Ask someone in the UK to name one female golfer. There is probably only one name that will come back: Laura Davies. With the Ladies European Tour celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018, it’s a feat in itself that Davies has been huge part of that for 33 years and counting.
But her longevity is not her biggest achievement. This is a lady who is now a Dame, for her contribution to the women’s game. But if the Ladies European Tour is celebrating a momentous anniversary this year, it should also be celebrating the contribution of the 54-year-old from England. Even in her heyday, Davies continued to play regularly on the LET and no one has won more times on the tour.
In the podcast where I interview Laura for the “Round with Richard Kaufman”, there are a wide range of subjects we tackle around her life and career. There’s “The Round” which is the starting point for every interview I have done in the series. That is always chosen by the player themselves and the round Davies chose isn’t that surprising. Her breakthrough major win: the 1987 US Open, where this young player from England upset the odds to beat two of the best players in the world at the time, in an 18-hole play-off.
In the space of less than an hour we cover a lot of ground, with Laura answering in her honest, frank manner. There’s the first of her 45 Ladies European Tour titles coming in Belgium in typical attacking Laura Davies style. Her reaction to crying at one that got away is priceless. And the answers to a number of questions posed: Why did she hit driver without teeing it up, why was she watching television on the golf course on her way to winning the Evian Masters? Would she now take up the Solheim Cup captaincy and I even dare to ask if she has ever been in love?
In my opinion, what comes out throughout the interview is how she still is enthused by the game that has been central to much of her life. It’s always a pleasure to watch Laura in action and equally I love her insights when she sits alongside me in the commentary box for Sky Sports. As she showed as recently as in March, when she so nearly won again, the Dame still has plenty of game. So, as we celebrate a milestone in Ladies European Tour history, let’s treasure the best the tour has seen.