The 47th edition of the Hassan II Trophy and the 26th edition of the Lalla Meryem Cup started on Tuesday with the kick-off of the Pro-Am competitions.
During this first day, the Royal Moroccan Golf Federation and the Hassan II Golf Trophy Association also organized a press conference to launch the competitions, in the presence of Mr. Mustapha Zine, Vice President of the RMGF and the ATH; Mr. Miller Brady, President of the PGA Tour Champions; Mr. Joao Pinto, Director of the Hassan II Golf Trophy; and Mr. Jean-Louis Besson, President of the Lalla Meryem Cup. Joao Pinto, Director of the Lalla Meryem Cup; Mr. Hassan El Mansouri, 2nd vice-president of the FRMG and the ATH; the Spanish pro Nuria Iturrioz, winner of the Lalla Meryem Cup Minaudiere in 2019, as well as the Scotsman Colin Montgomerie, former winner of the Hassan II Trophy in 1997.
Maitre Mustapha Zine vice-president of the FRMG and the ATH said that the 2023 edition of the Hassan II Trophy is an exceptional edition. “This year, we begin a new era through the PGA Tour Champions which hosts the most recognized senior players of the golf world and is held in only three countries outside the United States, including Morocco.
For his part, Mr. Miller Brady, President of the PGA Tour Champions, emphasized that the PGA Tour Champions is proud of its partnership with the Royal Moroccan Golf Federation (FRMG) and the Hassan II Trophy Association (ATH) which organize these prestigious sporting events. “Both tournaments are returning to the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat, with the participation of the best golfers in the world,” he added.
The legendary Colin Montgomerie expressed his excitement to return to the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam. “I feel proud to return here after winning the tournament in 1997. I really admire this course. Morocco is world famous for its beautiful golf courses in Rabat and Marrakech, and we are looking forward to the competition.
As for Mr. Joao Pinto, director of the Lalla Meryem Cup, he stressed that the 26th edition welcomes this year 96 players of the Ladies European Tour among which the first 5 of the Ranking 2022. “The players are always delighted to participate in the tournament. Morocco has always been an important lever for female talent.
For the Spanish golfer Nuria Iturrioz, she noted that the title of the Lalla Meryem Cup that she won in 2019, is the most important of her career, expressing the wish to repeat this feat in the 2023 edition.
In this sense, Mr. Hassan El Mansouri, 2nd vice-president of the FRMG and the ATH, also stressed that the 2023 edition of the Lalla Meryem Cup is unique because of the participation of seven Moroccan players including three professionals, namely; Ines Laklalech, the rising star of the national golf who won the Lacoste Ladies Open of France within the framework of the Ladies European Tour in 2022 and who qualified for the LPGA for 2023; Maha Haddioui, member of the Ladies European Tour for 10 years and double representative of Morocco in the Olympic Games, as well as Lina Belmati, Moroccan champion in 2022.
Mr. El Mansouri also highlighted one of the novelties of this year: the organization of the “Kids Cup” under the Pro-Am format, with the participation of young golfers from the First Tee program and professional players. “Since 2019, the partnership established with the Non-Profit Organization “First Tee” in the United States has allowed 100 young people to learn life skills through the practice of golf.”
He added that these mechanisms, available in accordance with the instructions of HRH Prince Moulay Rachid, President of the Royal Moroccan Golf Federation, augur a bright future for golf in the Kingdom.
Until Saturday, February 11, the two flagship competitions of the Moroccan golfing calendar will offer a full program that will make this great sporting event one of the richest editions.
The two tournaments are televised every year to more than 650 million households on five continents.
The complete program is available at: https://hassan2golftrophy.com/
(Text: Trophee Hassan II)