Klara Spilkova of the Czech Republic and Chloe Leurquin of Belgium are looking to maintain their position in the top 60 of the Women’s Olympic Golf Ranking by playing in the LET Access Series’ season-opening Terre Blanche Ladies Open in France from Thursday.
Spilkova and Leurquin, ranked 42nd and 57th on the Olympic Ranking respectively, will play on The Riou golf course at Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort in Provence, which previously hosted the event from 2010-2013.
Spilkova, 21, from Prague, commented: “I think it’s really important to keep playing before the Olympics and that’s why I started my season early in Australia.
“I played at Terre Blanche the first year I was on tour in 2011. It was very nice and I’m looking forward to going back. I’m going to practise more than anything - but of course I will try to win – as I always do!”
Leurquin, 25, who was born in the Olympic Host City of Rio de Janeiro, is a third year member of the Ladies European Tour who is keen to maintain her position on the Ranking in order to qualify for the Games in August.
She will be hoping to recreate the form that led her to win the Mineks Ladies Classic at National Golf Club in Turkey in November 2013, which saw her earn her playing rights for the 2014 Ladies European Tour.
All of the 108 competitors in the field will be aiming to follow the three French players and Englishwoman who have lifted the trophy. The previous winners are Caroline Afonso (2010), Henni Zuel (2011), Marion Ricordeau (2012) and Sophie Giquel-Bettan (2013).
It’s an extremely strong field of competitors and there is every chance of another home winner with the likes of 2014 Turkish Airlines Ladies Open champion Valentine Derrey, two-times Ladies European Tour winner Jade Schaeffer and rising stars Ariane Provot, Isabelle Boineau, Alexandra Vilatte, leading LET rookie Justine Dreher, Anaelle Carnet, Agathe Sauzon and Mathilde Cappeliez.
Although proudly Italian, Cannes-based Diana Luna, who has won five titles on the LET, will bring some local knowledge and is expected to be fiercely competitive in her bid to return onto the Olympic Ranking. Another name to watch will be Maria Parra from Spain, the world’s third ranked female amateur.
The 54-hole tournament will be played in the beauty of the Provence hillside and in close proximity to the Côte d’Azur from Thursday 31st March to Saturday 2nd April 2016.