On June 20 at Pattaya, Chonburi, Thailand
As the official tournament is around the corner, specifically on June 21 to 24, let’s get to know more about European players who is now on Thailand’s soil.
The European Challenge
By Richard Talbot
‘As the days count down to the start of the 2018 Ladies European Thailand Championship the European players are starting to arrive in Thailand, and are busy practicing in preparing their challenge on the course at Phoenix Gold. The major interest from Thailand’s perspective is where those biggest challenges for the title are going to appear from.
The Europeans are sending over 70 talented players and anyone of the players who are entered could do well if they play to their potential, but there are certain players who could pose a major threat. Perhaps the biggest challenge could come from The Netherlands Anne Van Dam who in 2017 averaged almost 280 yards off the tee. No player in Europe averages hitting it further and if she brings her straight game then she is likely to be a real contender.
The consistently straight players are those who do well around the tight Phoenix course and there are few more reliable that FlorentyneParker. Currently sitting in 6th place in the LET order of merit table, she will certainly benefit from playing in the same competition last year.
Another player who was here last year was Ana Menendez who achieved her best ever LET finish when she finished runners up. Her four good rounds proved that she liked the course and her aim this year will be to finish one better.
The youngest player who will be arriving from Europe is seventeen year old Julia Engstrom from Sweden, who is ranked 18 in Europe but is leading the rookie table. She will certainly have the energy to last the four days and this is going to be one of the factors that the European players will need to contend with.
The June climate in Pattaya can at times be exhausting so those players who are used to playing in such energy sapping conditions will have an advantage. Whitney Hillier finished 3rd last year and with a Thai mother will have as good a knowledge of local conditions as any player and will certainly be one to watch.
The highest ranked European player who is playing is Sarah Kemp from Australia who is currently sitting in second place in the merit table. She regularly plays well in Asia and with her current good form could be another to keep an eye on.
However, there are so many good players arriving that it is impossible to make a confident prediction of who will land the title. Added to this complication are the talented Thai players who are also going to be competing, and as last year proved one can never under estimate having home advantage.’