Gulf News caught up with Dubai-based Ladies European Tour Access Series (LETAS) golfer Kristyna Napoleaova from the Czech Republic, who received the final invite to this week’s Dubai Moonlight Classic presented by EGA at Emirates Golf Club.
What is your connection with Dubai?
I visited Dubai for the first time about five years back, and I immediately fell in love with the Emireate. On one of the trips to Dubai with my parents, we decided it would make sense to find a golf coach here. I got connected with Jamie McConnell from the CH3 Performance Golf Academy, The Els Club, through a friend, Pavel Foubik, the president of the Czech Business Council, and we started working together. Dubai and the UAE become my second home for my winter preparation. With the Covid 19 lockdown and the harsh winter in my homeland in the Czech Republic, Dubai has been my favoured place to be.
When and how did you get your Dubai Moonlight Classic invite?
I would like to thank my dear friend Major General Abdulla Al Hashmi who is basically part of my family while I am in the UAE and to Simon Corkill, Executive Tournament Director of Falcon and Associates for the invite. I received this incredible news on Sunday afternoon, a day after I had my final event of the 2021 LETAS Tour in Spain. I am very excited and grateful to be part of this incredible event and thank my coach and friends here for their support.
How has your season been this year?
I finished 18th on the 2021 LETAS Order of Merit. I have only been playing golf for just over five years so I am very happy with this season. I had the opportunity this year to play my first full season as a professional to see how it all worked out. Throughout the season I have had some great results both on the LET Access Series and Ladies European Tour with a few invites. Probably the highlights of this season were playing in the final group during the LETAS in Switzerland and making my first cut on the LET in my homeland in the Czech Republic.
What is your schedule for the rest of the 2021 season and plans for 2022?
I am planning to stay on in Dubai after this week and start getting ready with my coach Jamie McConnell and the rest of the team from the Claude Harmon III Academy at the Els Club for the final stage of the LET Q-school at La Manga, Spain in December, to earn a status for 2022.
What are your targets for this week?
I am extremely excited to be playing this week with such great players from all around the world in the field, so definitely I would like to enjoy myself, learn from them and play some good golf that I can be proud of. And if I show up on the leaderboard at some point, it would be just a cherry at the top and a great ending to a phenomenal season.
Have you played the Faldo Course at Emirates Golf Club many times?
I have played the Faldo Course a few times under the lights which feels very different. I had the opportunity to play the inaugural Dubai Moonlight Classic in the Pro-Am as an amateur with professional Carmen Alonso and since then I have been hoping that I could play in this event as a professional. This tournament has always had a special meaning to me and I would like to say thank you again to everyone who made this dream come true.