Fabienne In-Albon with trophy at the Azores Ladies Open
Meeting potential future LET members: Switzerland´s Fabienne In-Albon is currently one of the five candidates to earn their card to play on the Ladies European Tour next season. We interviewed her during the recent CostaBlanca Ladies Open in Alicante.
Fabienne has studied in the US and Australia. She is now based in Switzerland and turned professional last year. She has played 12 LETAS events this year, her second season, including a win at the Azores Ladies Open and finished tied for 19th at her last tournament, the CostaBlanca Ladies Open at Font del Llop, Alicante.
We asked her few questions to get to know her better:
Q: How and when did you start to play golf?
I really started when I was 12 years old, but my first hit were when I was 10, but I did not like it at all, so I would not call it golf. My father took me and my family and at the beginning, after the first two years, I was not very talented and it took me two years to go on the course and get a handicap. Usually you get that a little faster. Everyone was telling me “You have to go back skiing or do something else….” One of them was my dad. They never pushed me to play golf. He started and then my entire family started, too… but as I said, I was not very talented.. But my brother was very good and I thought “if he can do it, I can do it”. That was the main thing that kept me going because my parents did not push me to play golf.
My brother was always better than me at everything he did, he is three years older and I just wanted to be as good as he was. So I kept playing and finally I beat him now... This was in my home club in Switzerland, which is in the Swiss-German part.
Before starting to play golf we did everything else, we were skiers and other played other sports. We are a very sporty family.
Now my entire family plays and my brother still plays but is more into his job, he works in a bank.
Q: How do you manage to play golf in Switzerland?
In the summer is ok, but now it is not good. Normally, during the winter, I have to think to go somewhere else. Maybe Australia…
Q: Tell us about your studies. Which university did you attend?
I went to Australia and finished my Bachelor in Sports Management. I started my studies in the US after finishing high school and received a full scholarship at Purdue University. I went there for one year and didn't like it and my golf went downhill, so I went back home and continued my studies in Switzerland, at an American school. Then I was injured for two years, a back injury and once I recovered, I started to play again. That was when the university suggested to me to go to Australia, as they did not support me anymore. I had an academic scholarship in Australia and decided to go there to finish my studies.
Q: Tell us about your best experience so far this year on the tour?
The Azores Ladies Open was my best experience and my first win as a professional. It was very special also because in Norway I injured myself, a rib injury, so I had to withdraw after the first round and then I could not play the next event in England because of that. I did not know if I could actually play in the Azores Ladies Open, so I had to rest. I told the doctor that I really wanted to play this event and he said that I could go there and try but he did not promise anything that it will actually hold the stress. I did not hit a ball at all before the event and my first shot during the first practice round, I thought that it was a little painful but it was ok. And then I won… Now my rib is better, and my back too. I train a lot and do a lot of physical exercises to make it strong.
Q: Your goals this year?
Now, it is to finish top 5. At the beginning of the year it was to finish within the top 20 to avoid Pre-Qualifying. I still hold on to that goal, because this is what I really wanted to achieve and I have achieved that now. So, everything which comes now is in addition to it. But, of course, I am trying to win every tournament now and stay up there or move up (on the rankings).
Q: What is the best part of your game now? Is there any yardage that you prefer? And what is your weakest part?
Usually I am very consistent with my game. I am not going left or right, I am pretty straight. It helps me when I know we play on a tight golf course. I do not make many mistakes and do not make many birdies, but pretty stable.
Regarding my favourite yardage, it differs from week to week but I think I definitively like the 95 metre shots with my wedge. But I also like my driver, it is not very long but straight.
The weakest part is probably not making enough birdies. I am not a bad putter, but I would need to hit it closer to the pin.
Q: What is your driving distance and putting average?
200 meters average and pretty straight and 30 putts on average.
Q: Your lowest round ever?
Playing a LETAS event it is -4 par and lowest ever was 66, as amateur in Switzerland.
Q: How many holes in one?
Three holes in one in total, the most recent one was a long time ago.
Q: Favourite golf course that you have played this year on LETAS?
I should probably tell you the one we played at the Azores Ladies Open.
Q: Have you many friends already on tour?
There are a lot of players that I get along very well with. There are not many Swiss, and it differs a lot from week to week.
Q: Have you any superstitions when you play golf?
I always have the same ball markers and the same necklace, which is very special.
Q: Who are the people part of your team?
There are four people in total: Christian Dyrda (my swing and technical coach), Tom Ritsch (putting coach), Marc Auf der Maur (physical) and Maria–Theres Chiapari (mental coach). All are based in Switzerland.
Best of luck this week at the Mineks Ladies Classic!