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PETTERSEN AT 'HOME' AT PALMERSTON



Norway's Suzann Pettersen starts this week's 100,000 Palmerston Ladies German Open as hot favourite as the Sporting Club Berlin Faldo course is not only her European training base, but also the scene of her individual win in last years World Amateur championship.

Pettersen, a powerful 20-year-old from Oslo, won this year at the French Open, her first win in just two starts as a professional, defeating Wales' Becky Morgan in a dramatic playoff.

The Norwegian leads the points list in the race for this years Rookie of the year title, and with Spain's Paula Marti, her nearest challenger who has won twice this year, taking a weeks rest, Pettersen has a chance to increase her lead heading into the last five events of the year.

"I am feeling good here," said Pettersen. "It is such a great place with every facility imaginable, and it brings back great memories from last year.

"And because Simon Holmes (her coach) is based here, I am going to give mum
a week off from caddying and let him see me play competitively."

But chasing Marti and Pettersen for the Rookie title is France's Karine Icher, runner up behind Spain's Raquel Carriedo at last week's Compaq Open.

The 22-year-old from Châteauroux is disappointed after last week's event where a one shot penalty for slow play ultimately cost her the chance of her maiden win.

However, with a string of top tens this year, many pundits believe that the
Frenchwoman will win before the season is over and make the Rookie race
interesting.

All three players graduated from Q-School in Portugal last year and have taken the Tour by storm so far this year.

But for this week, the more experienced campaigners are looking to usurp the
young Tourists and Carriedo aims to add to her two wins this year, the Taiwan Open and the Compaq, and wrap up the race for the Order of Merit title.

The 30-year-old from Zaragoza prevented picking up the silver medal spot for
the tenth time in her career with a gritty final round in Stockholm last week to pip Icher by one.

She leads Sweden's Maria Hjorth by less than one thousand points in the race
for the title, but with Hjorth playing on the LPGA, Carriedo is in pole position.

German representation lays with Elisabeth Esterl, still waiting to win her first event on Tour, and Miriam Nagl, a 21-year-old from Berlin who normally plays on the LPGA Futures Tour.

 
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