Joana de Sá Pereira
The top 14 players in the 5th Azores Ladies Open will be rewarded with women’s world golf ranking points for the IGF’s Olympic ranking and will be hoping to be among the 60 players who will compete in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, with golf’s return to the Olympic Games after an absence of more than 100 years.
“All tournaments on the LET Access Series are awarded points for the women's Olympic ranking. Of course not as many points are given as to the Ladies European Tour (LET) or the LPGA Tour, but it is the best way for a young professional or amateur to earn points for the Olympic rankings and try to qualify for the Olympic Games, "said Di Barnard, Tour Director of LETAS, the developmental tour of European women's golf.
Barnard, who has also been the Tournament Director of the Azores Ladies Open since its first edition, was explaining this issue to the Stream Plan press office and Joana de Sá Pereira, the Portuguese player born in Switzerland, who lives in France and is competing for the first time in Portugal since turning professional in March.
"It would be an honour to represent Portugal, "said de Sá Pereira, who has only lived for three years in Portugal but never had another nationality than that of her parents, who are both from the Bragança district.
"It is possible for a player to qualify for the Olympics through the LET Access Series,” said Barnard.
“We had two players on LETAS at the end of the 2013 season who finished the year in the top-500 and with their ranking would have qualified in the top-60 of the Olympic ranking.”
One was Fabienne-in-Albon, the Swiss who won the Azores Ladies Open the last time the event was played at Terceira Island Golf Club (CGIT) in 2013. The Swiss is currently ranked 294th in the women's world rankings and in 51st place in the Olympic ranking.
Susana Mendes Ribeira and Monia Bernardo
The 5th Azores Ladies Open has the patronage of the Regional Government and is promoted by Stream Plan who have great experience in organising sports events, such as the Tour of Portugal Cycle Race, Volvo Ocean Race, Dakar Rally Championships, Sailing World Trophy TP52 of Portugal and the Lisbon Grand Prix Offshore, as well Ladies European Tour and European Senior Tour events and more than 30 European Tour events, including the Open de Portugal, Estoril Open, Madeira Islands Open and Brazil Open.
The Azores Ladies Open has the support of the PGA of Portugal and the Portuguese Golf Federation, the national governing body of golf and from sponsors SATA, Vista Alegre, Panazorica and Hotel Angra Garden.