There is only one week to go until the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open (FBMLO) gets underway at the iconic Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in Abu Dhabi. Held for the second year under the patronage of the Mother of the Nation, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, this year’s four-day tournament will take place from next Wednesday 1st November through to Saturday 4th November.
This year’s tournament has already attracted a stellar line-up and it has now been confirmed that two Swedish protégées are set to join the player roster as Annika Sörenstam’s wildcard picks. Teenagers Amanda Linnér and Julia Engström have both been selected to play and will be hoping to make their own respective break-outs during the four-day tournament.
Linnér recently prevailed at the 2017 ANNIKA Invitational Europe after birdieing the final hole to force a dramatic play-off conclusion. She is currently ranked 4th in the amateur European Golf Rankings and 19th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Amanda is regarded as one of the top young players in the world. Meanwhile, Engström made her Ladies European Tour debut when she was only 13 years old at the 2014 Helsingborg Open. At the age of 15, Julia became the youngest ever winner of the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship. She is currently ranked 6th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and competed for Europe in the 2017 PING Junior Solheim Cup alongside Amanda.
Sörenstam believes it will be an incredible experience for the two youngsters:
“Amanda and Julia have played well in recent months. I am thrilled that they will have the opportunity to travel to Abu Dhabi to compete in this wonderful LET event, which I was delighted to help launch last year. The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open will be a very special week for everyone and I look forward to seeing how Amanda and Julia perform against the top professionals in Europe. I wish them along with all the players the very best of luck."
This year’s tournament is focused on family and community, with a range of fun activities, food trucks and entertainment as well as the world-class golf, making it a perfect day out for all the family, and a great opportunity for youngsters to get into golf and other sports. Golfing fun includes a bespoke crazy golf course, chipping challenge, the regions first-ever ‘paint golf’, and introductory beginners’ sessions, with other sports covered by the FIFA Club World Cup fan zone, and sessions from Abu Dhabi cricket, and Troon Fit. Entry is free for all and the organisers hope that friends and families will be encouraged to attend, as part of growing the game of golf in the UAE, especially amongst females, and increasing participation in sport, health and fitness across the board. This move has been widely supported by this year’s participating players and speaking on the importance of family, Amanda Linnér commented:
“This will be my first time playing golf in Abu Dhabi and I’ve heard wonderful things about last year’s tournament. I hope I can repay Annika’s faith in me and deliver for all those who come along to this year’s tournament, particularly my family, and encourage more people to get involved.”
“It was such an incredible surprise when I heard that Annika had picked me to be part of this year’s FBMLO. I come from a golfing family – and my family’s support has always been extremely important. My father has a four handicap and my mother also plays, so that's where I get my love of the game from and my competitive attitude.”
Over the four-day period, 126 players will compete for a total prize purse of $550,000. The opening two days will see the first rounds taking place before the cut at the end of the second day, where the player count is halved.
The FBMLO is sponsored by: FBMA, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, TDIC, Al Masaood, Etihad Airways and Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi.
The event is free to attend and ticket registration and more information is available at www.FBMLadiesOpen.com, on Instagram and Twitter (@FBMLadiesOpen), and on Facebook. Visitors can also register on the gate.