosts the Open d’Italia Disabili – Sanofi at Royal Park I Roveri. After the launch of the “Golf è donna” project, the green is increasingly pink and on the occasion of the tournament at the Margara Golf Club, it supports the fundraising for Komen Italia, the Charity partner of the event”.

There will be 11 Italian players in the tournament next week. From Virginia Elena Carta (who made her professional debut one year ago in this tournament) to Roberta Liti (seventh and best Italian in 2021). From Stefania Croce (for her many years on the LPGA Tour and a second place in a Major, after a play-off with Juli Inkster in the 2000 LPGA Championship) to Erika De Martini and Martina Flori. To these five professionals are added six amateurs: Benedetta Moresco (fourth this year at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, the female Masters), Carolina Melgrati (among the surprises of the Ladies Italian Open in 2021, when she finished tenth) , Francesca Fiorellini (budding talent who this year has already conquered the Portuguese International Ladies Amateur and was among the architects of the European triumph at the PING Junior Solheim Cup and of the Continental Europe team at the Junior Vagliano Trophy in 2021), Alessandra Fanali (in California in 2022 she won in the Silverado Showdown, a US College race), Caterina Don (from Piedmont, in 2019 in the first edition of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur she distinguished herself as the best blue) and Clara Manzalini (for her already some appearances on LET Access). In 25 editions, so far no Italian has managed to win this tournament. Four second places have been recorded, by Silvia Cavalleri (2000 and 2002), Veronica Zorzi (2005) and Giulia Sergas (2011).

Malchirand “defender”, joins headline names including Lee-Anne Pace and Caroline Hedwall – After last year’s success (as an amateur, which then immediately led her to go pro), the young 19-year-old Frenchwoman Lucie Malchirand at the Margara Golf Club will try to become the first player, since Laura Davies (1987-1988), to perform the back-to-back in the tournament. Six of the current ten best players on the Race to Costa del Sol will also be in Piedmont: Johanna Gustavsson from Sweden (ranked second), Tiia Koivisto from Finland (ranked fifth, who won last week’s Jabra Ladies Open) , the South African Lee-Anne Pace (sixth), Englishwoman Meghan MacLaren (eighth), Spain’s Ana Pelaez (ninth and recently won the Comunidad de Madrid Ladies Open), Scotland’s Michele Thomson (10th). They are joined by Spain’s Carmen Alonso and Nuria Iturrioz, England’s Alice Hewson, Gabriella Cowley, Annabel Dimmock and Lily May Humphreys and Finland’s Ursula Wikstrom (runner up in 2021), as well as Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall and Linnea Strom.

Fifty special years for the Margara Golf Club which will host the Women’s Italian Open for the second time – Golfing excellence surrounded by nature, set amongst hills, vineyards and with the Alps in the background. In Monferrato, a World Heritage Site, stands the Margara Golf Club, built in 1970 and completed in 1972. There are two competition courses, both of which have 18 holes. The first, “Path Glauco Lolli Ghetti” – in memory of the founder Glauco Lolli Ghetti, who was an Italian shipowner and sports manager, named Cavaliere del Lavoro in 1973 -, is surrounded by tall trees and allows you to play among oaks, willows and maple trees along the wide fairways that develop between the hills of Monferrato. The second, “La Guazzetta”, features a more modern architecture and alternates more technical holes. The Margara Golf Club has already been the venue for 22 editions of the Challenge Tour and this year will host the Ladies Italian Open presented by Regione Piemonte for the second consecutive year. Celebrating its first 50 years of history in the best possible way.

Sponsors and Partners – The Ladies Italian Open has the support of the Piedmont Region (Institutional Presenting Partner); DS Automobiles (Main Partner); Fideuram (Official Bank); La Molisana (Official Sponsor); Kappa (Technical Supplier), Acqua San Benedetto (Official Supplier), Rinascente (Official Supplier), Eureco (Official Supplier); Corriere dello Sport, Tuttosport, Il Giornale (Media Partner). Susan G. Komen Italy (Charity Partner). Official advisor: Infront.

Komen Italia Charity Partner of the event – At the Margara Golf Club, the Susan G. Komen Italia Association will be the Charity Partner of the event to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer. On the final day of the Ladies Italian Open presented by Regione Piemonte there will also be some “Women in pink” who will talk about their life experiences, with golf as a crucial ally in the recovery process. A partnership such as the one between FIG and Susan G. Komen Italia, which has already started an awareness campaign as part of the “Golf è Donna” project, is an initiative that involves 66 “Punti Rosa” clubs for the growth of the women’s movement and the promotion of the Golf for the Cure project.