England strong for Nations Cup

The European Nations Cup – one of the showcase events on the Ladies European Tour – has confirmed its strongest field yet.

The European Nations Cup – one of the showcase events on the Ladies European Tour – has confirmed its strongest field yet with the announcement that England will be represented by its two highest ranked players Laura Davies and Melissa Reid.
The tournament, hosted by the La Sella Golf Resort in Denia, Spain, marks the arrival of the Tour on European soil and it will have special significance this year because the Solheim Cup captain Alison Nicholas will be watching closely to see how many of her prospective players fare against a strong American invitational team of Christina Kim and Brittany Lincicome.
Both of the English players are ranked inside the world’s top fifty and are coming off superb 2010 seasons. Davies won no less than five times last year to finish second in the LET money list whilst Reid claimed her first professional title in the Turkish Open and was third on the same money list.
They will be hoping to regain the title won by the partnership of Trish Johnson and Rebecca Hudson in the inaugural 2008 event.
In addition to the strong English and American line-ups, Nicholas will also have a keen eye on a number of other teams and players.
Anna Nordqvist and Sophie Gustafson were occasionally stunning when claiming the title in 2010 and a repeat of that form would be a huge hint to their captain.
The home nation is traditionally well-supported and this year’s pairing of Aza Munoz and Maria Hernandez is both the youngest and potentially most exciting to represent Spain in some time.
Munoz, ranked 43rd in the world, was the LPGA Rookie of the Year in 2010 and Hernandez claimed her maiden professional title in the Slovak Open on the LET. They are another possible Solheim Cup partnership.
Other competitors who will attract the attention of Nicholas include the two-time Solheim Cupper Becky Brewerton (who plays for Wales with Lydia Hall), France’s Karine Icher (who has enjoyed a recent return to form) and Scotland’s major-winning Catriona Matthew.
Youngsters such as Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord and Holland’s Christel Boeljon can also force their way into the team if reproducing a repeat of their best form of the last two years (Boeljon won this event with Marjet Van Der Graaf in 2009).
The field is completed with another invitation for a formidable Australian side that comprises the 2010 Ricoh Women’s British Open runner-up Katherine Hull and 2010 Portuguese Open champion Karen Lunn.
Played on a Jose Maria Olazabal designed course at the La Sella resort, the tournament takes place from the 14th-17th April.