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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Annika Sorenstam hands Swedish teenagers wild-card picks for Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Open

Amanda Linner and Julia Engstrom will join the world’s leading women golfers at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club from November 1-4

Sweden's Annika Sorenstam practices at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. Courtesy Four Communications
Sweden's Annika Sorenstam practices at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. Courtesy Four Communications

Amanda Linner and Julia Engstrom will join the world’s leading women golfers in the second staging of the Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Open at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club from November 1-4.

The Swedish teenagers arrive in Abu Dhabi as wild-card picks of Annika Sorenstam, guest of honour at last year’s inaugural event and one of the most successful women golfers of all time.

Linner is ranked fourth in the amateur European Golf Rankings and 19th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. She recently prevailed at the 2017 Annika Invitational Europe after birdieing the final hole to force a dramatic play-off conclusion.

Engstrom, at 15, became the youngest winner of the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship in 2016. She is currently ranked sixth in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and competed for Europe in the 2017 Junior Solheim Cup alongside Linner.

“Amanda and Julia have played well in recent months,” Sorenstam said of the two teenagers.

“I am thrilled that they will have the opportunity to travel to Abu Dhabi to compete in this wonderful LET [Ladies European Tour] event, which I was delighted to help launch last year.”

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Beth Allen and Cheyenne Woods to headline Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Open

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Linner makes her first appearance in Abu Dhabi and said she hopes to to prove Sorenstam right for handing her a wild card.

“I hope I can repay her faith in me and deliver for all those who come along to this year’s tournament, particularly my family, and encourage more people to get involved,” she said.

Engstrom added: “It was such an incredible surprise when I heard that Annika had picked me to be part of this year’s FBMLO.

“I come from a golfing family – and my family’s support has always been extremely important. My father has a four handicap and my mother also plays, so that's whom [sic] I get my love of the game from and my competitive attitude.”

The event has drawn 126 players vying for a total prize purse of US$550,000 (just over Dh2 million).