Reid sets sights on money list

Melissa Reid, still on a high after helping Europe win the Solheim Cup, is looking for a strong finish this week.

Melissa Reid, still on a high after helping Europe’s win the Solheim Cup a fortnight ago, is looking for a strong finish in this week’s Castiglione di Sicilia.

The 23-year-old Englishwoman is determined to put in a strong showing in this, LET’s last event of the season on European soil, at Il Picciolo Golf Club – and with good reason.

“I had a week off after Solheim which was nice because I was absolutely shattered after winning in Spain and then going on to the Solheim.

“It really took it out of me so it was nice to have a week off and now I’m looking forward to playing again,” said Reid ahead of her Friday tee-off.

Her victory in the Open de Espana three weeks ago, was her third career title and with her season’s earnings of €258,981 from 15 tournaments, she has moved into second place on the Money List standings, some €104,098 behind Japanese star Ai Miyazato.

She reckons she “will probably have to win three more tournaments including Dubai to catch Ai and win the Henderson Money List” but insists that this has been one of her major goals since the start of the year.

It should make for some good battles as the season winds down and others who could come strongly into the picture are the in-form Swedish rookie Caroline Hedwall and the equally hot Diana Luna of Italy. but she feels that if she can play as well as she has recently, she’ll be in with a strong chance.

After this week’s Italian event, she’ll make an appearance in Malaysia on the LPGA Tour next week and will then play in another LET tournaments in China before she tees it up at the season-ending Omega Dubai Ladies Masters on December 17.

“I might set new goals for next year even before Dubai after having a solid look at things in a proper review. Before that I’ll be looking forward to playing this week,” she said.

Il Picciolo Golf Club, set at an above average altitude in eastern Sicily next to Mount Etna, previously hosted a Ladies European Tour event three years in succession from 1995-1997 when Denise Booker, Laura Davies and Valerie van Ryckeghem won the title respectively.

Most of the 108 competitors in this week’s field will be playing the golf course for the first time, including the 2009 Italian Open champion Marianne Skarpnord from Norway, who won the title at Le Rovedine Milano.

She is joined in the field by the 2007 title holder Trish Johnson, 2006 winner Gwladys Nocera, and last week’s Lacoste Ladies Open de France champion Felicity Johnson as well as Lalla Meryem Cup victor Zuzana Kamasova and Diana Luna, ranked fourth on the Henderson Money List after two wins on Tour so far this year in Germany and Switzerland.

Luna was defeated at the first extra hole of a play-off in France on Sunday and will be determined to make amends in front of a home gallery that will back her vociferously as they will Giulia Sergas, Veronica Zorzi, Stefania Croce and Sophie Sandolo, who are among the 15 Italians in the field.

Becky Brewerton of Wales, Lee-Anne Pace from South Africa and the US duo of Christina Kim and Laura Diaz are among the high profile players who will tee up in this €200,000 strokeplay event.

This 54-hole event, which starts Friday and ends Sunday will see the field cut to 50 and ties after Saturdays second round.