The Ladies European Tour’s order of merit leader Marianne Skarpnord insists she is not thinking about starring in The Solheim Cup yet, even if she wins the Lalla Meryem Cup on Sunday.
The Norwegian claimed her fourth LET title in the Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville in February and leads the order of merit after a brilliant start to the season, including a second place in the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open, tied 24th in the Canberra Classic and tied 25th in the Jordan Mixed Open.
One more win could lift her into fifth place on the European Solheim Cup points list and into the frame for a debut Cup appearance, but she does not have a celebration planned yet as she came agonisingly close to qualifying a decade ago.
“It’s something I won’t really think about. I thought about it a lot in 2009, when I was close, and I feel now that I’ve got a slim little chance to get in so I’m not going to think about it at all. If I play good golf then I’ll get in,” said the 33-year-old from Sarpsborg.
In 2009, the year she won the Swiss and Italian Opens, Skarpnord finished fourth on the order of merit, but again, she is keeping thoughts of being crowned European Number One far from her mind: “I’ll just focus on preparing as well as I can on each tournament and focus on winning the events and see where I end up.”
She has enjoyed decent results in the Lalla Meryem Cup with her best being a joint runner-up finish in 2012 and said: “I’m really looking forward to the Lalla Meryem Cup. I love the event and I’m really excited to see the new greens.
“I enjoy playing on the Blue Course and as long as I can hit my driver straight then I can score really well around the course. The last couple of years, the rough has been really tough, so it’s just focusing on hitting that driver nice and solid because if you’re on the fairway you’ve got a good birdie chance.”
Skarpnord’s fiancé, Richard Green, a former European Tour winner, will caddie for her this week and he has played in the Hassan II Golf Trophy, contested over the adjacent Red Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, in recent years.
“It’s always more exciting when we play with the men or when the men are involved. It’s good to have different people around and have more fun away from the course,” Skarpnord said.
“Since we play on different courses, it’s not the same as in Jordan, where we were playing in a mixed tournament, but we share a players’ lounge and that’s always fun.
“I loved the Jordan Mixed Open and I’d love to see more events like that. I think that the guys liked it as well, definitely the ones I’ve spoken to. I think it’s a good format and it would be great for us to play more events like that as well.”