Abu Dhabi: US golfer Beth Allen will defend her Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open title when the Ladies European Tour (LET) event returns for its second staging at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in Abu Dhabi, November 1-4, it was announced Monday.
Allen secured the LET Order of Merit and the Player of the Year Award last year after claiming back-to-back wins in France and Abu Dhabi, and now she hopes to retain the Gazelle trophy.
“I love Abu Dhabi and this will be a special trip being the first person to defend the title,” she said. “Winning the inaugural tournament was a critical point in my season when I was in a race to win the Order of Merit, and that win helped me seal the deal.
“My goal for this year’s tournament is to defend my title. I have found some good form lately, so I am ready to get to Saadiyat and play some good golf.”
Abu Dhabi Sports Council general secretary Aref Al Awani, said: “We would like to thank Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak — Mother of the Nation, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood — for her continued support once again in 2017 in ensuring that the FBMLO continues to feature on the global agenda as one of the most important stages for female golfers, thus further underlining Abu Dhabi’s position as a global sports destination.”
The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) has partnered with Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and last month held a joint event at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre for Emirati Women’s Day, where women and children were invited to try a range of sports free of charge.
As part of the event Emirati golfer Hamda Al Suwaidi held a clinic.
Allen welcomed the initiative and recalled her own experiences in sport.
“I was inspired by all women athletes,” she said. “I always wanted to be an elite athlete and played many sports growing up, so I watched women in the Olympics, playing golf or even the WNBA, all of which really inspired me.”
FBMA board member Mai Al Jaber said this year’s tournament would strategically target families and youngsters.
“I believe that by making the tournament so enticing for families to attend, the next generation of young girls can be inspired to take up the game,” she said. “Introducing youth to sports in a fun and exciting environment, often yields further interest and encourages long-term participation from a young age.”
The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open is free to attend and runs from Wednesday, November 1 to Saturday, November, 4 at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.
More information is available via www.fbmladiesopen.com, or through the tournament’s social media channels.