Abu Dhabi, UAE: The 30th edition of the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship kicks off tomorrow (Wednesday) at Abu Dhabi Golf Club as the UAE team make their debut among 36 countries from around the globe aiming to lift the prestigious Espirito Santo Trophy come Saturday evening.
The Espirito Santo Trophy, hosted by the Emirates Golf Federation in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Sports Council and their Destination Partner, the Department of Culture and Tourism, follows last week’s Eisenhower Trophy, which was won by the United States of America for the 16th time.
Defending champions Sweden are aiming to become the first team to win consecutive titles since the Republic of Korea accomplished the feat in 2010 and 2012.
Ingrid Lindblad, the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world, and Meja Ortengren, No. 10 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®), return for the Swedes after leading the team to a gold-medal finish last year in France.
They’ll come up against a host of top teams, including the U.S., who are attempting to win the Eisenhower Trophy and Espirito Santo Trophy together in the same year for the eighth time. The U.S. is the only country to accomplish this feat and last did so in 1984.
They will be represented by Megan Schofill, Rachel Kuehn and Anna Davis, who won the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur and competed in seven LPGA Tour events last year, including three Major Championships, making the 36-hole cut five times.
The Spaniards are the only team who possess two players in the top five of the WAGR® with Cayetana Fernandez Garcia-Poggio and European Ladies’ Amateur champion Julia Lopez Ramirez, while Germany are captained by Chiara Horder, who won the 2023 R&A’s Women’s Amateur Championship at Prince’s Golf Club.
The United Arab Emirates, playing in the tournament for the very first time, boast the reigning Faldo Junior Tour Middle East champion in the form of Jamie Camero.
Described as the ‘Pocket Rocket’ for her almighty distance off the tee despite her short stature, the 17-year-old has taken the game in her stride since picking up clubs at the age of seven with an impressive roll of honour that includes a host of World Amateur Golf Ranking titles and being crowned Emirates Golf Federation Order of Merit champion in 2022.
She will be joined by Lara El Chaib, who will hit the opening tee shot, and Intissar Rich, who is the 2022 All African Challenge Trophy champion and has previously competed in Ladies European Tour events.
“I’m feeling nervous, but I’m also feeling great,” El Chaib said when asked about the excitement of hitting the first tee shot.
“I’m really excited as I know the course really well. It’s my home ground, home soil, so it should be good.
“I’m feeling prepared for this event and it’s really exciting because it’s the biggest amateur event in the world. I have to say I feel like I have a bit of an advantage as it’s my home course. However, we are all great players here and we can all play great golf.”
Play will begin at 6:30am GST tomorrow, with El Chaib (UAE), Rosanne Boere (NETHERLANDS) and Ana Sofia Murcia Ortiz (COLOMBIA) teeing off from the 1st and Garcia-Poggio (SPAIN), Sara Byrne (IRELAND) and Hsin Chun Liao (CHINESE TAIPEI) beginning on the 10th.