DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Annika Sorenstam isn’t the only player ready to tee it up at the Dubai Ladies Masters.
Although the Swede will be playing in the final tournament of her Hall of Fame career at the season-ending event, Gwladys Nocera and Amy Yang are two of the players to beat at Emirates Golf Club.
“Sorenstam has been an example for us,” said Nocera, a Frenchwoman poised to become Europe’s top-ranked female golfer. “What she single-handedly did for women’s golf is just amazing. It might be her last tournament with us, so if she wins, it will be a great thing for her, the tournament and golf in general.
“But like everybody else, I’m just going to give my best. If I’m in contention on the final day, I’ll do everything to win,” added Nocera, who is assured of winning this season’s money title.
The tournament starts Thursday, and dozens of players are trying to secure playing rights for the 2009 season by finishing inside the top 80 of the money list.
Yang, a 19-year-old South Korean who beat Sorenstam at her last event on home soil in August by winning the Scandinavian TPC, tied for fourth in each of her two previous visits to the Dubai Ladies Masters.
“I have great respect for Annika, but for me, it’s just another tournament and I won’t be doing anything differently,” said Yang, who was raised in Australia. “There are still heaps of players out there so I will keep trying hard. I don’t think it will be that different.”
Sorenstam is ending a career in which she won 89 international titles, including 10 majors and both previous Dubai Ladies Masters.