2008-10-28

DUBAI -- Gwladys Nocera will be aiming to make it two-in-a-row when the ‘iron lady of French golf, competes in the forthcoming Lalla Meryem Cup to be held along side the Hassan II Golf Trophy by Emaar at the Royal Golf Club of Dar Es-Salam from November 4 to 9.

The four-time European champion Nocera will join veteran Laura Davies, Lotta Wahlin and Rebecca Hudson amongst other big guns in a star-studded field contesting for honours in the prestigious $100,000 event which was founded in 1993.

Currently enjoying a rich vein of form, Nocera has already raked in 10 top-10 finishes this season which includes three titles, one runner-up and three third-placed finishes – a great run of success which has firmly put her in the frame to win the season-ending Ladies European Tour event in Dubai.

She is, at present, leading the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit list with euro 382,605 in earnings from 21 tournaments she played this season ahead of Helen Alfredsson of Sweden, who has so far made euro 320,099 from just four events.

"I am really looking forward to playing in Rabat. It’s always a great fun playing there even though it’s not a European Ladies Tour event. The hospitality is simply fantastic and so are the people,” said the 38-year-old Frenchwoman, who was voted as the Player of the Year in 2006.

“I am hitting the ball well and my concentration is in top gear. I could have done even better this season, but that’s golf: things do not always fall in place however hard you try,” said Nocera, who carded 10-under-par 209 on the Blue course last year to win the winner’s cheque for $28,000.

“To win the Lalla Meryem Cup represents many things,” smiled Nocera who also received a small hand bag encrusted with diamonds.

“I am very proud to have won this tournament and to have responded to those who said I was the favourite,” said Nocera. “I am confident of repeating the feat, but for that to happen I will have to be on top of my game as the field this year includes seasoned players like Laura Davies,” added Nocera, the two-time Solheim Cup player.

“Tournaments like the Lalla Meryem Cup have gone a long way in promoting the game of golf among women and I am delighted to be part of the event once again,” said Nocera who is also the winner of the inaugural EMAAR-MGF Ladies Masters in Bangalore, India, last year.

Organisers of the event which is jointly promoted by Hassan II Golf Trophy Society and ‘golf in DUBAI’ were delighted with the quality of the field this year. “With Gwladys returning to defend her title and Laura Davies making her debut, we are looking forward to seeing some exciting golf,” said Mohamed Chaibi, Executive Director of the Hassan II Golf Trophy by Emaar.