07 March 2024

The 2020 AIG Women’s Open champion Sophia Popov is geared up for a return to the Ladies European Tour (LET), following an 18-month hiatus from golf.

The 2020 AIG Women’s Open champion Sophia Popov is geared up for a return to the Ladies European Tour (LET), following an 18-month hiatus from golf.

Popov is teeing it up at the Aramco Team Series Presented by PIF – Tampa in her first professional golf tournament since August 2022, with the combination of a shoulder injury and the arrival of her first child in June 2023 keeping her out of action.

The 2021 Solheim Cup winner understands that efficiency will be key to help her over the line this week at the Feather Sound Country Club, as she looks for her first win on tour since the 2020 AIG Women’s Open.

Despite the pressure of balancing the life of a golfer with being a new mother, the German national still finds plenty of positives, in particular the priceless smiles waiting for her when she gets home.

"It's my first time figuring it out for a tournament week,” explained Popov. “I must plan in a lot more time, I realised that a few days ago. I wake up in the morning thinking ‘this is going to be my schedule’, and then she does something that makes me about 25 minutes late!”

“It has definitely changed things, but the time I am on the golf course I work very efficiently. If I have 3 hours, I have 3 hours, I have to get my work done. I think it's actually helped me, plus when I come home, I always have someone that's smiling and me excited to see me.”

With the innovative team event series set to return on Friday March 8 at Feather Sound Country Club in Tampa Bay, Popov was joined by her fellow European competitors Charley Hull, Carlota Ciganda and Bronte Law in the tournament’s press conference.

Popov was selected in the Aramco Team Series Presented by PIF – Tampa draft by her co-panellist and team captain Bronte Law, who couldn’t believe her luck when selecting the German.

“When I saw her [Sophia Popov] available, it was a no brainer. I've known Sofia a very long time, we had a lot of fun times when we were in college.

“We spent a lot of time with each other, and she took me under a wing a bit when I was a junior. We had a really good relationship from a young age and I looked up to her.”

A testament to the camaraderie of the women on the tour is proven by the droves of advice fellow tour mums have given Popov, including words of wisdom from Solheim Cup 2024 captain Stacey Lewis and her assistant captain Brittany Lincicome.

“I talked to Stacey when I was still pregnant, she gave me quite a few tips, on traveling, what to take, what not to take, how to schedule your week, to be most efficient, and then also the expectation levels.

“I think we're kind of similar in that we probably expect the same thing as we did before and it’s trying to figure that out. She gave me a lot of help.

“Britanny [Lincicome], who is here, she's helped me too. She has two kids, so that's one step up. I’ll just try to deal with one for now.”

Despite the monumental changes to Popov’s personal life, she remains focused on the task in hand, finishing strong at the Aramco Team Series Presented by PIF – Tampa; but there will be strong competition.

Charley Hull, the current highest ranked Englishwomen, world no.8, and Aramco Team Series Presented by PIF – New York 2021 individual champion, was also present at the second of two pre-event press conferences at Feather Sound Country Club.

As focused as ever, the Solheim Cup superstar is looking to turn a fantastic 2023, which included second placed finishes at both the US Women’s Open and AIG Women's Open, into more wins in 2024.

“Every tournament you come to, you always want to turn them into wins,” said Hull reflecting on her previous year.

“You come because you want to win it, but I am going out there, having fun, not putting too much pressure myself, and just enjoying the week.”

Carlota Ciganda arrives in Tampa as the most recent winning captain of the Aramco Team Series Presented by PIF, leading her team to victory in Riyadh at the end of the year.

Like Law, the Spaniard was under no illusion that the draft system is important to performance at these events, with the experienced professional selecting an upcoming star on the LET.

 “I always like to pick Spanish players,” admitted Ciganda. “I didn't really see many this time, so I went with Annabell [Fuller]. I don't know her that much, but I've heard great things about her from others. I'm excited for the week, to play for the team, and to play as an individual.”

The groundbreaking LET tournament commences on Friday March 8 at Feather Sound Country Club in Tampa Bay, with the stellar field containing some of the best golfers in the world, including winners on the LET and LPGA, and three Major winners.

Representing 24 different nations across the globe, the well-travelled golfers will all play alongside an amateur for the first two days of the tournament, before fighting for the individual title on Sunday and the biggest share of the total $1million prize fund.

For more information on the tournament, please visit

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