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Wales loses Ladies' European Tour event

Conwy Golf Course was the 2010 host for the Ladies European Tour in Wales
Conwy Golf Course was the 2010 host for the Ladies European Tour in Wales

Wales will not host a Ladies European Tour event next year for the first time in a decade, it has been announced

The Wales Ladies Championship has been a staple of the professional golf calendar since 2001.

But just three months after hosting the Ryder Cup, Wales is not among the 19 countries hosting a Ladies European Tour tournament in 2011.

The 2010 championship held at Conwy, with a £300,000 prize fund, was won by European number one Lee-Anne Pace.

The news that her home nation will not feature on the LET next year came as a surprise to Wales' top women's golfer.

"I'm astonished," said Becky Brewerton.

"Having no ladies' event is a little bit embarrassing.

"I've already had a fair number of my Tour colleagues asking me why there's no event in Wales, when it's always been so popular.

"It's funny to think we have events in countries like Slovakia, Finland and Holland - possibly countries that are not that well-known for golf - yet there'll be no tournament in Wales next year."

The announcement that Wales will not be one of the 19 countries to host an event will be a blow to those hoping to build a lasting legacy on the back of a successful Ryder Cup.

The men's Wales Open will continue to be held at Celtic Manor Resort until at least 2014.

But now the Ryder Cup party is over, Brewerton feels let down by golf's hierarchy.

"I feel quite disappointed," said the 28-year-old from Abergele who is twice an LET winner.

"I really feel more could have been done to secure this event.

"I was asked many times what legacy the Ryder Cup would leave.

"When you consider how many ladies, men and juniors have taken up golf, for our tournament to just stop seems odd to me.

"You get the feeling that the whole build-up was about the Ryder Cup.

"Part of hosting it was that you had to have ladies', men's and seniors' events, and so on.

"You almost get the feeling we were only having these events because they were forced into it.

"And as soon as that wasn't there, we were just dumped."

Ryder Cup Wales (RCW) was instrumental in hosting the Wales Ladies' Championship, an event which has been held in Conwy, Royal Porthcawl, Machynys and Royal St David's.

RCW chief executive Rob Holt stressed the door wasn't completely closed on a ladies' professional event returning to Wales in 2011.

But he also suggested it may be a straight choice between hosting the ladies' event and the Wales Senior Open.

"We're in discussions with the Welsh Assembly's major events unit, the LET and the European Tour to see what events we can attract to Wales," said Holt.

"But we need to be aware there are competing demands for budget.

"The ladies' event is one of the biggest events in Wales, but so is the seniors'.

"We need to assess the options and see what is best in the context of Welsh golf, the legacy of the Ryder Cup and the events strategy, which the Assembly has announced.

"It's a case of 'watch this space.'"

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see also
Davies loses Order of Merit bid
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McDowell seals Cup win for Europe
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Ryder Cup's legacy benefits clubs
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Pace secures Wales Ladies triumph
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Wales Open future in question
07 Jun 10 |  Golf
Sports events must leave 'legacy'
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Stupples holds on for Harlech win
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Lahlin gets play-off win in Wales
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