Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The legends, the veterans and the stars of tomorrow will showcase their precocious talent today in a Challenge Match which tees off the Dubai Ladies Masters week at the Emirates Golf Club.
The traditional curtain-raiser to the 500,000 Euros Ladies European Tour event, sponsored by Jumeirah Golf Estates, features Annika Sorenstam and Laura Davies who will team up as ‘the Legends’ while Gwladys Nocera and Sophie Gustafson will form ‘the Veterans’ team and the ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ will comprise Anna Rawson and Natalie Gulbis.
The three teams, with contrasting personalities and styles, will follow the greensomes format during the challenge match over the par-3 course of the Emirates Golf Club.
The par-27 course, measuring 1,239yd from blue tees, has the reputation of testing the skills of all since it was opened to public last year. The longest hole on the course is the 194yd third while the shortest hole (the fourth) measures 96 yards.
Sorenstam, Nocera and Rawson are not new to Dubai, having competed in the inaugural event last year, but the local fans will have the first chance to witness seasoned Davies, Gustafson and glamour girl Gulbis in action when they compete in the Challenge Match.
Nocera has already sounded a warning to her immediate rivals by winning the Lalla Meryam Cup in Rabat in October and the inaugural Indian Ladies Masters at Bangalore last week. The French 32-year-old will be hoping to maintain her rich reign of form in the high-profile Dubai Ladies Masters which marks the end to the busy 2007 Ladies European Tour season.
“The six players have been selected for the challenge match on the basis of their rankings and, of course, for their star value on the tour,” said Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice-chairman and CEO of golf in Dubai, the promoters and organisers of the event.
“We would like to encourage more and more golf fans to come to the Emirates Golf Club and cheer the professional lady golfers who would be competing in this region for the first time.
“All the fans will have an easy access to the course, but entry to the clubhouse will be restricted to only pass holders,” he said.
“We have made elaborate arrangements to ensure that fans enjoy the proceedings on all four days of the tournament. A giant TV screen has been installed in the ‘public village’,” he said.
“Different food and beverage outlets, charity putt competitions and free golf clinics will further add to the carnival-like atmosphere at the village,” Buamaim said.
“We would like to thank Jumeirah Golf Estates for their sponsorship of the Challenge Match, an opening tournament which has always been enjoyed by all.”
‘Golf in Dubai’ is backed by Dubal as the main partner and Emirates-NBD, Emaar, Jumeirah Hotels, Emirates airline, BMW, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Omega and CNN as partners.