Peaking at just the right time? Felicity Johnson will certainly be hoping so, sitting joint eighth after the first day of the Portugal Open, she is already looking forward to defending her first professional win, at last year’s Tenerife Ladies Open. That was at golf Costa Adeje, but from 1st to 4th July 124 professional and two amateurs will converge on Buenavista Golf on the rugged north west corner of Tenerife.
A lot has happened since that dramatic last round shoot out with Becky Brewerton of Wales last year. Felicity broke her opponent’s resistance with a five metre putt at the 17th. hole and went on to win with a flourish. “That was hard winning my first pro event, it has made me mentally stronger and given me more confidence” said the 23 year old from Birmingham. As well as the trophy and the cheque for 45,000 euros Felicity earned a three year exemption from qualifying for the Ladies European Tour events and a place in the prestigious Evian Nationals in France this July.
Ladies golf is on the rise, speaking to me from Portugal Felicity looked back on the sort of weather that drives most people to move to Tenerife. “At the Slovakian Open last month we had heavy thunder storms, that put us a day behind, and then in Switzerland the rains came and cost us another day”
These clouds had a silver lining for avid Aston Villa fan Felicity “When it rained in Switzerland I was able to cram in three World Cup matches on television. I saw the shock win for Switzerland over Spain but it was strange, not much celebrating went on, just a few beeping car horns.”
Football might be a passion but while Felicity hopes England will still be involved in the later stages of South Africa 2010 she won’t be too upset at missing the live coverage next weekend. “If England have an afternoon game I will hopefully miss it as that would mean I am still going well in the Tenerife Ladies Open.”
Buenavista is a new course to tackle but at least there are a few days to get used to it. “I am flying home to Birmingham from Portugal for a brief family visit, then it’s on a plane to arrive in Tenerife on Monday morning. That gives me the official practice day on Tuesday (29 July) and then I’m taking part in the Pro Am tournament the next day.”
Felicity knows that keeping her crown will be tough. “There is a lot of strength in depth on the Ladies European Tour, only one player has won two events this year. I will have to look out for South Africa’s Lee-Ann Pace who won her first event in Switzerland, then there’s Anja Monke from Germany and Englands Trish Johnson; all of them are in good form. I’m confident though, I have been practising on my putting and have started doing athletic training to give me more movement so it will all help.”
- Tenerife Ladies Open (9th contest)
- Buenavista Golf, Buenavista del Norte
- Mon 28 June ““ first official training
- Tues 29 June ““ second official training
- Weds 30 June ““ Pro Am tournament
- Thurs 1st July ““ First day of Open, starts at 8.30 am
- Fri 2nd July – Second day of Open, starts at 9 am
- Sat 3rd July – Third day of Open, from 9 am to 5 pm
- Sun 4th July ““ Final day of Open, 8.30 am to 4.30 pm, Prize giving at 4.30 pm on 18th green.
Tenerife Magazine will be covering the event with reports and photos.