Dubai: Double Major winning Suzann Pettersen will make her Omega Dubai Ladies Masters debut at Emirates Golf Club from December 7-10, raising the prospect of an intriguing showdown with defending champion and record three-time winner Shanshan Feng.
The 35-year-old Norwegian will be looking to set the record straight against her rival Shanshan in the Ladies European Tour (LET) season-ending event, after finishing second to the Chinese in Malaysia in October.
“It will be fun playing in Dubai, a city I have heard many good things about from fellow players. I know the tournament attracts a very strong field each year,” said Pettersen, who has 22 wins, including 15 on the LPGA and seven on the LET since turning professional in 2000.
“It will feel nice to have my name written on a famous trophy, but I don’t want to get ahead of time and will take things as they come. It would take something special to beat the challenge, but I will try my best and see what happens.”
Popularly known by her nickname Tutta, Pettersen reached a career-high No. 2 in the world rankings after her victory in the Evian Championship in 2013 and held that position several times, most recently from August 2011 until February 2012. She has also finished runner-up in the Majors four times.
With eight top-10 finishes in 20 starts, Pettersen enjoyed a solid 2016 season on the LPGA, but said her game turned after the Olympics where she finished solo 10th on seven-under.
“It’s taken a while for me to wake up. But I feel like I’m swinging the best I’ve done all year. My putting is getting better. I switched to an old-style putter. So I feel like I’m back to some good grooves on the putting.
“The Olympics is kind of where my body showed up and was excited to play. So it’s always nice when you have the desire of wanting to play well and feeling good and feeling good about your game as well.”
Mohammad Juma Bu Amim, vice-chairman and chief executive officer of Golf in Dubai, who organise and promote the event, said: “We are delighted to welcome Suzann, an exceptionally talented golfer who is a true a global ambassador for women’s golf and a tireless worker for charity.
“Despite being on the tour for so many years, she remains a popular figure with fans all over the world and deservedly receives a huge reception when her name is announced on the first tee. We really look forward to seeing her play in Dubai. I wish her the very best and hopes she has a wonderful stay in Dubai.”