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Article on Maria from Ladies Europen Tour

Russian Team looks forward to “one of the best events of the year”
by LET

Maria Verchenova and Anastasia Kostina love the Comunitat Valenciana European Nations Cup. In fact, Maria loves it so much that she says: “It’s one of the best events of the year!”

The Russian duo teamed up in the event for the first time in 2009, when they finished in 17th position. Despite being fairly low on the leader board, they made a number of new fans at La Sella Resort in Dénia, Alicante and can’t wait to get back there next week for the 2010 tournament.

Kostina said: “I look forward to playing the Comunitat Valenciana European Nations Cup all year long. And there are many reasons why. First of all, I always loved playing team events. It is a great honour to be able to represent my country. Second, the Comunitat Valenciana European Nations Cup is probably the best run tournament I have played in.

“The organisers and the tournament staff do an amazing job of taking care of all the players, which makes us feel very special. The atmosphere of the tournament is great. We also get to play a very nice golf course: La Sella in Dénia. Since I have played the European Nations Cup the last two years I know the golf course and know what to expect. So I have been practising the different shots I think I will need for that course.”

The 24-year-old from Nakhabino in Russia also competed at the inaugural event in 2008 with her sister Maria, finishing in a very creditable sixth position, but she also knows Maria Verchenova well from their days playing amateur golf.

“I know Maria very well and I am very excited to play the European Nations Cup with her again this year. We played a lot of amateur golf together. Unfortunately we have not played much together since we both turned pro as I have played mostly in USA and Maria in Europe. I think our games will complement each other. I think our chances are very good,” she said.

Verchenova, who tied for 12th place at the recent Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, where she led after the first round, was also looking forward to playing with her partner: “The event is so much fun! It’s great to play as a team, because we hardly ever do it, since we play professional golf.

The 24-year-old from Moscow added: "Me and Anastasia have known each other for a long time. We played amateur golf together and had been playing for The Russian team but she went to America and I stayed in Europe, so we didn’t see each other a lot. But it’s great to get back to the time when we played team events a long time ago. It’s one of the events where we can all get together, have fun and enjoy good golf."

“We will try to win but it’s hard to say, because we hardly ever practise together. I think the main part is being a team, just getting in the right mood and fighting for it.”

Format of play for the 18-nation event will be fourballs (best ball) on Thursday and Saturday, with Valencian Cup on Friday and Sunday.

Valencian Cup is a variation on the Greensome Chapman System. In the normal Greensome Chapman System, both players tee off and then they switch balls. Player A plays Player Bs drive and vice versa. Usually, they would select the best second shot on every hole, and from that point until the ball is holed they would play one golf ball in alternate shot format.

The difference with the Valencian Cup system is that this system only applies to the par fours. For the par threes, alternative shots are played after the drives. For the par fives, players will hit three shots each, switching balls each time, and will then select the best third shot before playing alternative shots with the same ball for the remainder of the hole.


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