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LET heads to Morocco for Meriem Cup

While the 2001 Evian Ladies European Tour season officially closed after last week's Q-School in Portugal, ten Evian Tour players made their way to Morocco to play in the annual Princess Lalla Meriem Cup, part of the 30th edition of the Hassan II Trophy in Rabat at the Dar es Salam GC.

The Hassan II Trophy is held in honour of the late King Hassan II, a self-confessed golf addict and somewhat of an eccentric. His Majesty used to have a strip of two-inch rough prepared down the middle of every teeing ground as he detested using a peg to play a tee shot!

This tournament is unusual in the fact that two separate events run side-by-side with 21 players from the men's European Tour battling it out for the coveted Moroccan dagger, and the Evian Tour ladies playing for the $20,000 jewel encrusted bracelet.

In the 54-hole women's event played over the Robert Trent-Jones designed blue course, Germany's Elisabeth Esterl returns to defend her title. But the 25-year-old from Dingolfing has tough competition from French Solheim Cup star Patricia Meunier-Lebouc and two-time champion Lora Fairclough from England who won this end of season event in 1996 and 1999.

Head twins Samantha and Johanna make up the remainder of the British contingent and are joined by Marine Monnet from France, Sweden's Sofia Grönberg-Whitmore, Xonia Wunsch-Ruiz from Spain, Switzerland's Regine Lautens and Mounia Amalou from Morocco.

And in the 72-hole men's event, played over the 7300-yard red course, defending champion Roger Chapman from England heads a field that includes former Ryder Cup players Ignacio Garrido from Spain and Jean Van de Velde from France.

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