There’s one final tournament before the LET joins the LPGA on the Asia tournament loop, the LaCosta Ladies Open de France. The 4-round, 72-hole stroke play event begins Thursday, September 26 and runs through Sunday, September 29 at the Chantaco Golf Club in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Aquataine, in the heart of Basque Country. It’s the perfect venue for a weekend of French golfing fun!
Australian Stacey Keating is the defending champion. At the 2012 LaCosta Open Keating’s opening round of eight under par 62 secured her second straight Ladies European Tour victory. The 27-year-old from Cressy in Victoria completed a fairytale victory with rounds of 71, 69 and 64, two weeks after winning her first title at the Tenerife Ladies Open.
Keating received the Ladies Open de France trophy from Sophie Lacoste, President of Lacoste SA, accompanied by the recently victorious European Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal and former women’s world number one Lorena Ochoa, who competed in the tournament, making the win all the more special. Can she do it again?
I’m obviously looking forward to playing this week where I have so many good memories and would love to be able to put myself in contention, but I’ll just take each round as it comes and enjoy the week!
Stacy Keating, on defending her title at the Ladies Open de France
Keating will face a strong field of challengers for this final LET event of the fall. Five members of the victorious European Solheim Cup team are among the field of 78 competitors. French No.1 Karine Icher will be joined by Spanish duo Azahara Muñoz and Carlota Ciganda, English rookie Charley Hull and Team Europe assistant captain Carin Koch from Sweden. South African Lee-Anne Pace, ranked third on the Order of Merit and local player Anne-Lise Caudal from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, will join the Solheim Stars in their challenge to Keating.
Keating isn’t going to let the challengers roll past her easily. She’s currently ranked 14th on the LET after 12 tournaments played in 2013. And Keating has recorded four top ten finishes including a season-best of third at the New Zealand Women’s Open. She’s bringing a winning game to the Lacosta.
The competition will be pure and the playing field is steeped in golf history. Chantaco Golf Club was established in 1928 and that year 300 spectators followed a great match between Arnaud Massy, the club’s first professional and the only French major winner, Jean Gassiat Aubrey and Percy Boomer. Chantaco has been a favorite of the Prince of Wales, Charlie Chaplin, the Prince of Bourbon, and Jeacques Thibaud, and remains a stunningly beautiful and technically challenging venue.
With sunny skies, temperatures in the high 60s, and light winds, the weather at the Lacoste family course promises to be stunningly perfect for a weekend of golf. The event will be broadcast live on European television and I’ll provide a tournament update after the 2nd round cut and a wrap-up on Sunday night.