Ana Dawson will make a little piece of history when she makes her professional debut at the Kenya Open today (Thursday).

The two-time island women’s champion will become the first Isle of Man player to compete on the Ladies European Tour (LET).

The event, held at the Vipingo Ridge resort just outside Mombasa, carries an overall purse of €350,000, with the winner taking home €45,000 as well as the first trophy of the LET season.

Ana will tee it up alongside 95 other hopefuls as she aims to plant the Manx flag firmly on the leaderboard and make a lightning start to her rookie season on the Tour.

The Peel golfer earned her place in the field via an excellent finish to her 2022 season which included both national and international amateur victories in the prestigious Faldo Series, and culminated in a confident, assured performance across two stages of Q-School at La Manga at the end of the year.

She played some outstanding golf across a gruelling final two weeks of hard competition in December, with a gutsy finish of two sub-70 rounds on the last two days ensuring that she achieved full Tour status at the first time of asking and made the decision to turn professional the easiest of choices.

The climate in Kenya clearly has little in common with Peel or Castletown in January. To ensure she is ready for the change of climate, Ana has been preparing for the start of the season with a 10-day training camp in Portugal.

This was primarily at the Benamor resort in the Algarve region just outside Faro, where the course generously offered to host her for 10 days, providing access to the course, range, and short-game facilities plus the local gym.

As well as ensuring she has her A game ready for Kenya and is fit and ready to play 72 holes week in week out, there are other aspects of the transition onto the Tour that take some getting used to.

These include completing all of the Tour induction paperwork, understanding the responsibilities around membership and getting used to the rules around everything from Pro-Am participation to sponsorship regulations.

Ana commented: ‘I’m very grateful to everyone in the island – both companies and individuals – who have helped me get onto that first tee and I’m hugely thankful for the support.

‘The last month has been pretty hectic but right now I’m just excited to just go play golf.’

The Ladies European Tour tagline for the 2023 season is #RaiseOurGame. With a full season of events on her calendar across multiple continents, Ana will be looking to do just that and to put the Isle of Man very much on the golfing map.