Ladies European Tour Access Series swings into Stoke-by-Nayland
Stoke-by-Nayland hosts its sixth consecutive Ladies European Tour Access Series WPGA International Challenge, starting today, with a field of 108 players from 17 different countries.
The penultimate tournament of the LETAS season, over three days, will be played on the par-72 Gainsborough course, with the field chasing a €35,000 prize fund and gaining exemption for the Ladies European Tour for next season.
The 54-hole tournament is the only LETAS event to be staged in the UK this year, and includes 15 WPGA members, comprising winners from the WPGA’s One-Day Series, with the remaining places secured via a qualifying Order of Merit over the same period.
Fifteen spots are also allocated to the leading English amateurs decided by England Golf.
The recent English Women’s Amateur champion, Georgina Blackman, will be in the field and a player to watch.
The 22-year-old from Chelmsford graduated from Western Kentucky University in May and is looking forward to testing herself against the professional players.
Sweden’s Emma Nilsson currently leads the Order of Merit by just under 1,700 points from Elia Folch of Spain, with the winner of this week’s event earning 5,000 points.
Nilsson has enjoyed a strong season with a win at the Belfius Ladies Open in July, and a further two runner-up placings in the Terre Blanche Ladies Open in April and the Viaplay Ladies Finnish Open in early June.
“I’m very excited for this week in England. This will be my fifth time playing the WPGA International Challenge, said Nilsson.
“I really like the course and the greens are always in good condition.
“And we will stay at the hotel on the course, which is really nice. My results in the last two tournaments have been 10th and 11th, so I’m really looking forward to the week."
Last year’s WPGA International Challenge winner, Lydia Hall from Wales, comes into this week’s event in good form, recording a tie for 30th place in the LET’s Lacoste Ladies Open de France last week.
Hall has combined playing on the Symetra Tour in the United States with her LET and LET Access Series commitments.
A defence of her title is high on Hall’s agenda.
Play gets under way this morning at 8am, and will continue until around 7pm both today and tomorrow.
After the cut on Friday night, the final day’s play on Saturday will be from 9am until around 4pm.
Entry is free for spectators on all three days of the tournament.
l The family-owned Stoke by Nayland Golf Club has always welcomed women and girls into the game since it opened 45 years ago and there is now a thriving ladies’ section which regularly achieves impressive results in local, regional and national championships.
Free entry to watch the LETAS event helps to encourage and inspire more women and girls to take up the game.
Meals and refreshments will be available from the hotel and clubhouse throughout the day and evening during the tournament.
l The traditional LETAS Pro-Am was played yesterday. Among the amateur players on show were BBC Look East presenter Stewart White, and Jenni Falconer from the ITV This Morning programme.
* To follow live scoring visit: http://www.access.letscoring.com/leaderboard/2314/