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Monday, November 20, 2017

ISOBEL WARDLE COMMITS TO UCLA IN 2018





Isobel Wardle (Pictured above) , beaten finalist in the 2016 British girls open amateur championship and later English girls' and women's stroke-play champion, has signed up to go to the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) next year.

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LEXI MISSES 2FT VICTORY PUTT IN LPGA TOUR 2017 FINALE

NAPLES, Fla. -- Lexi Thompson won $1 million for the CME Race to the Globe and left so much more behind Sunday in the LPGA Tour's final event.
Thompson was poised to win the CME Group Tour Championship and LPGA Player of the Year until she jabbed at a 2-foot par putt and missed it on the 18th hole at Tiburon Golf Club. That paved the way for Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn, who birdied her last two holes for a 5-under 67 and a one-shot victory
It was a wild ending to the LPGA Tour season and sent four players home with a trophy.

Lexi earns $1 million, valuable lessons
She lost the season's first major after a bizarre penalty. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Her grandmother died. A missed 2-foot putt cost her the final event. Yet Lexi Thompson persevered, and has $1 million and the Vare Trophy to show for it.

Although she lost the tournament, Thompson still won the CME Race to the Globe and the $1 million bonus. She also won the Vare Trophy for having the lowest adjusted scoring average.
Thompson had to win the tournament to be Player of the Year. Instead, the points-based LPGA Player of the Year was a tie between a pair of major champions from South Korea, So Yeon Ryu and LPGA rookie Sung Hyun Park. It was the first time the award was shared since it was first given out in 1966.
Park, the U.S. Women's Open champion, was trying to become the first rookie since Nancy Lopez in 1978 to sweep the major awards. She already had won Rookie of the Year. She had to settle for a tie for Player of the Year, and her 75 in the third round damaged her chances of winning the Vare Trophy.
What stood out on another sunny afternoon was the sterling performance of Jutanugarn, who won for the second time this year.
She was three shots behind Thompson with six holes to play when her putter saved the day.
Jutanugarn was at 13 under on the par-5 17th when she hit a hybrid for her second shot into the bunker and blasted out to about 18 feet. Ahead of her on the 18th green, Thompson was at 15 under and logged a 50-foot birdie attempt beautifully down the slope on the 18th to 2 feet left of the cup.
Jutanugarn made birdie. Thompson missed her par putt, and there was a three-way tie for the lead at 14 under that included Jessica Korda, who was playing with Thompson and had left her 25-foot birdie attempt well short.
Thompson and Korda each closed with a 67.
Jutanugarn hit her approach about 18 feet above the hole and made it for winning birdie. She finished at 15-under 273 and earned $500,000.
"I had no expectation at all," Jutanugarn said. "I really did not think about the outcome."
Jutanugarn was part of a four-way tie for the lead going into the final round, and the CME Group Tour Championship was up for grabs most of the day until Thompson seemingly seized control with 32 on the front nine, a 10-foot birdie on the 13th and then
a superb pitch from left of the 17th green that set up a 3-foot birdie.
Pernilla Lindberg had reason to believe she needed birdie from long range on the 18th to have a chance. She ran it 7 feet by the hole and three-putted for a bogey and a 68. She wound up finishing two shots behind, along with Eun-Hee Ji (67).
Michelle Wie, trying to win for the first time since the U.S. Women's Open in 2014, had a share of the lead until she hit near the edge of a bunker and made double-bogey on No. 9, and then dropped two more shots on the back nine. Even with seven birdies, Wie still only managed a 70. She tied for sixth with Park, who closed with a 69. Park was at 13 under through 35 holes and played 1 over the final 37 holes.
Ryu was coping with a shoulder injury and was happy to squeeze in 72 holes. She wound up a part-winner of LPGA Player of the Year.
Thompson was on the putting green when she heard the cheer for Jutanugarn's final birdie.

It was the second time this year that Thompson appeared to be in control and was stunned to not win. She had a four-shot lead in the final round of the ANA Inspiration when she was penalized four shots -- two for incorrectly marking her golf ball on the green in the third round, and two more shots because the infraction wasn't discovered by a viewer until the next day, and so she signed an incorrect scorecard in the third round.
She wound up losing to Ryu in a playoff, though Thompson said this week it made her a stronger person.
This will be another wound from which to recover, though she at least takes $1 million home with her as a consolation.

