The Ladies European Tour returns to continental Europe next week for the 28th edition of the Lacoste Ladies Open de France, at a new venue in 2018. Ahead of this year’s edition, taking place from September 6-9, we give you the lowdown on the event.
After six editions at Golf de Chantaco in St Jean-de-Luz, this year’s event will be played at the Golf du Médoc Resort in Pian-Médoc, 26 kilometres from Bordeaux.
Golf du Médoc is the only resort in France with two courses featuring in Golf World’s top 100 courses and has hosted numerous prestigious championships including the men’s European Challenge Tour Final from 2001-2004, as well as the men’s Open de France in 1999. The action will take place over the Chateaux Course, designed by the American course architect Bill Coore.
A global event
A field of 108 players from 27 countries will be competing for a purse of €275,000. Among them are former champions Beth Allen (USA, who won the title in 2016), Céline Herbin (France, 2015), Azahara Munoz (Spain, 2013 and 2014) and recent LET tournament winners Meghan MacLaren (England), Kanyalak Preedasuttijit (Thailand) and Aditi Ashok (India), among others.
The French hopes
There will be 19 players flying the Tricolore next week.
The 2015 champion Céline Herbin (above) will be joined by namesake Céline Boutier, who claimed her second LET title in the Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville, in New South Wales in February and Astrid Vayson de Pradenne, who recently qualified for The Evian Championship with her victory in the Jabra Ladies Open at the Evian Resort, which was the first dual ranking event with the LET and its developmental tour, the LET Access Series. The 2017 Hero Women’s Indian Open champion and Rookie of the Year, Camille Chevalier, and the 2016 Scottish Open winner, Isabelle Boineau, will feature, as will the recent silver medallists at the European Team Championships, Justine Dreher and Manon Mollé.
Herbin said: “Winning the Lacoste Ladies Open de France was a huge breakthrough in my career and it is always special for me to play in my home country’s Open. I am a proud ambassador of Lacoste so I will do my best to win it again. I played at Golf du Medoc a long time ago and I remember it was a very good design with lots of great, challenging holes. I am really looking forward to returning to Bordeaux, as it is just 100km from my parents’ and my brother’s homes, so it will be great to have some crowds cheering.”
Sophie Giquel-Bettan to retire
Another former French champion will be emotional next week, for different reasons. Sophie Giquel-Bettan, (pictured second left, above), who won her sole LET title in the 2007 Ladies Open de Portugal at Gramacho Resort in the Algarve, will be playing in her 208th and final event after nearly 15 years on the LET. Sophie joined the tour in 2004 and recorded 25 top 10 finishes, posting a low-round of 63. She also played on the LPGA in 2009. Sophie will not be disappearing, however, as she currently serves as a Player Director on the LET Board.
The Lacoste players will offer the public a display of their skills and talents on Saturday 8th September at 5pm. Hosted by Patricia Meunier-Lebouc, the last French player to win a Major, at the 2003 Kraft Nabisco Championship, the session will provide insight into what it takes to succeed in the game of golf and will be a chance to meet some of the leading players on tour.