Suzann Pettersen growing the game of golf
An estimated 5000 spectators witnessed the battle of the continents as Suzann Pettersen invited some of female golf’s most famous names to raise money for charity and to grow the game of female golf.
(Oslo, 9 September 2013) For the second year, Suzann Pettersen invited the stars of the LPGA and LET to join her at her home course in Oslo, Norway, in order to raise money for the “Right To Play” foundation.
Last years event featured names like Yani Tseng, Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa. This year’s Challenge was formed as a competition between teams from four “continents”. Yani Tseng returned and together with Ai Miyazato represented Team Asia. Beatriz Recari and Sandra Gal made up Team Europe, Jessica Korda and Paula Creamer competed for Team USA, while LPGA/Symetra Tour/ LET Access player Marita Engzelius together with Suzann Pettersen represented Team Norway. The line-up was made for a truly intercontinental golf spectacular in Oslo on 7 September.
Asia to win
The format of the tournament was fourball, and the teams switched opponents every sixth hole. At the end Team Asia came out victorious after finishing -10. Team Norway ended -8, Team Europe -5 and Team USA -4.
The event turned out to be a big boost for Norwegian golf raising an estimated 5000 spectators divided on the two groups.
- I know all the girls well. They are positive, outgoing and lovely girls who know what it takes to give spectators a great golf experience, says Suzann Pettersen.
Raising money for kid’s right to play
Right To Play, the organization receiving the donations from the fundraising, could by the end of the evening cash in NOK 850.000 (€105.000 / $140.000). The money was raised mainly through the Saturday charity dinner and entrance fee.
- I feel incredibly privileged to be able to devote myself to the one thing that I enjoy the most. Unfortunately, many kids are not as fortunate as I was growing up. To see the girls preforming at my home course in front of the crowds knowing this will help so many children in third world countries, really moved my heart, says Pettersen.
Bringing the Solheim Cup back home
The event also serves as preparation for what can possibly be a Norwegian application for the Solheim Cup 2019. The Norwegian Golf Federation, which will promote the event, have already been in informal meetings with the LET board, and will make a decision upon weather or not to apply for the biggest event in female golf when it returns to Europe in 2019. If so, it will mean taking the Cup back to where Karsten Solheim, founder of Ping, once came from.
- I loved the course, and it was in fantastic condition. The course is definitely good enough to host a Solheim Cup. I hope Norway can do it. Suzann is a great friend of mine, and it would be huge for her to get the Solheim Cup to her homeland, Paula Creamer says.
- The course is good enough for any LPGA Tour-event, let alone the Solheim Cup. Having a Norwegian boyfriend and caddie I would lie if I didn't say I feel half Norwegian. It would be very special if Norway could host the Solheim Cup, says Beatriz Recari.
The Suzann Pro Challenge is collaboration between Suzann Pettersen Management, BMW, Thon Hotels, P4, Jarlsberg, Norwegian Golf Federation, Oslo Golf Club and Right to Play.