May 7, 2008

Top lady golfers shift into championship mode for Losone

Top-notch golf, plus an attractive, family-friendly supporting programme make the 3rd Deutsche Bank Ladies’ Swiss Open an appealing prospectThe 3rd Deutsche Bank Ladies’ Swiss Open is almost upon us, and will run from 19 to 25 May 2008. The championship course of the Golf Gerre Losone is in tip-top condition: all that’s missing to complete the picture is the 120-plus lady golf players who have put themselves down for one of Europe’s most important pro golf tournaments. “Our aim is to establish the Deutsche Bank Ladies’ Swiss Open as a flagship event on the LET – and we’ve made splendid progress,” says Hanns Michael Hoelz, Managing Director of Deutsche Bank.

A favourite-packed field
This is more than borne out by the names of the players, particularly Suzann Pettersen and Laura Davies. Norwegian player Suzann Pettersen, ranked number 3 in the world, made an outstanding showing yet again this season at the very first major tournament, conceding defeat only to the phenomenal Lorena Ochoa from Mexico. The following week saw her taking third place at the Ginn Open. Another player harbouring great hopes of a high placing, or indeed outright victory, is Laura Davies (ENG), who has already triumphed at four major tournaments, as well as setting a record by playing in the Solheim Cup no fewer than ten times. At her first appearance in Losone, she wound up in 2nd place behind Gwladys Nocera (FRA), that year’s winner, following a dramatic comeback. Emma Zachrisson (SWE), the surprise winner in this year’s Spanish Open in Castellon and currently the second best professional lady golfer in Europe, will also appear.

Also in the running is Nora Angehrn, the most successful and best-known Swiss player among the participants. Following a mixed performance in the 2007 season, Angehrn will aim to capitalise on her home field advantage. Katharina Schallenberg, the young German proette, has similar intentions. In 2007, as a 27-year-old amateur, she was awarded a wild card by the organizer of the Deutsche Bank Ladies’ Swiss Open, and caused a sensation by coming in eighth. She already has an exceptional amateur career behind her (including, in 2007, wins in the Spanish Ladies’ Amateur Championship and the Copa de Sotogrande, and in 2006 the runner-up position in the US Women’s Open Amateur Championship) and her very first professional appearance in Spain saw her triumphantly achieving sixth place.

Bettina Hauert (GER), who achieved her definitive breakthrough last year in Losone, will be defending her title. Paula Marti (ESP) and Iben Tinning (DEN), both of whom have been among the European pro lady golfing elite for years, are optimistic about their chances of going home with a goodly portion of the total prize money of 525,000 euros and picking up vital Solheim Cup points into the bargain. So too is Lisa Hall (ENG), the current leader in the LET Order of Merit.
There is also particular excitement surrounding the wild card-players such as Caroline Rominger and Fanny Vuignier, currently Switzerland’s finest two up-and-coming players, along with local hotshot Anais Maggetti, gifted Russian player Maria Verchenova and British shooting star Henrietta(“Henni”) Zuel, the youngest player, who has only ever teed off at a LET event and whose mentor is none other than David Beckham.

Highlights for all ages
Says Hanns Michael Hoelz: “We and our sponsors will be presenting not only the crème de la crème of European ladies’ golf, but also a spellbinding supporting programme.”

At the “Beat the Pro” contest on the lakeside promenade in Ascona (from May 21 to 24, from 17:00 to 22:00 each day), non-golfers and experienced players alike will be challenged to hit the golfball from the lakefront onto a green on a floating island. A warm-up area will be available for practice purposes. There will be attractive prizes to be won, including CHF 1,000 for the first hole in one.
However, the “Beat the Pro” contest is about charity first and foremost, and this is certainly why so many of the professionals will be on hand and taking on all comers. All the money generated by the event will be used to benefit the Teatro Dimirti, a cultural centre in the nearby village of Verscio that includes a drama school, a theatre, a theatre company and a museum.

Equally, the tournament grounds will offer both guests and the general public highlights to suit all tastes, ranging from the exclusive VIP treatment in the clubhouse, which includes a golf clinic, through the “Piazza” public area, which is now situated directly beside the clubhouse and includes exhibition spaces, to the Golf & Fun for Kids area beside the driving range of the Golf Gerre Losone, where our younger guests will be encouraged to join in the fun.

However, the emphasis at the Deutsche Bank Ladies’ Swiss Open remains firmly on the proettes. All golf fans wanting to support the top Swiss players – also at the start alongside Angehrn will be Florence Lüscher und Frédérique Seeholzer – and experience other top starts close up, and who would like to be sure of getting their tickets for the championship weekend in good time(admission is free for the first two days of the tournament!), can purchase these via the ticket hotlines +41 91 791 00 91 (Switzerland) and 0800 50 20 44 44 (Germany).

For more information:

Deutsche Bank AG
CSR/Corporate Sports

Hanns Michael Hoelz
Anja Schicke
D-60262 Frankfurt am Main