I flew to Jeddah on Sunday and then were driven one hour or so to King Abdullah Economic City along with fellow Czech player Sideri Vanova, and my coach Jamie McConnell from the Els Club ahead of this week’s Aramco Ladies Saudi International.
Both Sideri and I have received an invite to play this week in Saudi for the second Ladies European Tour (LET) event on this year’s calendar, following the Kenya Ladies Open in February with a 300,000 euro purse. So, as you can see, this week’s $1 million on offer is a big jump for the 10-player field and we are all determined to do well for early Order of Merit points.
At the airport on arrival we had a very warm welcome, which is always a great start to a week.
This is my first time in Saudi so I am looking forward to experiencing everything that people have told me about.
The players are all staying in The Views, with our own gym and with the course just 10 minutes away. It seems the players are being well looked after and we are a priority, which is a great feeling.
Everything so far is very well organised with all meals at the golf course in the players’ lounge overlooking the 18th green.
We teed off early in the morning for our practice rounds, on both Monday and Tuesday. The course exceeded my expectations and is in great condition.
The wind came up in the afternoons, which I understand is the norm here. I especially enjoyed the two signature holes, the par three 16th along the coast and the par five 18th, which when downwind I can carry the bunkers on the right. It is a real ‘risk and reward’ hole, the type I like.
On Wednesday, there is a Pro-Am, which is not on my schedule, so I will have to rely on just being on the range.
I needed to tidy up my game on Tuesday on the course, before Jamie left.
My first round on Thursday is at 8.38am from the 10th tee and I am playing with Maria Hernandez from Spain and my best friend Vanova.
I have a local caddie Zayd Alireza, who is a member of Royal Greens. It is interesting to see two Moroccans in the field getting plenty of media attention, Maha Haddioui and Ines Laklalech. Maha has been around for a few years and played golf on the LET and represented Morocco in the Olympics, but this is Ines’ first tournament as a professional.
Fellow Dubai-based player Chiara Noja of Germany will tee off at 7.54am on tee 10.