Walsh flies the flag for Irish at the Swiss Ladies Open

Kevin Kent

Lauren Walsh (Photo: Tristan Jones/LET)

Kevin Kent

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Lauren Walsh will be the sole flag-carrier for the Irish this week as the Ladies European Tour pitches up in a stunning mountain backdrop overlooking Lake Zug for the Swiss Ladies Open.

All eyes in the Zurich environs will be firmly on home favourite and ’24 tour winner Chiara Tamburlini who returns to action after a week off.

A 131-strong field of 33 nationalities take to the par-71 Golfpark Holzhäusern this week for 54-holes of stroke-play in this, the 16th event of the Tour’s season. Defending champion Alexandra Försterling won’t be here this week to defend her crown as she continues to plough her furrow in the United States on the LPGA circuit. A new winner this week will be crowned, and the 300k prize fund will be claimed here on Sunday with the top-60 and ties making it to the final day.

There are no shortage of past tournament winners in the field this week, even with the absence of the ’23 winner, with Liz Young joined by South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace (2010) and Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord (2009). Last week’s winner in the Czech Open comes into the week in hot form. Spain’s Marta Martin, having cruised to victory last Sunday will be another who fancies her chances heading into the week.

Lauren Walsh begins her tilt at the week in match five of the morning three-balls off the first with Seher Atwal of India, and New Zealander Momoka Kobori for company. An 8.44AM start for the Carton House woman, who was not in action in the Czech Open last weekend and comes into the week looking to bounce back from a missed cut on the Ladies Italian Open last time out. The 23-year-old Dubliner sits 35th in the OOM and already has three top-10 finishes to her name this season. Another good showing this week would be a shot in the arm heading into the business end of the season with twelve events remaining on the calendar.

There are plenty of form players taking to the Swiss countryside this week, not least England’s Amy Taylor, hot on the heels of her maiden tour victory at the Ladies Italian Open a fortnight ago. She is joined this week with last year’s runner-up Norway’s Madeline Stavnar looking to go one better this year while in-form Austrian Emma Spitz will be looking to make moves on the OOM where she currently sits in 10th spot.

The local favourite and ’24 rookie Chiara Tamburlini will be one of an impressive 14 Swiss players in the field this week looking for home glory and having taken last week off, Tamburlini was on hand to discuss her preparations for her home Open Championship. She explained: “I had a week off last week. Kind of resting my wrist and my mind to be honest. It was really good to be home for a full week. I honestly took a lot of time away from golf. I think I took five or six days away which was a first this year. But it really helped me, and I feel like I’m excited to get back on the golf course. With it being a home event as well, excitement all around!’’

This year’s top rookie spoke about how she felt with her game: “I’m feeling quite good after my week off,“ Tamburlini said. “The game feels good. I feel like it’s important to know when to take time off. You don’t necessarily get worse when you take time off. Especially the way I’ve been feeling the last couple of weeks. I feel like my issue was not my swing or my putting stroke, it was more my brain. My mind was not in the right spot but after taking some time off, it has healed itself.”

With the hopes of two nations resting on the young shoulders of Walsh and Tamburlini, everything is set for an intriguing week in the Swiss peaks.

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