By Kent Gray
In-Kyung Kim faces an early start, and a reunion with a friendly foe, in her bid to become the third multiple winner of the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic.
The defending Women’s British Open champion will lead the third threesome off the 10th tee on Wednesday morning in the opening round of the $500,000 Ladies European Tour season-ender at Emirates G.C. after the first round groupings were unveiled today.
Jodi Ewart Shadoff and fellow Englishwoman Sophie Lamb, who won low amateur honours as Kim clinched the British Open at Kingsbarns Links in July, make up the 7.30am group.
Kim, 29, won the 2009 Classic – then Omega Dubai Ladies Masters – and is out to emulate inaugural and back-to-back champion Annika Sörenstam (2006 and 2007) and absent four-time defending champion Shanshan Feng (2012, ‘14, ‘15, ‘16) as a multiple winner.
Having already sealed the LET’s money title, England’s Georgia Hall is off the 1st tee at 11.35am in a marquee group including 2016 runner-up Charley Hull and last season’s Player of the Year Beth Allen.
Dame Laura Davies, European Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew and 2016 European team rookie Florentyna Parker are off 10 minutes later while the spotlight will also be on two-time major champion Brittany Lincicome (11.55am) and reigning LET Rookie of the Year and Fatima Bint Mybarak Ladies Open champion Aditi Ashok (12.15pm) who are also set off the 1st tee.
Crowd-favourite Carly Booth is off the 10th tee at 12.05pm while Golf Digest Middle East’s December cover star Amy Boulden will begin her bid for a maiden LET title at 11.15am from the Majlis’ 1st tee.
South African Nicole Garcia and England’s Holly Clyburn will simultaneously hit the first shots of the 12th Omega Dubai Ladies Classic off the 1st and 10th tees at 7.10am respectively.
Norway’s two-time major champion Suzann Pettersen is a late withdrawal for what has been described as “personal medical reasons.”