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Top International Women’s Golf on the Costa del Sol

After leading the United States to victory in the recent Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster complained that the women’s game deserved much more media coverage and corporate support than it was receiving. It is a valid argument. The harsh reality is that most TV viewers and tournament spectators are more excited at the prospect of watching world number one Dustin Johnson smash a drive 300 metres over a water hazard than So Yeon Ryu (the top-ranked women’s golfer) play a delicate chip to the green. It is also true, however, that a significant proportion of male golfers would identify their own games more with those of women professionals than male tour players, as their physical capabilities when it comes to distance, and the necessity of managing a golf course rather than overwhelming it, are similar. Ample reason, then, for local golfing fans – both male and female – to head to Royal Guadalmina Golf Club next week (21-24 September) for the Andalucía Costa del Sol Spanish Ladies Open, part of the Ladies European Tour. Not only is the club’s South Course (inaugurated in 1959) one of the finest and most picturesque in Marbella, running in parts along the Mediterranean, but the field will include Europe’s top women golfers – many of whom also compete on the US LPGA Tour. They will be led by Azahara Muñoz, who was born in nearby San Pedro de Alcántara and has become a multi-tournament-winning stalwart of both the LET and the LPGA Tour and who – to the delight of local fans – became the first Spanish winner of the Spanish Ladies Open when it was held at Aloha (in Marbella’s prestigious Nueva Andalucía residential estate) last year. The top player at Royal Guadalmina (22nd in the Rolex world rankings) will be 27-year-old Carlota Ciganda from Pamplona, who was forced to miss the 2016 Spanish Open because the date clashed with her brother’s wedding. After a celebrated amateur career, in 2012 she was both rookie of the year and order of merit winner on the Ladies European Tour, a feat only achieved by one other player, Laura Davies (1985), and she has also won two individual titles on the LPGA Tour. Another former LET order of merit winner (2013) teeing up at Royal Guadalmina will be Suzann Pettersen, competing for the first time in Spain. Currently 25th in the women’s world ranking, the Norwegian star has won six times on the Ladies European Tour and 15 titles on the LPGA Tour, including two majors (2007 LPGA Championship and 2013 Evian Championship), and has risen as high as second in the world rankings. Also among the favourites will be South African Lee-Ann Pace, a nine-time LET champion (including the 2013 Spanish Open in Madrid) who topped the order of merit in 2010, and won the 2014 LPGA Blue Bay event in China. These four main figureheads will be joined by 11 other LET champions as well as tour life member and 1990 order of merit winner Trish Johnson, who won the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship in July. Entry to the tournament is free and there will be a hospitality village for spectators. Luxury Living We return to the Guadalmina Baja beachside area for our featured home of the week: a six-bedroom villa that is great value at €1,490,000. Outstanding Homes We appreciate your taking the time to read about this exceptional property, but perhaps it is not exactly right for you? If not, we invite you to have a look at our other stunning selections for: Luxury Villas, Apartments, Golf Properties, Seafront Properties, La Zagaleta and Special Offers. Simply click on the category of your choice and follow the link. Also please feel free to roam around our website: www.villamarbellanow.com