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LET returns to action in Spain

The Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour (LET) returns to Spain this week for the € 275,000 Open de España Femenino Castellón 2005 at Panorámica Golf & Country Club, in San Jorge, Castellón.

France 's Ludivine Kreutz headlines the event after winning the Tenerife Ladies Open three weeks ago on the LET schedule. The current number two on the 2005 LET Money list is joined by a host of 2004 champions including Portuguese Ladies Open winner Cecilia Ekelundh from Sweden, 2004 Tenerife Ladies Open Diana Luna from Italy and Spanish star Ana Belen Sanchez, who won the Italian Open.

KLM Ladies Open Champion Elisabeth Esterl from Germany, Finnish star Minea Blomqvist, who won in Hungary and Wales 'Golf as it Should Be' Ladies Open winner Trish Johnson, from England, will also be hoping for a win here at the Berhard Langer designed course - and the valuable Solheim Cup points that come with it.

Johnson, who won the final event of the 2004 season at the Wales 'Golf as it Should Be' Ladies Open, is the highest placed competitor in the automatic Solheim Cup standings behind Annika Sorenstam and Laura Davies. At third, she is firmly in the running to make her seventh Solheim Cup appearance when the event is played at Crooked Stick, Indianapolis , in the US in September.

Karine Icher from France , who also won in 2004 at the Catalonia Ladies Masters, is placed seventh in the rankings and is in line for her second Solheim outing after playing in 2002 if she keeps her position. There are seven places for automatic qualification.

Johnson is in fine form following her tie for sixth place in the Tenerife Ladies Open, which included a course record 65 in the third round.

" I probably feel as confident today as I ever have," said Johnson, who played in every European Solheim Cup team for ten years from 1990 through to 2000.

"I would say I've got more ambition now than I ever have done and I'm very keen to get on with this week really. This actually feels like the start of the season."

Feeling confident about her Solheim Cup placing, Johnson admitted: "I would like to play in it and I think that if I don't make the team then I will have played pretty poorly this year - and that would be disappointing.

"I think once you miss a Solheim Cup and then you miss another one it loses its appeal. After the first one I missed I was pretty devastated and then after that. now it's an event that, yeah I'd like to play in it, but it's not the be all and end all.

"It is a major aim, but the main aim is to win tournaments and play my best. I think in my last couple of years I just want to win. You miss that. You suddenly realise when you win after not winning for a long time how fantastic it is and what a great feeling it is.

"I've had 17 wins but three of them were in America . I'd like to get 20 wins over in Europe so I've still got six to go, which I think I'm capable of doing.

"If I stay fit then there is no reason I shouldn't. I mean look at Juli Inkster, she was winning her majors between the age of 39 and 42 so there is no reason not to. I think I'm a better player now than I've ever been and I truly believe that."

Kreutz was characteristically quiet about her intentions to make The 2005 Solheim Cup team despite being in contention at sixth in the ranking.

"I try not to think about it too much," said the French woman, adding "I try not to put too much pressure on myself.

"If I play well at the Evian Masters, the Weetabix Women's British Open and the French Open at Arras then I might qualify automatically."

As the season progresses the race for Solheim positions will heat up and for Kreutz, keeping cool is a tactic that seems to be working.

 

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