Joana de Sá Pereira and Susana Ribeiro, the only two Portuguese players listed in the world women's golf ranking, will be together this week for the second time in a national tournament, when they tee it up in the 7th edition of the Azores Ladies Open. It will be the start of the season for both players on the LET Access Series.
It is the only Portuguese tournament to count for the women's world ranking and for the Olympic ranking. This year the prize fund will be €35,000 with the event returning to Terceira Island for the third time and to the same venue where it took place in 2013 and 2015.
And it was in 2015 that de Sá Pereira and Ribeiro were together for the first time in Portugal. Memories were not the best, as they both failed to make the cut.
Last year, when the Azores Ladies Open was staged at the Batalha Golf Course on the island of São Miguel, Ribeiro set a new national record in the event, being the first Portuguese player to finish in the top-10, with a 221 total, 5 over par and rounds of 79, 70 and 72.
It was the best placing ever by a Portuguese player in the Azores Ladies Open but in LETAS tournaments de Sá Pereira finished 7th in the CreditGate24 Golf Series Hamburg Open during the 2015 season.
The two players know, therefore, that they have the game to play with the best of the European women's second division.
“The Azores Ladies Open is my first tournament of the year. Therefore, I will prepare myself and fight for the best place possible. But my dream would be to win this tournament and I know I have the capacity to fight for it, " said Ribeira.
A year ago, after achieving an unprecedented top-10 in the Azores, Ribeira told the media: "It's my best ever tournament on LETAS, the one in which I achieved the best classification, with the best result. Of course, it's great to hit records and stay in history. "
Joana de Sá Pereira has also not yet competed this year, so the Azores Ladies Open will be a test of her current form.
"During the pre-season this winter I worked hard on my physical and mental preparation and made tremendous progress in those departments. As far as my technique is concerned, I have fine-tuned every part of the swing with my coach. I think less about my swing, which allows me to play more relaxed. My swing has progressed a lot and I have a mental level when it comes to swing and game strategy, "said the 965th world ranked player.
The Azores Ladies Open will be played from April 21 – 23 with 66 participants. The event is the most important Portuguese women's golf tournament, organised and promoted by Stream Plan, a company that has a large team with great experience in organising sporting events (Volta a Portugal en Bicicleta, Volvo Ocean Race, Rally Dakar , World Sailing Championships, TP52 Portugal Trophy, Lisbon Grand Prix Offshore, WCT Figueira Pro, etc.).