Left to right: LET members Clara Pietri (Switzerland) and Isabelle Boineau (France) eye the Evian Championship trophy as they are joined on stage by Joel Hamon, Senior Vice President, EMEA & CALA, Jabra, Franck Riboud and Jacques Bungert, Chairman and Vice President of the Evian Championship respectively, at a press conference for the 2018 Jabra Ladies Open, the first dual ranking event on the LET Access Series and LET.
Some of the globe’s best-known women golfers are at the world-renowned Evian Resort Golf Course in Evian-les-Bains, France this week, vying for a place in the Evian Championship.
A field of 120 players, including 50 Ladies European Tour and 50 LET Access Series members, will compete for two spots in the fifth major of the women’s golf season, via the Jabra Ladies Open, which has become the tours’ first ‘dual ranking’ tournament.
As an official Ladies European Tour sanctioned event, the Jabra Ladies Open also offers a place in the Ricoh Women’s British Open to the winner, along with valuable Rolex Ranking points.
European Solheim Cup player Florentyna Parker leads this week’s field, which includes players from 28 different countries.
The list of entrants also includes the defending champion Isabelle Boineau, who is also a former winner of the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open and fellow Frenchwoman Valentine Derrey, who won the Jabra Ladies Open in 2016.
LET Chairman Mark Lichtenhein addresses the media
The top three players on the LET Access Series ranking, Noemi Jimenez, Emma Nilsson and Marita Engzelius, are all carrying strong form into the tournament and looking to book their debut appearance in The Evian.
Nilsson, a three-time winner on the LET Access Series who was second in the recent Terre Blanche Ladies Open and sixth in the VP Bank Ladies Open, said: “Ever since I was 14 and played the Evian Masters Juniors Cup and saw the big stars play, one of my biggest goals has been to play in the big Evian Championship.
“I’m super excited about the tournament! It’s so nice that it’s a co-sanctioned tournament with LET and LETAS. I really like the Evian Resort Golf Course and the arrangement that was done last year. The views are spectacular over the Lake Geneva. The condition of the course was great last year so I’m really looking forward to playing the course again.
“The Evian Masters Juniors Cup was an amazing experience and also my first international junior event. We were able to watch two practice rounds from the Evian Championship and fellow Swede Helen Alfredsson won that year.
“Of course, I was very happy and it was so exciting with the play-offs when both Anna Nordqvist and Pernilla Lindberg recently won Major championships. It was inspiring since they are about 10 years older than me and from Sweden, so I’m thinking if they can succeed hopefully I can as well!”
Jimenez is hoping to make it back-to-back LET Access Series titles after earning her maiden win at the recent VP Bank Ladies Open in Switzerland. The Spanish starlet, who comes from the same golf club as Azahara Muñoz, Guadalmina on the Costa del Sol, said: “I’m feeling good and I’ve got my confidence back. I struggled last year but I’m playing really well this year. This week is wonderful and the conditions are great. I want to stay in the present and avoid having any expectations. I have a nice group and I think we are going to have a good time.”
She will play alongside Isabelle Boineau and Chloe Leurquin teeing off at 8.55am on Thursday from the 15th tee.
Nilsson, Engzelius, who won the Terre Blanche Ladies Open and Kylie Henry, will go out in the next group at 9.06am.
Three-time LET winner Parker, Holly Clyburn and Rebecca Artis will highlight Thursday morning’s groupings in the next group out from the 15th at 9.17am.
The full draw can be viewed here.