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The 18 Finest returns for 2007

The 18 Finest by Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza SA will return to the Ladies European Tour (LET) schedule for the second consecutive year in 2007 after a successful inaugural tournament in 2006.

The 18 Finest virtual golf course will comprise 18 holes over nine LET tournament venues, including two holes at each venue. Organisers have confirmed that The 18 Finest will begin at the Tenerife Ladies Open from 3-6 May and will conclude at the Madrid Ladies Masters, from 5-7 October 2007.

There will be a ten percent increase in the total prize fund from 100,000 euros to 110,000 euros with a first prize of 55,000 euros. Prize money will again be awarded to the players who finish in the top five positions.

Last year Spain’s Ana Belen Sanchez took the inaugural title and claimed a first prize of 35,000 euros having survived the cut in all ten qualifying tournaments, as per the qualification criteria. Exactly five players reached the final stage and they each received a share of the total prize fund.

This year, organisers have amended the rules in an effort to keep more players in the contest until the final stages. Players will still have to make the cut at each event to remain in the running but they may choose to use a “bye” to miss one of the first eight tournaments if they wish. The final tournament in The 18 Finest is the Madrid Ladies Masters, which is a limited field event for the top 30 players on the New Star Money List. Only the top five players of The 18 Finest leaderboard after the eight first designated tournaments will then compete for the prize money at the Madrid Ladies Masters, specifically on holes 17 and 18.

Should any of the top five players on The 18 Finest leaderboard after the eighth event not qualify to play in the Madrid Ladies Masters automatically, then they will receive a Sponsor’s Invitation. If there is a tie for fifth place on the leaderboard before the final stage then a player’s standing on the New Star Money List will determine who will gain the invitation.

The original idea of The 18 Finest was developed by founding sponsor Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza SA in connection with the Ladies European Tour and is the first-ever golf programme designed for professional women’s golf which incorporates player performances over 18 holes on different golf courses. “Our wish is to promote sport, competition and reward success," said Eric Sturdza, President of Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza SA. "We are proud to have helped develop this unique idea, which brings further excitement to the LET calendar”.

April 23, 2007


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