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They grow up so fast these days … 

The Aramco Team Series can allow itself a bit of a nostalgic moment this month as it returns to where it all began.

Following the experimental Saudi Ladies Team International in Jeddah way back in November 2020, the ATS came into being and it all teed off at Centurion Club, just outside London.

From July 16 to 18, some of the world’s top female golfers will be back to swing into action for what is already a third birthday at the St Albans course.

Marianne Skarpnord and Bronte Law have tasted success in the individual event here in 2021 and 2022 respectively, while Olivia Cowan and Nicole Garcia led their quartets to the team titles.

Anyone hoping to join that esteemed group this time around will face a tough battle as a stacked field of 108 contenders will be vying for the two trophies and the $1 million prize fund.

Not only will we have ATS regulars such as Georgia Hall, Charley Hull and defending individual champ Law, whose epic 55-foot eagle putt won the title, two more big fish will be on the hunt.

World No. 2 Nelly Korda — she of 12 pro wins and a major at the age of 24 — and Ireland’s Team Europe Solheim Cup hero Leona Maguire are signed up for the showdown. 

As the ATS comes back to the Centurion, with its tall redwoods on the front nine and expansive parklands on the back, this third instalment will surely be one of the hottest tickets in town during the British summer season. 

Korda has recovered from a blood clot that sidelined her for much of last year, and the 2021 PGA Championship winner has bounced back to form and secured six top-10 finishes out of just eight starts this year. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion showed she was back to her best with a third-place finish in the first major of the year at the Chevron Championship. 

Bronte Law is the defending champion from the Aramco Team Series London. Tristan Jones/LET

Korda also knows how to win on the ATS, having taken home the trophy from Sotogrande, Spain, last year.

“The Aramco Team Series is a special event that showcases a unique blend of individual talent and team dynamics in golf, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to once again compete alongside top professionals and amateurs,” she said. “I’ve had great performances in the past three Aramco Team Series events I’ve played in, so I hope to deliver a top performance for the fans in London and capture my second Aramco Team Series title.”

Maguire is also up for the challenge after a sensational 2022 that included the LPGA Drive On Championship title, and she also has ATS pedigree, having taken part in the stormy New York event, with a T18 finish. 

Nicole Garcia, Mia Baker, Madelene Stavnar and Kelly Whaley took the team title last year. The Aramco Team Series will once again be back at Centurion Club just outside London. P54

“I had a great time competing in the Aramco Team Series — New York last year, and I’m looking forward to being part of the Aramco Team Series on European soil and compete alongside an exceptional field that’s lining up,” she said. “Hopefully, we can put on a great show for the fans in the UK.”

London is the third stop on the ATS 2023 schedule, having already been on trips to Singapore and Florida, with Hong Kong and Riyadh still to come.

How it works

The format is the same as in 2022, with two competitions happening side by side — the individual strokeplay competition alongside the team event.

Each team will contain three professionals and one amateur. The team captains are selected based on their Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings ahead of the events.

The 26 captains pick one player from the remaining field of 78 professionals in reverse order — the 26th ranked captain will pick first with the top-ranked picking last, while the third pro and an amateur in each team are decided by random draw to complete the quartet.

The team competition will conclude after 36 holes, with the final day being the final round of the individual strokeplay competition.