FULL LEADERBOARD

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

GABRIELLE CRASHES OUT OF Q SCHOOL IN MOROCCO





Former Scottish women's amateur champion Gabrielle MacDonald (Craigielaw) torpedoed her chances of qualifying for next month's Ladies European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage with a disastrous final round of 12-over-par 84 for a total of 306.

Only the leading 27 players with totals of 303 and better advanced from the Pre-qualifier A competition at Palm Golf Club, Marrakech in Morocco.


The qualifiers for the Final Stage at Amelkis Golf Club and Samanah Country Club, Morocco from December 16-20 included three English players - Gemma Clews (290), Olivia Winning (291) and Elizabeth Mallett (296)

LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR QUALIFYING SCHOOL PRE-QUALIFIER A
Palm Golf Club, Marrakech, Morocco.
LEADING QUALIFIERS FOR FINAL STAGE
Par 288 (4x72)
278 Manon Molle (France) (am) 69 71 71 67
280 Fanny Coops (Belgium) 73 69 70 68
286 Sideri Vanova (Czech Rep) 68 71 70 77

OTHER QUALIFIERS INCLUDED
290 Gemma Clews (England) 77 73 71 69 (T7)
291 Olivia Winning (England) 72 73 70 76 (9th)
296 Elizabeth Mallett (England) 74 75 74 73 (T19)

BRITISH NON-QUALIFIERS
304 Abigail Laker (England) 75 76 74 79 (T28).
306 Gabrielle MacDonald (Scotland) (am) 69 76 77 84 (T31)
309 Katrina Gillum (England) (am) 79 83 72 75 (T37)
314 Sophie Powell (England 71`77 78 88, Rochelle Morris (England) 83 76 75 80 (T40).
318 LVictoria Craig (N Ireland) 71 79 79 79 (T43)
320 Molly Lawrence (England) 82 73 73 82 (T45)

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Céline Boutier wins first Ladies European Tour title in Sanya





France’s Céline Boutier won her first Ladies European Tour title by a four-stroke margin at the Sanya Ladies Open in Hainan, China.

With a final round of 68, played in warm and breezy conditions, the 24-year-old Parisienne recorded a 54-hole total of 12-under-par and became the second French rookie to win in a fortnight after Camille Chevalier’s victory at the Hero Women’s Indian Open.

The former Duke star opened with rounds of 67 and 69 to take a one-stroke advantage into the final round at Yalong Bay Golf Club. She bogeyed the fourth and fifth holes, handing a one-stroke lead to Valdis Thora Jonsdottir from Iceland, who then birdied the eighth, but Boutier made her first birdie at the ninth, where Jonsdottir dropped a shot.

Tied for the lead on seven-under at the turn, Boutier then made four straight birdies from the 11th and added another at the 16th in a back nine of 32, to finish four shots clear of Solar Lee from South Korea.

Boutier earned 45,000 euros for the victory, her third of the year after two wins on the US Symetra Tour, as well as a two-year exemption to the LET and a place in the Evian Championship.

“It’s amazing. It’s my first time playing in this event and my first time in China, so I couldn’t have expected the week to have gone any better,” Boutier said. “My putting was on fire on the back nine, so that helped me to get birdies. It was a lot of fun. The weather has been great and we were staying right by the beach, so it was a great mix of playing golf and going to the beach to relax.”

China LPGA Tour rookie Lee, 29, who won on the Dream Tour in Korea this summer, ended on eight-under-par after carding a 69. She said: “I was quite nervous on the first tee but I tried my best to enjoy the experience. I’m very happy with the result.”
Jonsdottir, another LET rookie, was third alone on seven-under, the best ever finish by an Icelandic player.
She said: “I couldn’t hole a putt today, but that’s okay. I was playing solidly but I lost a ball on nine. I had been playing well and I guess I got a bit too much adrenaline flowing. It is what it is. A top-three finish is good. I’m disappointed I didn’t get the win, but Céline played really well and she putted amazingly, especially on the back nine.
“I needed to make about 10,000 euros from the last two tournaments to keep my card, so I think I’ve covered that, heading into the season-ending event in Dubai.”

The Ladies European Tour now takes a one-week break before The Queens presented by Kowa, a team event, which will be played in Japan on December 1-3, followed by the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic on December 6-9.

