Thursday, December 03, 2015

Dame Laura relishing ‘Casual’ Captaincy

  Dame Laura Davies, second from riight, and the other team captains at Nagoya, Japan

From  Bethan Cutler, LET Media Manager
NAGOYA, Japan: Dame Laura Davies is in her element this week as playing captain for the Ladies European Tour team in ‘The Queens presented by Kowa,’ an exciting new match play event at Miyoshi Country Club in Japan.  

The Hall of Fame member is leading eight other women in the four-way match against the Australian, Korean and Japanese golf tours.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever had power in my life,” she said. “It’s not like a Solheim Cup captaincy, it’s a lot more casual than that.

“I’ve got no interest in being a Solheim Cup captain. This is a different thing. As a playing captain, you put your team out in order and have a bit of fun. There’s not too much involved.”

Davies intends to inspire through her golf when she and Melissa Reid lead the Ladies European Tour team out in the first fourball match against Japan’s Ayaka Watanabe and Erika Kikuchi at 9am local time on Friday.

I like getting out there early. I did that so that hopefully Mel and I can win our match quickly and then get out and support the others,” she said
 “I’m not a big motivator type person. I don’t need motivating and I don’t think anyone really should need motivating. If you’re in this event, you should want to do as well as you can.”

The tournament format includes eight four-ball matches on day one, eight foursomes matches on day two and 18 singles matches on day three. Scoring will be through a points system and each match is worth three points to the winning side. If a match ends all square after 18 holes, one point will be awarded to each team.

“I like the system because I think it’s going to come down on Sunday afternoon to the last three matches,” Davies said. “It’s hard to know what the winning score is in the first year but I’m imagining 11 or 12 points, maybe 13.

“It always comes down to the singles. I think if we could get five out of eight points in the first two days that would stand us in good stead.”

All four teams are playing for pride, with a generous purse of 100 million yen available and Davies believes that Japan is the favourite to claim the 45 million yen first prize. The LPGA of Japan team captain Momoka Ueda commented: “I’m sure there will be some great support for us and we’ll have to make the most of the home advantage.”

Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association captain Bo-Mee Lee commented: I’m very honoured to be playing in this wonderful tournament, surrounded by fantastic players. It will definitely be a very tight contest but my main objective is to win the tournament with the Korean team.”

The Australian Ladies Professional Golf team, which has two players returning to action after maternity, will be playing for the pride of their country and the captain Rachel Hetherington explained: 
“The tournament is a unique opportunity for our players to play in a team event for the first time as professionals. We don’t have another opportunity to do that so for many of our players it’s their first time representing their country. We are super excited about that and preparing with ‘Tim Tams’ and Ozzie lollies.

The LET’s Chief Executive Officer Ivan Peter Khodabakhsh commented: “Everyone at the Ladies European Tour is extremely excited about The Queens presented by Kowa which will be a unique and exciting match play tournament. 
"There is nothing more exciting or compelling than match play, especially when counties and continents compete against each other as teams. 
"Interest in women’s professional golf is stronger than ever, especially with the Olympic Games just around the corner and this is a fantastic opportunity to connect and collaborate with our fellow tours. 
"Together, I am confident that we will create an unprecedented showcase of world class sporting entertainment and help to grow the game worldwide.”  

Pairings and live scoring: