The 2009 Ladies European Tour (LET) schedule has been released by the tour’s Executive Director Alexandra Armas with 27 events in 22 different countries next year.
“In 2008 the Ladies European Tour enjoyed an unprecedented level of success and we are delighted to consolidate our growth despite the current global financial crisis,” said Armas.
The 2009 LET schedule features total prize money in excess of €12.1 million, which is the most in the tour’s 30-year history. The total purse has grown by 67 percent over five years, from €7.2 million in 2004.
Events with increased prize funds are the Comunitat Valenciana European Nations Cup, the AIB Ladies Irish Open, RICOH Women’s British Open and Korean Ladies Masters. New tournaments are also being discussed.
Armas added, “The Ladies European Tour represents Europe’s most elite competitive golfers and offers the opportunity for major companies to market themselves in a variety of areas such as fashion, entertainment and lifestyle. It is a unique product which offers value for money and a great return on investment hence we are still seeing huge interest in hosting golf tournaments throughout the world.”
The 2009 season begins in Australia on 5th February with the 20th edition of the ANZ Ladies Masters at Royal Pines Resort in Queensland, before the Women’s Australian Open at Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne.
The European run of events begins with the Comunitat Valenciana European Nations Cup at La Sella Golf Resort in Alicante, Spain, from 23rd April. The Tour stops in Turkey the following week before moving on to Switzerland.
The Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open, from 11th May, will make history as the tour’s first “carbon neutral” event, demonstrating the title sponsor’s commitment to the environment.
The Tour will then visit Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, Norway and Spain before the two European majors: the Evian Masters in France and the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham in England, where the announcement of the European and US Solheim Cup teams will be made on the final evening.
The S4C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe comes forward a week and moves to Royal St. David’s Golf Club in Harlech, which is a traditional British links. The Goteborg Masters in Sweden the following week immediately precedes The Solheim Cup at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois, USA.
Back in Europe, the tour stops in Finland, Austria, France, Tenerife and Madrid before heading to Asia for three more events, in China, Korea and India. The Dubai Ladies Masters keeps its December slot ahead of the Women’s World Cup at the end of the year.
In addition to the 27 scheduled events, Qualifying School for the 2009 season will take place over a two week period in January at La Manga Golf Resort in Spain. Interest in joining the Ladies European Tour continues to grow with 147 entries for the 2009 season compared to 119 in 2004.
The sponsor of the LET’s New Star Money List and New Star Rookies, New Star Asset Management, has renewed its sponsorship until 2011. Meanwhile John Deere continues as the tour’s Official Supplier of Golf Course Machinery until the end of 2010.
All of the Tour’s existing sponsors, including Abacus and ecco as Official Clothing and Shoe Suppliers respectively, have extended their agreements throughout the coming season. This further consolidates the growth of the LET and demonstrates its continued appeal worldwide.
Ladies European Tour www.ladieseuropeantour.com