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Annika Sorenstam commits to Dubai Ladies Masters

Annika Sorenstam will make her maiden appearance in the Middle East when she features in the first Dubai Ladies Masters to be played at the Emirates Golf Club's Majlis course from October 26 to 29 this year.

The world's number one and most respected golfer has confirmed her place in the tournament and will join an elite field of 120 players in the Ladies European Tour event, organised and promoted by golf in DUBAI .

The Dubai Ladies Masters is the latest and the 21 st stop on the Ladies European Tour which kicked off with the Women's World Cup of Golf at Sun City, Johannesburg , in January this year.

“Annika's presence will provide a massive boost to the tournament which is being held for the first time in this part of the world,” Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice-chairman of golf in DUBAI , said.

“Annika is one of the greatest female golfers ever: in fact she is considered by many to be the best ever and I am sure the fans here will be looking forward to her svelte swing and grace,” he added.

A member of the LPGA Hall of Fame, Sorenstam has won 80 titles all over the world, including nine majors, in her illustrious career and showed she is still by far and away the top woman with 11 victories last year.

“With almost every club in the UAE, in particular, experiencing exponential increase in the number of ladies teeing off, the presence of players like Annika and other professional golfers will only catalyse the process,” Buamaim said.

Sorenstam herself is looking forward to coming to Dubai . “It would be fun to play in a city where the Dubai Desert Classic has become a huge attraction with leading players like Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Henrik Stenson becoming a permanent feature on the European PGA Tour event.

“We have also heard that the growth of the city is truly amazing and so is golfing infrastructure with many big names like Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Vijay Singh, Ian Baker-Finch designing new courses there.

“I am sure women golfers will relish the warm Arabian hospitality and explore the city which also boasts many tourist attractions. If the first Dubai Ladies Masters can contribute in spawning a new interest among local girls, which I am sure it will, it would be a bonus.”

Alex Armas, executive director of the Ladies European Tour, was equally excited. “We are thrilled that Annika's outstanding achievements have been recognised in every part of the globe.

“Over the past many years, Annika has continued to dominate women's golf. She has raised the bar on every level and set a tremendous example to her colleagues and millions of fans across the globe.

“Annika has been integral to the development and success of women's golf,” she said, adding: “The Dubai Ladies Masters is a unique and fantastic opportunity for the growth of women's golf, both in the Middle East and throughout the world.”

The Dubai Ladies Masters boasts a 500,000 euro prize-fund, making it the fourth richest event on the tour after the Evian Masters (3 million euro), the Women's British Open (1.5 million euro) and the Women's World Cup of Golf (929,544 euro).

June 27, 2006


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