SOTOGRANDE: The Aramco Team Series — Sotogrande is shaping up to be a teaser for the 2023 Solheim Cup, with a host of big-name Europeans today joining the likes of US stars Nelly and Jessica Korda on the southern Spanish coast next month.
Triple-major-winner Anna Nordqvist of Sweden leads the superstar golfers announced for the $1 million tournament, where the hero of the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles — England’s Bronte Law — will also compete.
They will be joined by the captain of that victorious European Team, Catriona Matthew, as well as Dame Laura Davies. Nanna Koertz Madsen of Denmark and Matilda Castren of Finland — both 2021 Solheim Cup winning rookies — will also play, as will Team Europe alumni Anne Van Dam of the Netherlands.
Caroline Masson, a regular mainstay on the European Solheim Cup team with four appearances in the last 10 years, is another star name to commit to Sotogrande — as is 2020 AIG Women’s Open champion and fellow German, Sophia Popov.
At La Reserva Club, a course located just 20 kilometers from Finca Cortesin, host venue of next year’s Solheim Cup, that bulging European field will come up against a US pack led by the Korda sisters — former world number one Nelly and six-time LPGA winner Jessica — and featuring the likes of defending Aramco Team Series — Sotogrande individual champion Alison Lee, Lindsey Weaver-Wright and hotshot record-breaker Kelly Whaley, whose eight birdies in a row during competition play earlier this year set a new LET benchmark.
The Aramco Team Series returns to Spain with its unique mixed team and individual format for the second year in a row, taking place Aug. 18-20.
Bronte Law, who claimed the individual title at last month’s Aramco Team Series London event, said: “It should be quite the week. These Aramco Team Series events are so different to the golf we usually play — there’s something about competing both as a team and as a solo golfer at the same time that I feel almost brings out the best in a lot of us, so I can’t wait to get out on that first tee and underway in another one next month.
“The quality of the field really does speak for itself. I think some of us would be lying if we said we won’t be thinking about being back in this part of the world a year later for the Solheim. It’ll be a chance for quite a number of the players competing to go out and show what they’re made of and I’m looking forward to it.”
Catriona Matthew — who Law has chosen as her captain’s pick at no less than three previous Aramco Team Series events — said: “When the Aramco Team Series events were first added to the LET calendar last year, we were told they wanted to try and raise women’s golf as best they could. I don’t think anyone can argue in saying that they really have done that and then some.
“Every tournament comes with a real air of grandeur. They are so well organized and the prize-money is obviously fantastic, too. But it’s the golf side of it that I think us as players enjoy the most. Playing as a team is something we do rarely but is a format that brings so much added excitement and opportunity, for us as players and for those watching live or on TV. The vibe of these events in particular is so different, and we really love being part of them.”
Further big names announced today include Australian Steph Kyriacou, Pia Babnik of Slovenia and Linn Grant of Sweden, who sits second in the LET’s Race to Costa del Sol rankings and in June became the first ever woman to win on the men’s DP World Tour with victory in the Volvo Scandinavian Mixed.
They will join a packed field that will also feature a host of Spanish stars, including Solheim Cup hero Carlota Ciganda, rising talent Ana Pelaez Trivino, Nuria Iturrioz and Carmen Alonso.
Aramco Public Affairs GM Talal Al-Marri said: “We are thrilled to have so many of the biggest names in women’s golf competing in the Aramco Team Series, this time at La Reserva Club in Sotogrande. Together, they all inspire millions of women and girls around the world to pursue their own dreams, on and off the golf course.
“At the root of our backing of the Aramco Team Series is our shared ambition with the Ladies European Tour to elevate the women’s game. Having all these Solheim Cup and major-winning stars coming to compete in the Aramco Team Series’ unique format guarantees another must-see display in August of the very best in women’s golf. Vamos, Sotogrande!”