LET Tour’s curtain to come down in Andalucia

Marina Alex won her first LPGA Tour title. Picture: Getty
Marina Alex won her first LPGA Tour title. Picture: Getty
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The beleaguered Ladies European Tour will not be ending its 2018 season in traditional fashion in the Middle East. Instead, the struggling circuit will stage its final event on a threadbare calendar in Spain.

The €300,000 Andalucia Costa del Sol Open de España will be played at La Quinta Golf & Country Club in Benahavis, near Malaga, on 
22-25 November.

“As one of our most important tournaments and a key golf tourism destination, the Andalucia Costa del Sol Open de España has an important role to play in golf’s development in Europe, particularly in our goal of bringing more women and families into the sport,” said LET chairman Mark Lichtenhein.

It will be disappointing for LET members, though, that neither the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi, a recent addition to the schedule, and the previous season-ending tournament, the Dubai Ladies Classic, will be played this year.

According to a press release from the LET, they will be held instead “in early 2019 with further details to be announced soon”.

LET players such as Michele Thomson and Meghan MacLaren, who joined forces to win a bronze medal for Great Britain in last month’s European Team Championships at Gleneagles, have really struggled to get competitive opportunities the last two seasons.

However, Lichtenhein has promised a stronger schedule for 2019, when Catriona Matthew will be looking for players to be pushing hard to get into her team for the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.

Meanwhile, England’s Georgia Hall had to settle for second place at the LPGA’s Cambia Portland Classic as American Marina Alex, pictured, rallied to clinch the win.

Hall, the Ricoh Women’s British Open champion, had held a two-stroke lead heading into the final round – with Alex sitting six shots behind her – but struggled to keep up the momentum and closed with a three-over 75.

Four bogeys and one birdie left Hall on 15 under as Alex surged ahead with a round of 65. It was the 28-year-old’s first LPGA Tour title on her 124th event.