ALEX Armas believes players on the Ladies European Tour will relish the Aramco Team Series and has hailed the addition to the calendar as a ‘unique’ opportunity for up-and-coming stars.
The London leg gets underway at St Albans’ Centurion Club on Thursday and will see three professionals team up with an amateur with a $1m prize pot at stake.
Further Aramco Team Series events will follow in Sotogrande (August 5 to 7), New York (October 14 to 16) and Jeddah (November 10-12) later this year, following the success of the Saudi Ladies Team International at the latter in November 2020.
The LET chief executive is delighted to have brought regular team golf to the calendar and hopes the camaraderie will bring out the best in the players battling it out on the Hertfordshire fairways.
“We have the Solheim Cup and that is the ultimate team event, the players really love it,” she said.
“A lot of our players have come through the amateur ranks and played in their national teams so it becomes quite a lonely world when you turn pro and you’re travelling by yourself.
“When they experienced [last November’s] event in Jeddah, the feedback was that the players wanted more of it.
“We could see they were enjoying it, they were happy, and we know it’s good for the players and the public to engage in this slightly different concept.
“I was hesitant initially as when you have a team, there are more variables. Players do have to be selfish at times and I wasn’t sure how they’d react to not having complete control over who their teammates are.
“But once they were out there, they were supporting each other and it was amazing, a really exciting experience.
“I thought ‘we can’t let this go – there’s definitely something here the players can engage with’.”
Teams are selected in part via a draft system and otherwise at random, with the inclusion of amateur players another distinctive feature.
Those stepping up to the big stage could be the lucky player to hole an event-winning putt on the LET and scoop their professional teammates valuable prize money.
“It’s a unique opportunity for the amateur players,” said Armas, who has been in post since January 2020.
“It’s the closest you’ll ever get to competitive golf, actually being in the competition, and it’s a great chance to understand how the players work as they will be sharing their thoughts.
“I don’t think you can get closer to any professional game than what will be happening this week.
“We are very proud of our players and that opportunity to give that insight to the world is a unique one. It will be interesting to see how that evolves over the week.”
The Aramco Team Series – London is the first of five 2021 Ladies European Tour (LET) events sponsored by Aramco. For more information, visit aramcoteamseries.com