The Ladies European Tour has announced a new tournament to be added to the schedule from 2007. The inaugural Ladies’ European Masters will take place at The Oxfordshire Golf Club in June 2007.
The tournament promoter Leaderboard Group has underwritten a minimum prize fund of £300,000 – with plans to stage the event annually at The Oxfordshire for the next four years and the hope of making it one of the biggest and best events on the Ladies’ European Tour calendar.
The announcement follows hard on the heels of The Oxfordshire’s formal bid to host the 2011 Solheim Cup and underlines the fast-growing commitment of the Leaderboard Group – the owners of The Oxfordshire – to ladies’ golf.
Leaderboard has staged the successful Ladies’ English Open at Chart Hills Golf Club in Kent for the past three years – and is committed to staging the event and attracting the cream of Europe’s golfers until at least 2010.
David Walls, the sales and marketing director for Leaderboard, was delighted with the Group’s latest big foray into the ladies’ games. “We have proved over the years that we know how to stage major golf tournaments and that we have a growing commitment to ladies’ golf,” he said. “Ladies’ golf is a fast-growing concern, we believe in it, and we’re delighted to have supported it and the Ladies’ European Tour when they needed it the most – and now the tide has turned in a big way and we’re proud to be a part of the game’s rise.”
Alexandra Armas, executive director of the Ladies European Tour, was thrilled to announce the latest addition to the LET’s 2007 schedule. “This new tournament, which will be staged at a fantastic venue, provides a tremendous prospect and yet further evidence of the abundant appetite for women’s professional golf,” she said. “We are delighted to be partnering with the Leaderboard Group again after three successful years of working together and everyone at the Tour is looking forward to building on our strong relationship over the coming months.”
Walls added, “Hosting the Ladies’ European Masters for the next four years would be the perfect preparation if we were to win the bid to stage The Solheim Cup. Every year we have learned more and more about staging top-class golf events like the Ladies’ English Open and each year we have reaped the rewards of not resting on our laurels and making sure we improve and maximise the potential of the tournament.
“We would draw on our experience of successfully staging the Ladies’ English Open for the last three years to ensure the European Masters is the best it can possibly be – with a strong entry, excellent prize money and big crowds, all things that befit a top championship venue like The Oxfordshire.”
The Leaderboard Group is now actively seeking backers to help the European Masters become one of the biggest tournaments on the ever-expanding Ladies’ European Tour schedule. A full range of sponsorship opportunities and corporate packages are available – including title sponsor, pro-am sponsor and driving range sponsor, as well as sought-after opportunities in the tented village.
Walls added, “The Ladies’ European Masters is an exciting new tournament which will add another dimension to the Tour. The prize money for the event will show how seriously we take the European Masters and our confidence that it will become one of the biggest and best events on the schedule from day one.
“We want businesses in the Thames Valley area, and beyond, to get involved and ensure that this event becomes one of the best around. It’s got huge potential and, with the right investment and support from businesses, the local community and golf fans everywhere, it can be a huge success. We aim to make sure it is.”
The Oxfordshire Golf Club www.theoxfordshiregolfclub.com
Ladies European Tour www.ladieseuropeantour.com