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NEW LOOK MICHELLE WIE IN THE MIX ON CROWDED LEADERBOARD


By Randall Mell

NAPLES, Florida – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.
Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and dye her hair.
She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.
“I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead with Kim Kaufman, Ariya Jutanugarn and Suzann Pettersen at the LPGA Tour's CME Group Tour Championship.
With a 6-under-par 66 for a three-round tally of 10-under 206, Wie is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.

Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.
“Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognise me,” Wie said.

Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

“I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”
American Kaufman had the tournament-low 64 for 206. Thailander Jutanugarn shot 67 for the 10-under mark and Norway's Pettersen had a third-round 69 to figure in the four-way tie at the top of the crowded leaderboard.
Only two strokes cover the leading 11 players with seven sharing fifth place only a shot behind the leaders on 207. They include Americans Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson.
Charley Hull from England is T12 on 208 after a 68. Compatriot Jodi Ewart Shadoff from Yorkshire is T46 on 215 after a 75.

THIRD-ROUND LEADERBOARD
par 216 (3x72) players from USA unless stated
206 Kim Kaufman 70 72 64, Michelle Wie 72 68 65, Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand) 68 71 67, Suzann Pettersen (norway) 67 70 69.
207 Stacy Lewis 72 68 67, Karine Icher (France) 67 72 68, Austin Ernst 71 67 69,Lexi Thompson 71 67 69. Jessica Korda 69 68 70, Pernilla Lindberrg (Sweden) 69 67 71, Sung Hyun Park (S Korea) 67 65 75.

BRITISH SCORES
208 Charley Hull (England) 70 70 67 (T12)
215 Jodi Ewart Shadoff (England) 71 73 71 (T46)

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Park collapses; leaderboard chaos at CME


Sung-Hyun Park started the day with a three-shot lead and slowly gave it all back over the course of a 3-over 75, leaving the CME Group Tour Championship and a host of season-long prizes up for grabs in Naples. Here’s where things stand through 54 holes at the LPGA finale, where Michelle Wie, Ariya Jutanugarn, Suzann Pettersen and Kim Kaufman share the lead.

Leaderboard: Kaufman (-10), Wie (-10), Jutanugarn (-10), Pettersen (-10), Stacy Lewis (-9), Karine Icher (-9), Austin Ernst (-9), Lexi Thompson (-9), Jessica Korda (-9), Pernilla Lindberg (-9), Park (-9)

What it means: It wasn’t the Saturday she wanted, but Park, who already wrapped up the Rookie of the Year Award, is still in position for the sweep of all sweeps. With a victory Sunday, she would claim the CME Group Tour Championship, the Race to CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, and the money title, as she ascends to No. 1 in the Rolex world ranking. Meanwhile, Thompson, too, could take the $1 million and Player of the Year. As those two battle for season-long prizes, a host of other notable names – Wie, Jutanugarn, Pettersen, Korda, Lewis and Charley Hull (-8) – will fight for the Tour Championship.

Round of the day: Kaufman made four birdies on each side in a bogey-free 8 under-par 64. A lesser-known name on a stacked leaderboard, she seeks her first LPGA victory.

Best of the rest: Amy Yang will start the final round two behind after a 7-under 65. The three-time LPGA Tour winner could pick up her second title of the season after taking the Honda LPGA Thailand in February.

Biggest disappointment: On a day that featured plenty of low scores from plenty of big names, Lydia Ko dropped 11 spots down the leaderboard into a tie for 23rd with a Saturday 72. The former world No. 1 needed two birdies in her last five holes to fight her way back to even par. Winless this season, she’ll start Sunday four back, at 6 under.

Shot of the day: I.K. Kim aced the par-3 12th from 171 yards when her ball landed on the front of the green and tracked all the way to the hole

LEADERBOARD

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GABRIELLE ON COURSE FOR FINAL STAGE OF Q SCHOOL


Craigielaw's Gabrielle MacDonald, playing as an amateur, is on course to qualify from the Ladies European Tour School Pre-Qualifier A at Palm Golf, Marrakech, Morocco for the Final Stage.
The leading 27 and ties will advance after Sunday's fourth round.
Gabrielle, a former Scottish women's amateur champion, is meantime in 21st position after rounds of 69, 76 and 77 for a tally of 222.
The Scot is 13 strokes behind the leader by two, Sideri Vanova (Czech Republic), who has had scores of 68, 71 and 70 for nine-under-par 209.
Former Helen Holm Scottish women's open amateur stroke-play champion Olivia Winning from Rotherham is the leading British player in sixth place on 215 with rounds of 72, 73 and 70.

