Florentyna Parker is set to defend her title at the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open at Club de Golf Terramar in Sitges, near Barcelona, Spain, this week, where a strong field has assembled.
Parker is joined on the start sheet by some of the best players in Europe, including Rolex Rankings number 18 Anna Nordqvist and world number 21 Carlota Ciganda, as well as last year’s Spanish Open champion Azahara Munoz and Catriona Matthew, the captain of next year’s European Solheim Cup team.
Parker booked her place in last year’s Solheim Cup with a gutsy play-off performance against Nordqvist and Ciganda in the inaugural edition of the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open, where she won with a birdie on the fourth extra hole. Knowing that she would require nothing less than a victory to qualify for the team, she duly delivered.
This year so far, her best result has been fifth in the Investec South African Women’s Open and she comes into the tournament ranked 11th on the LET order of merit, looking for her fourth title.
She said: “It feels great to be back here. It’s a lovely town and the golf club, they have changed the order of the holes, but it’s still the same course, so it gives me a good feeling.
“I want to play well this week and put up a good defence. I do love the place and I have great memories and that’s always a confidence booster. Last year was very special since it got me into a Solheim Cup and basically changed my golfing career. I feel I have the golf course on my side and I’m really looking forward to defending this week.”
For the second edition, the organisers have re-routed the course to finish on a par-3, played as the third hole last year, in order to showcase the spectacular scenery. The 148-metre hole is played towards the beach and the green is set against the backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea.
She continued: “I think that the 18th was a great finishing hole last year with the play-off and all the people around and it had a great atmosphere, being so close to the clubhouse, but the third hole being the finishing hole, it is a beautiful hole and a par 3 can make it interesting.”
The 108 players from 26 countries will get the golfing action under way from 8.30am on Thursday, with a cut to the leading 60 professionals and those tied on Friday evening. A Village Market will be located on the beach front over all four days, where fans can come to relax and enjoy a beer or soda or snack from Hello! Beach Club. The Village Market opens from 11am until 10pm with music and parties in the evenings from 7pm.