The six edition of the VP Bank Ladies Open will take place at GC Gams-Werdenberg from the 3 – 5 May, with some exciting changes and additions to the event. The prize money has been increased to 45,000 euros and the tournament will be played with a new format for the first time, the "Mätzler-Mix", named after the event promoter, Guido Maetzler. The title sponsor, VP Bank, will also reward every hole-in-one with a 50-gram gold bar.
The first two rounds will be played in stroke play format and the final day will feature three 9-hole match play matches, with the top 48 players from the 36 hole stroke play format vying for the title. The distribution of the prize money will also be redefined: 25% of the prize money will be played for on both Friday and Saturday, with 50% at stake in Sunday’s match play format.
In a field of 130 players from 29 different countries, Sarah Schober will start as one of the favourites, having clinched the Terre Blanche Ladies Open trophy earlier this month in the first LETAS event of the season. The Austrian, who celebrated her 27th birthday on the 15 April, is looking forward to the match play element in what could be classed as a home event, taking place just a few kilometres from the Austrian border.
“I like the new format very much, it's interesting and exciting for the players and spectators. Above all, everything is possible in match play, you can take more risk. I also think it's great to think about how to make tournaments more attractive. I will not change my game on Sunday in the match play significantly. But I have to admit that it's tempting for me to take more risk with this mode,” commented Schober.
“Unfortunately there is no women's tournament in Austria, so it's very nice that there are several tournaments in Switzerland. I love the country, the hospitality and the culinary art in Switzerland, so I'm really looking forward to the tournament in Gams.”
Among the 128 players competing for the €45,000 prize fund, there will be 18 Swiss competitors, four Austrians and nine Germans. Home advantage is provided by local professional and tournament ambassador Melanie Mätzler from Bad Ragaz, and St. Gallen amateurs Chiara and Olivia Tamburlini. In addition, two 2016 Olympic participants, Brazilian Victoria Lovelady and Belgium’s Chloe Leurquin will be players to watch.