London: European trio Charley Hull, Anne Van Dam and Catriona Matthew are the latest big names confirmed for next month’s $1 million Aramco Team Series — London, taking place July 8-10 at the Centurion Club, just two months ahead of this year’s Solheim Cup.
Both Hull and Van Dam played a key role in the European team, captained by Matthew, that snatched a pulsating one-point victory over the US at Gleneagles back in 2019.
US superstar Lexi Thompson was part of the travelling party, and with July’s event already scheduled to be her only English appearance of the year, she will be looking to lay down a marker against the trio who she will compete with just eight weeks later in Ohio.
In the unique format of the Aramco Team Series — London, which sees 36 team captains paired with two other professionals and one amateur, Thompson could even play alongside a European rival.
Former Women’s British Open champion, Georgia Hall, double-major winner, Anna Nordqvist, and 2021 Ladies European Tour (LET) Race to Costa del Sol champion, Emily Kristine Pedersen, have already confirmed participation in the event.
They will also be joined by Australia’s Minjee Lee, an eight-time champion across both the LET and LPGA, and Australia’s No.1 ranked golfer.
“It’s certainly shaping up to be quite the field, which is understandable, considering the exciting new format of the team tournament and what’s up for grabs,” Matthew said. “Being just a couple of months before the Solheim Cup adds a real bit of spice to the mix, especially with so many major-winners from both sides of the pond playing.
“As the Solheim Cup has proven, team golf is a format that really gets the heart racing and brings so much additional excitement,” she added. “Introducing four new Aramco Team Series events in four regions, I find a really fantastic initiative from the LET and I really am excited to see how it will propel women’s golf forward.”
World No.14 Lee said: “When this format of event was trialed in Saudi Arabia last year, you could really feel how positively the women who played in it responded to it. It was something completely different but a format of golf that offered so much excitement, both for teams and individual players, and that’s what you want to see as often as possible on tour.
“It’ll be really fun to play in and I can’t wait to get over to London and play as part of a team, something I love but almost never get to do.”
July’s London event is the first of five Aramco-sponsored events scheduled on the LET calendar for 2021. They include the Aramco Team Series — Sotogrande (Aug. 5-7), the Aramco Team Series — New York (Oct. 14-16) and the Aramco Team Series — Jeddah (Nov. 10-12). The Jeddah event will take place just days after the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by the Public Investment Fund, being held Nov. 4-7.
Each Aramco Team Series tournament will see 36 teams of four compete to shoot the lowest combined score over three days of golf. All teams will feature three LET players paired through a unique draft system, in which captains choose one player and are randomly assigned another.
The fourth member of each team will be an amateur golfer — a position open to all golfers in the UK for the Aramco Team Series — London through the tournament’s world-first Team Up competition. Fans can apply by uploading a video or image to social media before June 25 using the hashtag #ATSTeamUp, showing they have what it takes to play in an actual LET event.