Kelly Tidy Photo: João Moniz
Four members of Great Britain and Ireland’s victorious Curtis Cup team – Charley Hull, Holly Clyburn, Kelly Tidy and Pamela Pretswell – will take on a strong field of competitors including seven winners from the 2012 LETAS season at the Crete Ladies Open at Crete Golf Club, Greece, from October 28-30.
England’s Charley Hull and Holly Clyburn, eighth and 25th in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking respectively, are two of Britain’s top amateurs competing in the tournament before bidding for a place on the 2013 Ladies European Tour.
Meanwhile England’s Kelly Tidy will be teeing up as a professional after making the switch to the paid ranks on 4th October.
Kelly, who turns 21 in February next year, will play the final two events on the 2012 LET Access Tour, in Crete and Valencia, to fine tune her game ahead of the gruelling nine round marathon Tour School from December 6-17, which will determine her playing rights for 2013.
Kelly was tempted to turn pro after appearing at the 2010 Ricoh Women’s British Open over her home course Royal Birkdale in Southport, but is glad she delayed her decision to contribute to GB&I’s Curtis Cup triumph.
Scotland’s Pamela Pretswell turned professional after her win at the Ljungbyhed Park PGA Ladies Open in Sweden on the LET Access Series in May.
She now leads the LETAS Order of Merit ahead of Frenchwoman Marion Ricordeau, who had held the leading place on the Order of Merit for the majority of the season and hopes to earn a Ladies European Tour card for the 2013 season as a result.
At the end of the season, the top three players on the Order of Merit following the final event will be offered cards on the Ladies European Tour for the 2013 season, whilst players in 4th – 15th will advance to final stage of Tour school, which takes place at Amelkis Golf Club & Al Maaden Golf Resort in Morocco from the 13 - 17 December.
Pamela and Marion are followed in third place by Norway’s Cecilie Lundgreen, this year’s only double-winner so far, with the Kristianstad Ahus Ladies Open and Women’s Bank Open titles to her name.
However, the Crete Ladies Open, which takes place from the 28 - 30 October and the Banesto Tour Valencia in November will both award 5,000 points to the winners, meaning the Order of Merit winner could come from outside the current top three.
Scotland’s Katy McNicoll, Sweden’s Antonella Cvitan and Russian Anastasia Kostina are just outside the cut-off point for a Ladies European Tour card for the 2013 season in fourth, fifth and sixth positions respectively.
The seven recent LETAS tournament winners in the penultimate tournament of the season are Pamela Pretwell, Marion Ricordeau, Marjet Van Der Graaff, Cecilie Lundgreen, Anastasia Kostina, Antonella Cvitan and Anna Rossi.
Aside from providing an ideal chance for the proven winners to cement their positions on the order of merit, the inaugural Crete Ladies Open offers a prime opportunity for a new winner to emerge and gain a confidence boost before the LET Tour School in December.
The Crete Golf Club is home to the only 18-hole golf course on Crete, the largest and most populous of the Greek Islands and the second largest in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, which offers an ideal, warm and sunny climate for golf.
The mountain-style layout and is meticulously maintained and at the same time it provides an ideal venue for international tournaments. It hosted the EGA Mens’ Challenge Trophy with great success in July 2008, while for three consecutive years it also hosted the Aegean Airlines Pro-Am.
The course itself is best described as a desert-style lay-out, featuring expansive fairways hewn through rocks and ravines. Visitors soon realise that the emphasis is on accuracy, although the landing areas are generous enough to accommodate all but the most errant shots. All around the course, the golfer can enjoy stunning views, both of the mountains and the coastline some ten minutes drive away. It is a stunning backdrop to what will be a memorable event.
The course, which opened in 2003, has been built to international PGA standards by architect Bob Hunt, a member of the English PGA. Each hole has been constructed separately and in harmony with the surrounding landscape, providing panoramic views of both the mountains of Crete and the Aegean Sea.
The climate in the area is very mild all year round: The altitude ensures a light, cool breeze in high summer, making the game very pleasant, while in winter there is very little rainfall and the average temperature is between 15 – 20°C that rarely goes below 10°C on the coldest day.
The course is easily accessible located 24 kilometres from Heraklion Airport from where it takes only 25 minutes to reach by car.