Strongest field announced for 2019 Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open

Sport360 staff 16:47 07/01/2019
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Aditi Ashok is the defending Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open champion.

Abu Dhabi Sports Council is announcing the strongest field to date for the 2019 Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open, the first ever women’s professional golf tournament to be staged in the emirate.

Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, the Ladies European Tour (LET) event returns to Abu Dhabi for a third time to the award-winning Saadiyat Beach Golf Club from January 10-13.

Kicking off both the 2019 LET calendar as well as Abu Dhabi’s 2019 golf season, the FBM Ladies Open also begins a fortnight of thrilling golf action in the UAE capital, preceding both the fourth hosting of the Gary Player Invitational, set for January 13, as well as the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA, from January 16-19.

Under a new format, the FBM Ladies Open will also be the first tour-sanctioned, entirely pro-am tournament to be held in the UAE.

Defending champion Aditi Ashok will be joined by Beth Allen, who won the inaugural FBM Ladies Open in 2016, British star Charley Hull, as well as Becky Brewerton, Catriona Matthew, Becky Morgan, Anne Van Dam, Caroline Hedwall, Astrid Vayson De Pradenne, Jenny Haglund, Meghan Maclaren, Camille Chevalier and Florentyna Parker.

Beth Allen won in Abu Dhabi in 2016.

Beth Allen won in Abu Dhabi in 2016.

Solheim Cup team members Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Emily Kristine Pedersen are also on the list to tee off in Abu Dhabi.

His Excellency Aref Hamad Al Awani, general secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open continues Abu Dhabi’s rich tradition of not only hosting world-class sporting events but also of providing a global stage to talented female athletes.

“We, at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, believe strongly in the power of sports to foster collaboration, leadership and confidence and the FBM Ladies Open is an exemplary showcase of talent, fortitude and teamwork.”

Under the new format, 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 pros will still battle it out for the individual title, which was won by American golfer Allen in 2016 and India’s star Ashok in 2017.

Along with on course action, the event will also salute the skill and spirit of the UAE Special Olympics golf team with a golf clinic, led by a selection of top LET professionals to enable ‘determined ones’ to sharpen their skills and discuss tactics and strategy with the world’s leading golfers.

The female pros are also scheduled to come together to coach young UAE-based female golfers as part of its #ThisGirlGolfsUAE activation, that seeks to encourage the sport among girls in the emirate and beyond.

The tournament is hoping to inspire Emirati ladies to take up golf.

The tournament is hoping to inspire Emirati ladies to take up golf.

“I am really looking forward to playing in Abu Dhabi on such a beautiful golf course, as well as in an exciting new event format,” said England’s Hull, who is set to make her Abu Dhabi debut at the tournament.

“It’s a big year for us with the Solheim Cup taking place in September at Gleneagles, so I want to get a strong start to the new season on the Ladies European Tour and this is the ideal opportunity.

“Also, as someone who has always encouraged more young girls to play golf, I am excited to be part of a tournament that has championed the sport passionately in this region both among young female golfers and older athletes.”

Spectators can catch the action for free. For further details, visit www.fbmladiesopen.com or follow Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open on Facebook and @FBMLadiesOpen on Twitter and Instagram.

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