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EXPERIENCED Becky Morgan joked she would tell her amateur playing partner to sink a beer to calm their nerves on the first tee this week, writes Josh Graham.
The Welsh star, 46, is gearing up for a tilt at the London leg of the Aramco Team Series on Thursday and is in one of 36 teams, each consisting of three pro golfers and one fortunate amateur.
The distinctive format is made special by the opportunity provided to UK amateur golfers, who could be the lucky player to hole an event-winning putt on the Ladies European Tour and scoop Morgan and co valuable prize money
The best two net scores per hole are recorded in the 54-hole team competition, meaning the part-timers can have a significant say on the outcome of the event which features the likes of Georgia Hall, Lexi Thompson and Anna Nordqvist.
“I usually tell them to drink a beer, actually,” said Morgan, who won her first professional golf tournament at the 2018 Hero Women’s Indian Open.
“Obviously, it’s a completely different environment for them. The first tee is nerve-wracking for everyone, even us, so for the amateurs it is doubly so.
“You have to chat with them for a few holes and make sure they are calm and then generally they tend to get into it a bit better.
“You try and get to know them and calm them down a bit and see what they do for a job and all this stuff.
“By the end of the three days you have with them, you know them quite well.
“We still don’t actually know who we are playing with, but they can be a big part of the score at the end of the day and it’s luck of the draw who you get.
“Last time my partner was great, a really nice guy and played well so I’m sort of hoping for something similar this time.
World No.440 Morgan revealed all the players who are set to compete at Centurion Club, St Albans in the unique three-day event, which also includes an individual 54-hole stroke play competition, are relishing having teammates on their side for once.
“We don’t really have any other team events than the Solheim Cup, so I think everyone’s really excited about having teammates,” she added.
“It’s tricky because it’s not a complete team event, there’s an individual aspect to it, so you can’t technically help each other.
“But being able to support each other and cheer each other on is nice because it’s something that doesn’t usually happen week in week out.”
Players will duel it out for a cool $1million prize pot on the Hertfordshire fairways, with the London leg kicking off a set of five LET events sponsored by Aramco in the USA, Spain and Saudi Arabia.
The LET field will take to courses in Sotogrande (August 5 to 7), New York (October 14 to 16) and Jeddah (November 10-12), with the Jeddah event taking place just days after the Aramco Saudi Ladies International – presented by Public Investment Fund – from November 4 to 7.
And Morgan is hoping a bit of fun in the sun can propel her and her new team to the top of the leaderboard.
“It's a really nice venue; I’m hoping the sun comes out so it can be a good few days,” she said.
“Individually, everyone is here to try and win but realistically top 10 would be a great result for me.
“With the team, the more fun you have potentially the better you can do together so hopefully we have chemistry the next few days - it’s going to be fun.”
Becky Morgan will compete in the Aramco Team Series – London, the first of five 2021 Ladies European Tour (LET) events sponsored by Aramco. For more information, visit aramcoteamseries.com