Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open Preview
Location: United Arab Emirates
Course: Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Abu Dhabi
Prize Fund: $300,000
Defending Champion (2017): Aditi Ashok (India)
The 2019 season is finally here, come on!
The Fatima Bint Murbarak Ladies Open will kick off the Ladies European Tour schedule, offering amateur golfers the chance to play alongside the professional field as they compete for the title across the three-day event in the sunny Abu Dhabi. There is a strong field in place for the first tournament of 2019!
Under the new format of the event, 56 professional golfers will join forces with 56 amateurs to form team pairings. While all teams will compete on day one and day two of the tournament, day three will see only the top 15 teams advance for their chance to secure a podium finish. The top LET Professionals will still battle it out for the FBM Ladies Open individual title
Here are 4 players to watch this weekend.
Anne van Dam (Holland)
What a year 2018 was for the big hitting Dutch player. She finished the year by winning back to back titles on the LET. Firstly she destroyed the field in September to claim the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open. She shot -26 and won by 8 shots! In the final tournament of the season in November, she won again in Spain, this time at the Andalucia Costa del Sol Open de Espana. She went on to finish 2nd on the Order of Merit behind Georgia Hall.
Her year was topped off by earning her 2019 tour card on the LPGA and climbing into the worlds top 100 players (80th). It will be exiting to see how she performs on the biggest stage this year. This week she is the one to watch!
Charley Hull (England)
Charley Hull is the highest ranked player this week at 24th in the world. She won the LET order of merit back in 2014 and has been playing on the LPGA ever since. She returns to the LET before heading back to America looking for her first pro win since 2016. She had another strong 2018 on the LPGA, finishing 18th on the CME race to the globe with 6 top 10 finishes.
Hull showed what she was all about at last years golf sixes, especially with her no look tee shot into the first hole (below)
Definitely one to watch this week as she will be desperate to return to the winners circle and pick up some vital Solheim Cup points.
Caroline Hedwall (Sweden)
Another player who had a great 2018. Hedwall, had one of the rounds of the season at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France in September when she headed into the final round in 21st place and 7 shots off the lead. She fired a 62 and won by 2 shots! As well as her victory she had back to back runner up spots at the end of the season at the ESTRELLA DAMM LADIES OPEN and the HERO WOMEN'S INDIAN OPEN.
She averaged 82% GIR last season the 2nd best on tour. If she can get the putter hot she will be near the top of the leaderboard come the weekend.
Jodie Ewart Shadoff (England)
Another player who is based on the LPGA and making a rare appearance on the LET is Jodie Ewart Shadoff. She currently sits 59th in the world rankings and finished 65th on the CME race to the globe last year with two top 10 finishes and a best of 7th a the the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. It is fair to see she was unlucky last season. She was challenging in a number of events only to be let down by one bad round.
She has been a member of both the 2013 and 2017 Solheim Cup teams and will look to get off to a good start to life on tour in 2019.
Anne Van Dam to go 3 from 3!
Join in our game on twitter @golfista.club and simply let us know who you will think will win this weekend.
Don't forget to check out our end of year magazine where we predict 10 players to watch in 2019! Click Here to view