German pairing Olivia Cowan and Sarina Schmidt have a chance to defend their team title in the Aramco Team Series – London this week after teaming up for the second consecutive season on Tuesday night.
Captain Cowan elected to reunite with Schmidt in hopes of repeating their winning performance from last year’s Aramco Team Series debut, in which they triumphed by three shots and clinched the first four-ball title of the $1 million tournament.
That year, India’s Diksha Dagar was her randomly assigned third teammate. This time around, French starlet Emma Grechi completes a line-up expected to take part in a challenge at the Centurion Club in St Albans this week.
Cowan, 26, said: “We’ve got the band back together so it should be a good week! Last year we did really well, mainly because we supported each other. I think we will be good again this year.
“I had a few options in the draft should Sarina get picked, but of course I’m glad I got to pick her.”
Schmidt adds: “We had so much fun last year and loved to push each other. When Olivia holed out in the finals for Eagle last year it was a turning point for us. Hopefully again this week.”
Australia’s Whitney Hillier used her captaincy pick to reunite with Finland’s Krista Bakker just a month after the two shared the Aramco Team Series – Bangkok team title at the first ATS event of the season. Team Hillier will also have Lisa Pettersson from Sweden this week.
“Krista has good vibes and plays well too, so I picked her,” said Hillier, whose Bangkok title was her first on the Ladies European Tour in a decade.
“We get along so well – and I just met Lisa too. She’s also a good player, so I’m looking forward to playing tomorrow.”
Other notable captain selections included both Georgia Hall and Charley Hull opting for the ‘full English’, choosing Lily May Humphreys and Annabel Dimmock respectively.
Former Women’s Open winner Hall said: “I’ve met Lily a couple of times. She’s an aspiring player and I’m really looking forward to spending some time with her. She’s a good player, so I’m looking forward to it. It should be a good week.”
On her choice of Annabel Dimmock, Charley Hull said: “I’m just looking forward to having a little laugh out there, so hopefully she’ll bring just a few laughs. She’s a pal and there will be a laugh out there.”
And on Norway’s Karoline Lund, who will complete the professional part of Team Hull, the 26-year-old added: “We’ll see if she can take on the English banter!”
Elsewhere, Chloe Williams was picked by fellow Welsh native Becky Morgan, while Scotland’s Gabrielle Macdonald completed a Celtic pro trio for Team Morgan.
Sweden’s Linn Grant – fresh from becoming the first woman to become the first woman to win a DP World event after her nine-shot win at last weekend’s Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed – also opted for a countrywoman, with Sofie Bringer was her choice.
For the third time in Aramco Team Series history, Bronte Law selected her hero, Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew, as her pick.
“She’s a great champion and a very good golfer,” said Law, who finished T6 at the US Women’s Open earlier this month. “I think this event requires stable players who can often contribute. Catriona is that person.”
This week’s London leg is the second of five $1 million Aramco Team Series tournaments on the LET’s 2022 calendar. It’s famed for its unique format, which sees three LET pros play in teams with one amateur player .
It returns to Centurion Club with a new format from last year’s inaugural series. This season, teams compete over just 36 holes on the Thursday and Friday of the tournament, with the $500,000 prize pool split between the lowest-scoring fourballs.
On the final day of play on Saturday, only the 60 lowest-scoring players and the ties from the first two days will return to the court to compete for a share of another $500,000, this time in the form of singles wins.
Further information on participation and tickets can be found at aramcoteamseries.com or follow the event on social media @aramco_series.