Georgia Hall will headline the field at the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino, which will be played at La Quinta Golf & Resort in Malaga, next week.
When she tees off, she will become the youngest ever player to win two Ladies European Tour Order of Merit titles. At just 22, she will be a year younger than Dame Laura Davies was when she claimed her second consecutive order of merit title in 1986.
Hall will also become the seventh multiple LET order of merit winner, joining an elite group containing Jenny Lee Smith, Dame Laura Davies, Dale Reid, Marie Laure de Lorenzi, Annika Sorenstam and Sophie Gustafson. She will earn a seven-year exemption for LET membership, until the end of 2025, and a cheque for €20,000.
The Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino will mark Hall’s sixth LET tournament of 2018 and she will be looking for a second victory after winning her first major title in August, with a two-shot victory over Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum in the Ricoh Women’s British Open, at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club.
Hall started the fourth round one shot behind Phatlum but, after picking up five shots on the final day, her closing score of 67 meant she finished on 17-under to land the £383,000 winners’ cheque. She was the only person to post four sub-70 rounds.
Her other results include third place in the season-opening Oates Vic Open and ninth in the ActewAGL Canberra Classic in Australia, 16th in the Evian Championship and 21st in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open this summer.
Who’s in the field?
Two of Hall’s main rivals for the title are expected to be the Spanish star Azahara Muñoz, who has won the title each of the last two years, including last year at her home club, Guadalmina, and Anne Van Dam, who dazzled less than two months ago at Terramar Golf Club to win the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open near Barcelona, for her second LET title, after the 2016 Xiamen International Open in China.
The young Dutch golfer, who happens to be the longest hitter on tour, has also won two tournaments on the LET Access Series, in 2015 and 2016. This season, in addition to the resounding victory at the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open, Van Dam has just secured her card for the US-based LPGA Tour.
There are 17 of the top 20 players competing in the final event of the year. Both No. 2 Caroline Hedwall and No.3 Jenny Haglund are winners this year, at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France and Lalla Meryem Cup respectively.
Rounding out the top 10 are No.4 Van Dam, No.5 Sarah Kemp, No.5 Becky Morgan, who claimed her maiden title in the Hero Women’s Indian Open last month, No.6 Christine Wolf, who finished second in India, No.8 Karolin Lampert and No.10 Olivia Cowan.
Winners All Round
There have been 14 different individual winners from as many events in 2018, with the addition of Linda Wessberg and Cajsa Persson, who combined to win gold medals in the European Golf Team Championships. Nine of those 16 winners are in the field: Hall, Morgan, Van Dam, Hedwall, Astrid Vayson de Pradenne, Haglund, Meghan MacLaren, Wessberg and Persson.
The three former winners of the Spanish Open in the field are Dame Laura Davies (1986 at La Manga Club and 2010 at Flamingos Golf Club), Becky Brewerton (2009 at Panoramica Club de Golf) and Azahara Muñoz (2016 at Aloha Golf Club and 2017 at Real Club de Golf Guadalmina).
Other notables in the field include The 2019 Solheim Cup Captain, Catriona Matthew and fellow 2017 European Solheim Cup players Florentyna Parker and Emily Kristine Pedersen, as well as PING Junior Solheim Cup player Julia Engström, who leads the Rookie of the Year Ranking and who won her second LETAS title at El Prat in Spain at the weekend.
Don’t miss a second of the LET’s season climax with all four rounds televised live, and daily highlights from Thursday November 22 to Sunday November 25.