The Ladies European Tour is in Morocco this week for the 25th Lalla Meryem Cup and the tenth playing of the tournament since it became part of the LET schedule.
Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in the capital, Rabat, is playing host to both the Ladies European Tour and the European Tour, with the female competitors teeing it up on the Blue Course – while the male professionals will go head to head on the neighbouring Red Course.
All players are practising on the same driving range and putting green, and are also sharing the same Players’ Lounge.
Both Alexander Levy and Sweden’s Jenny Haglund are back to defend their titles in Morocco.
At the opening press conference on Wednesday, LET CEO Mark Lichtenhein expressed the players’ delight at returning to Morocco, a country whose vision to bring professional men and women golfers together through the Lalla Meryem Cup and the Hassan II Golf Trophy has helped to elevate golf into a new Olympic era.
“Morocco was the pioneer and we have since seen a number of innovations and developments, from the Olympic Games to the European Championships and the Jordan Mixed Open, a great event, which showed how male and female golfers can compete equally on a level playing field,” he said.
“I would like to express our deep gratitude to His Majesty King Mohammed VI and His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid, for their vision at bringing professional women and men’s golf together and for continuing to build on the foundations laid by His Majesty the late King Hassan II, through the Hassan II Golf Trophy Association.
“A huge thank you to everyone at the Association for the exceptional welcome afforded to all of our players and staff and for helping to make this incredible event possible.”
Following on from the renovation of the men’s Red course three years ago, the women’s Blue course has been upgraded over the past year, with new greens, tees and bunkering. The front nine is now played as the back nine and vice versa. The old 11th hole, which is now the second hole, will play as a par-5, making the course a par 73, matching with the men’s Red Course, which is also a par 73.
LET Tournament Director Joao Pinto said: “It is amazing to see the work that has been done in just one year and to see the course presented in a condition which is just wonderful. The course is going to provide a tremendous test this week and will undoubtedly produce a deserving champion. So far, over the last nine years of our involvement, there has been a different winner from a different country each year, so we are looking forward to seeing if this trend continues.”