LET benefits from R&A financial aid

The R&A’s Chief Executive Peter Dawson (right) and Director of Golf Development Duncan Weir presented tour players Johanna Mundy (from left), Samantha Head and Karen Lunn, along with LET Executive Director Alexandra Armas (middle), the Working for Golf flag at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club.

The Ladies European Tour isn’t new to economic challenges and has endured, thanks to continued support from the R&A. The R&A’s contributions recently passed the 1-million pounds mark – or nearly $1.5 million.

Since 1994, the R&A has provided funding for the tour on an annual basis, with the contribution increasing each year. To recognize the landmark, the LET will be flying an “R&A – Working for Golf” flag at more than 20 events throughout the remainder of the 2010 season before it arrives in Dubai for the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in December.

Players say they appreciate such funding, which helps them develop their skills and increases competition opportunities.

“I think it’s very important to be supported by the governing body of golf. Obviously, it’s very significant for the tour and has helped the tour through some difficult times financially,” said Karen Lunn, who won the Women’s British Open at Woburn in 1993. “The continued support is fantastic for us and it helps to grow the game and promote women’s golf throughout Europe.”

The R&A also provides scholarships to junior players. Recipients include 19-year-old Kelsey MacDonald, the newly crowned Scottish Ladies’ (Close) Amateur champion. Catriona Matthew, the 2009 Open champion, also benefited from a scholarship before turning professional.

“(The scholarship) let me go away to more amateur events and let me test my game against the best amateurs in the world,” said Matthew, a former R&A Foundation Scholar.

The R&A is also providing referees at many of this year’s 26 scheduled events, being held across 21 countries worldwide. The next stop on the Ladies European Tour is at Gray Bear Golf Course in Slovakia for the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open on May 27-30.

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