|Lucie Andre, Caroline Afonso and Julie Maisongrosse
Caroline Afonso collected her trophy as the leading player on the GENERALI Ladies Tour Order of Merit. The 25-year-old from Anglet near Biarritz won two titles: the Terre Blanche Ladies Open and the La Nivelle Ladies Open. She also finished third in the Dinard Ladies Open.
“I am very happy to have won the order of merit and two tournaments and this was very important for me,” said Afonso. “It’s a good tour with three tournaments, so playing on the tour was great fun.”
André accepted her award as the best amateur from Catherine Lacoste, the daughter of the famous golf champion Simone de la Chaume and of the legendary tennis champion René Lacoste.
Catherine Lacoste was the only amateur player in the world to have won the US Women’s Open in 1967 and lent her name to the award for the leading amateur, the Catherine Lacoste Challenge trophy.
André, who finished second on the Order of Merit, is one of France’s greatest prospects for the future. The 22-year-old from Bourg-en-Bresse has played in four full Ladies European Tour events already this season and was the leading amateur at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco where she tied for 23rd. She hopes to graduate to the Ladies European Tour when she attends Qualifying School at La Manga Club for the second time in December.
“I am very happy to be the top amateur on the Generali Ladies Tour and I played my golf the best I could,” André said. “It helped my season because the tournaments start early and I will now prepare my season for Q-School.”
Julie Maisongrosse, playing her first season as a professional, took the Monique Saubaber Trophy as the leading rookie, in memory of France’s first female professional golfer, who passed away in January 2008.
Schaeffer, who won the Dinard Ladies Open, explained how useful playing on the GENERALI Ladies Tour had proved.
“I think it is good training for the season. After a long winter, you play with international players and it’s good because you have so many international players coming,” she said. “Winning any tournament is good for the head. After winning in Germany it was good to win again.”
The winner of the GENERALI Ladies Tour Order of Merit along with the two best French players received a place at the Open de France Féminin, however as Afonso, Schaeffer and Maisongrosse were already qualified, the places were given to Nathalie David-Mila and Mélodie Bourdy, who commented: “I’m very happy that a tour like this came (to fruition) because we need more tournaments even through the winter, because we can’t play in Europe in the winter.
It’s good to make small tournaments and to compete together when you are at home or to practise for the Ladies European Tour. Hopefully we will get more tournaments in a few years and I hope that other countries will do the same thing as France.”
Generali has been a partner and official insurer of the French Golf Federation since 1999 and the company provides liability insurance for the 400,000 members of the federation annually. With a presence in golf for the past three years through the Evian Masters presented by Société Générale, the company has reinforced its commitment to women’s golf through the birth of the GENERALI Ladies Tour, which forms part of the LET Access Series: an important feeder tour providing better playing opportunities for professional golfers across Europe at the elite level.