Defending champ gets ready

Scotland’s Heather Macrae is ready to take on a strong field to defend the title she won twelve months ago at Rinkven Golf Club in Gravenwezel.

This year’s Belfius Ladies Open will take place at Royal Bercuit Golf Club, on the outskirts of Grez-Doiceau, a past venue of the European Masters on the Ladies European Tour, and the 1988 Volvo Belgian Open on the European Tour.

Macrae comes into this week in good form with a recent strong performance in the Titleist & Footjoy WPGA Championship, where the Scot lost in a play-off to England’s Keely Chiericato.

“I’m really looking forward to it. I’m playing well and the course looks nice, I’m excited to play. I think because I’m playing well I’m confident I feel good so I’m just going to enjoy it and see what happens. Just trying to do what I did last year. I have really nice housing and fell pretty relaxed. I’ll do some practice, play in the pro-am and do what I normally do,” Macrae commented.

One player in the best of form and hoping for a home win is last week’s champion, Fanny Cnops. The Belgian won in emphatic style, returning a par round in tough, windy conditions, to win the Lavaux Ladies Championship by three shots. Cnops is relishing the opportunity to play in front of her home fans.

“I’m very excited to play at home because we don’t get the chance a lot. So I hope there are going to be many supporters so that should be motivating especially after last week.”

The 27-year-old from Ghent has taken the opportunity to play the course over the last few months and feels accuracy from the tee is paramount.

“I’ve tried to play it as many times as I could this year with the weather conditions and the schedule but yeah I’ve played it a few times. Definitely off the tee is key. There are a lot of holes that are very tricky. You can’t hit many drives so I think that’s the key for this week.”

A strong field is assembled with players from 27 different countries teeing up in the seventh event of the season. Players to watch will be Sweden’s Julia Engstrom, winner of the Viaplay Ladies Finnish Open earlier this month, Noemi Jimenez of Spain, who won the VP Bank Ladies Open in May, and Manon Molle of France, who recorded a tied 6th place in the LET’s Ladies European Thailand Championship last week.

Play gets underway at 8.00 on Thursday morning from both the 1st and 10th tees.