Hanna-Leena Ronkainen and Antti Peltoniemi, president of the Finnish Golf Union
The HLR Golf Academy Open will raise its prize money by 30 percent for this year's event and as a result, become the biggest event on LETAS in 2013 with a prize fund of €40,000.
Finland's most successful female players are expected to compete in the event organised by former LET member, Hanna-Leena Ronkainen and the Finnish Golf Union. Ronkainen has made determined efforts to raise the profile of female golf in Finland. As a result, the Finnish Golf Union awarded a diploma to Ronkainen for her public relations efforts for last year's tournament.
"The HLR Golf Academy Open seems to be taking a strong position on the European golf scene. Experiences from last summer's competition were positive. Now, as the prize fund grows, the competition is very attractive for many players on the European level," says Juha Juvonen, from the Finnish Golf Union, the event promoter.
While participating in the HLR Golf Academy Open, the Finnish female golfers have a good opportunity to gain both LETAS and Rolex Rankings points.
"Women professionals and the best amateurs should be able to compete in a high-level domestic competition. Our goal is to grow the event in a controlled manner," Ronkainen said.
Di Barnard, LETAS Tour Director, commented "This is fantastic news and we are delighted that the HLR Golf Academy, Hanna-Leena Ronkainen and the Finnish Golf Union have made such a commitment to this event and to the development of women's golf in Finland."
The HLR Golf Academy Open expects to see 120 players from over 20 different countries compete in the event during the summer when it takes place over the Valley Course at Hillside Golf & Country Club, near Helsinki, from the 9 – 11 August.