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News from the Evian Tour

£32,000 BMW ON OFFER FOR ACE
In the week preceding the ANZ Masters at Royal Pines, the first event on the 2002 Evian Ladies European Tour schedule, some of Europe's top players are competing in the $AUS100, 000 EDUCOM ALPG Championship at Horizons Golf Resort.

In addition to the valuable practice and acclimatisation to the Tour's 'down under' swing, Horizons Golf resort have announced that car manufacturer BMW have offered a £32,000 BMW 530i M Sport for the first player to score a hole-in-one on the final day of the event.

The car features the new inline six cylinder engine, superior M Sport suspension, full M aerodynamics, distinctive alloy wheels, the M leather steering wheel and unique sports trim both inside and out including BMW sport seats, Montana leather seat upholstery and high gloss burr walnut interior panelling - nice work if you are lucky enough to get it!

SCOTT WINS
New Zealander Gina Scott finished a stroke ahead of Australians Cherie Byrnes and Evian Tour rookie Nadina Taylor and Jackie Kebbel from the Isle of Man in the ALPGA Tour's Aristocrat Mollymook Women's Classic last week.

Scott's best finish on Tour last year was third in the Mexx Sport Open in Holland, behind Karine Icher from France, and this marked the first victory for the 29-year-old from Teawanatu since the 2000 Chart Hills Classic in Kent.

ALPG CHAMPIONSHIP WITHDRAWALS
Swedes Sophie Gustafson, Filippa Helmersson and England's Samantha Head have joined a growing list of withdrawals from next weeks EDUCOM ALPGA Championship at Horizons Golf resort.

Helmersson, who is laid low with a back injury and Gustafson, who cites personal reasons, will join veteran Australian women's golf icon Jan Stephenson, who is suffering from a back injury.

INCREASED PRIZEFUND ATTRACTS WORLD'S BEST TO MELBOURNE
The prizefund for this year's AAMI Women's Australian Open has increased by 25 percent to a record level of $AUS500, 000 as the event returns to Yarra Yarra GC in Melbourne later this month for the seventh consecutive year.

As usual, the event has attracted many of the World's best players including World number one Annika Sorenstam from Sweden and former winner and World number two Karrie Webb.

The 27-year-old from Ayr in Queensland will be aiming for her second AAMI Women's Australian Open title having won here in 2000 after a final round 64, which brought to and end a celebrated run of near misses where she finished in the top five in each of the previous four Opens.

Last year, Webb finished runner-up behind Sweden's Sophie Gustafson in the defence of her title just a week after winning the ANZ Ladies Masters at Royal Pines in Queensland for the fourth straight time.

Despite being overshadowed and losing her World number one spot to Sorenstam, the 2001 season proved to be an historic one for Webb as she collected two more major championships, successfully defending her US Women's Open title with a massive eight-shot victory, and clinching the McDonald's LPGA Championship.

The latter victory saw Webb become the fifth female golfer, and the youngest at 26 to complete the career Grand Slam - just two years after winning her first major, making it five wins in the last nine Women's major titles.

Sorenstam comes to Australia after an historic year where she won eight times on the LPGA, also becoming the first woman to shoot the magical 59.

European number one Raquel Carriedo decided to travel to Australia later than the majority of the Tour, partly because of the amount of awards she is picking up for becoming the first Spaniard to win a European Order of Merit since Seve Ballesteros in 1991!

The 30-year-old from Zaragoza has received many awards in her homeland, having recently being voted the Evian Ladies European Tour's player's player of the year.

England's Laura Davies is sure to feature having returned to top form, winning twice in 2001 on either side of the Atlantic, the Wegman's Rochester International on the LPGA and the WPGA International Matchplay Championship at Gleneagles.

The 38-year-old from Surrey is determined to ensure her place in the European team at The Solheim Cup. With double points available this season for any top ten finishes on Tour and the added incentive of Davies extending her record 14 point tally, a good start to the year could prove vital by the time Captain Dale Reid picks her team in the late summer.

Sweden's Sophie Gustafson is expected to return to Yarra Yarra to defend her title and establish her place in Reid's team as Europe head to Interlachen GC in September in search of a first win on US Soil in 13 years of the biennial clash of continents.

And with a team already looking likely to become of mix of the fresh and familiar, Norway's Suzann Pettersen, Spain's Paula Marti and France's Karine Icher have entered the event, aiming to consolidate their positions in The Solheim Cup rankings list.


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