|Marjet van der Graaff
The season-ending tournament on the LET Access Series has attracted players from 18 different countries who, in addition to searching for a professional victory, are all desperate to earn their pass to the lucrative Ladies European Tour for the 2012 season.
The top two players on the 2011 LETAS Ranking will earn membership of the 2012 Ladies European Tour, while players in third to tenth positions will have the opportunity to progress to the final stage of LET Qualifying School, thereby skipping the first qualifying event.
If the top two players are already exempt for the Ladies European Tour then the cards will be available to the next best players inside the top 10 on the 2011 LETAS Ranking. If a player in third to tenth position is already exempt to Final Qualifying School for the 2012 Ladies European Tour season, then the next non-exempt player down to 25th position on the 2011 LETAS Ranking will be eligible.
Henrietta Zuel currently leads the LETAS ranking with 13,616.25 points after two victories from four starts this season. However, the Englishwoman is not playing in the Azores, giving three other players the opportunity to grab the top two places.
Dutch women Marjet van der Graaff and Marieke Nivard, who won the Trophee Preven’s in France in October, both need a top two finish in the Azores Ladies Open to have any chance of grabbing the top spot from Zuel, while Denmark’s Julie Tvede needs the 5000 points awarded for a victory.
Those hoping to earn exemption to Final Qualifying School include the Spanish pair Maria Beautell and Mariana Macias Capuzzi, Frenchwomen Marion Ricordeau and Melody Bourdy, Italian Anna Rossi and Ireland’s Tara Delaney.
This is the first LETAS tournament to be held in Portugal and the first ever ladies’ professional golf tournament to be played in this stunning Portuguese region in Ponta Delgada on São Miguel Island.
The 54-hole strokeplay event features a total prize fund of €25,000, thanks to Associação de Turismo dos Açores (ATA) as the main sponsor.