June 25 – 27
Location: Campo Real Golf, Turcifal, Portugal
Defending champion: Johanna Westerberg
TURCIFAL, Portugal – Sweden’s Johanna Westerberg returned to competitive action on the Ladies European Tour just three weeks ago after eight months of maternity leave.
Now, she’s ready to juggle motherhood – and defense of her Ladies Open of Portugal title.
Last year, Westerberg defeated Spain’s Tania Elosegui by holing a bunker shot for birdie at the first extra hole in a sudden-death playoff at Eagle Residence and Golf on the Algarve.
Twelve months later, she is looking forward to testing her game for the first time on the Donald Steel-designed CampoReal golf course in central west Portugal. The 54-hole tournament begins Friday.
“It would have been nice to go to the same course, but I have heard really good things about the golf course,” said Westerberg, who returned to competitive action at the ABN AMRO Ladies Open in Holland and tied for 34th.
Westerberg worked with her coach in the spring to get back in form, and said she was back in the gym six weeks after giving birth.
“Since we had a long winter, it didn’t feel I missed out that much compared to my Swedish friends,” she said.
Westerberg is one of 108 players in the field hoping to earn the €30,000 first prize as well as a place in next month’s big events, the Ricoh Women’s British Open and Evian Masters in France.
Top-ranked players in the field include last week’s Deutsche Bank Ladies Open champion Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa; ABN AMRO Ladies Open winner Florentyna Parker from England; and Anja Monke of Germany, who won the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.
They are joined by new Australian talent Kristie Smith, 21, and South African Ashleigh Simon, as well as last week’s runner-up, Scotland’s Vikki Laing.
Ladies European Tour contributed to this report.