THIRD-ROUND LEADERBOARD
Par 216 (3x72)
209 Sideri Vanova (Cze Rep) 68 71 70
211 Manon Molle (Mex) (am) 69 71 71
212 Fanny Cnops (Bel) 73 69 70.

BRITISH SCORES
215 Olivia Winning (Eng) 72 73 70 (6th).
221 Gemma Clews (Eng) 77 73 71 (T18)
222 Gabrielle MacDonald (Sco) 69 76 77 (21st).
223 Elizabeth Mallett (Eng) 74 75 74 (T22)
225 Abirgal Laker (Eng) 75 76 74, Sophie Powell (Eng) 71 77 78.

MISSED THE CUT (227 and better qualified for final round)
228 Rachael Goodall (Eng) 80 76 72
234 Rochelle Morris (Eng) 83 76 75,Katrina Gillum (Eng)(am) 79 83 72.
238 Molly Lawrence (Eng) 82 83 73
239 Victoria Craig (NIre) 81 79 79.

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USA INVITE 12 FOR CURTIS CUP PRACTICE SESSION

17 Nov 2017
United States Golf Association NEWS RELEASE

FAR HILLS, New Jersey (November 17, 2017) - The USGA’s International Team Selection Committee has invited 12 players to participate in a practice session in advance of the 2018 Curtis Cup Match. The session for prospective players will take place Dec. 17-18 at Shoal Creek (Alabama), host site of the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open Championship.

A biennial competition, the 40th Curtis Cup Match will be contested June 8-10, 2018, at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York State. The Great Britain & Ireland Team defeated the USA Team, 11.5-8.5, in the 2016 Match at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club in Enniskerry, Ireland.

The following 12 players have accepted invitations to the practice session:

-Mariel Galdiano, 19, of Pearl City, Hawaii (University of California, Los Angeles)
-Kristen Gillman, 20, of Austin, Texas (University of Alabama)
-Rachel Heck, 16, of Memphis, Tenn.
-Cheyenne Knight, 20, of Aledo, Texas (University of Alabama)
-Jennifer Kupcho, 20, of Westminster, Colo. (Wake Forest University)
-Andrea Lee, 19, of Hermosa Beach, Calif. (Stanford University)
-Lucy Li, 15, of Redwood City, Calif.
-Haley Moore, 18, of Escondido, Calif. (University of Arizona)
-Robynn Ree, 20, of Redondo Beach, Calif. (University of Southern California)
-Sophie Schubert, 21, of Oak Ridge, Tenn. (University of Texas)
-Lauren Stephenson, 20, of Lexington, S.C. (University of Alabama)
-Lilia Vu, 20, of Fountain Valley, Calif. (University of California, Los Angeles)

Two U.S. Women’s Amateur champions – Schubert (2017) and Gillman (2015) – are among the players who have accepted invitations. Two USGA runners-up were also invited: Ree was co-runner-up in the inaugural 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, and Lee was runner-up in the 2016 U.S. Girls’ Junior to three-time USGA champion Eun Jeong Seong.

Virginia Derby Grimes, an accomplished amateur player who won the 1998 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and was a member of three victorious USA Curtis Cup Teams (1998, 2000 and 2006), will serve as captain of the USA Team. She was also a member of Alabama’s winning team in the 1997 USGA Women’s State Team Championship and finished runner-up in the 2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. A member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and a graduate of Auburn University, Derby Grimes served on the USGA Women’s Committee from 2003-2004.

"There are so many incredibly talented female golfers in the United States, and I’m very excited to bring 12 of the top amateurs together for this practice session, which will focus on the four-ball and foursomes formats used in the Curtis Cup Match,” said Derby Grimes, an Alabama resident.
“We are grateful to Shoal Creek for the opportunity to use their world-class facilities, and we look forward to conducting this session at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open host site.”

Invitation to the Curtis Cup practice session does not guarantee selection to the USA Team that will compete in June. Players not invited will also be considered for inclusion on the team.

The Curtis Cup Match is contested by two teams of eight female amateur players, one from the United States of America and one from Great Britain and Ireland, which is comprised of England, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The USGA’s International Team Selection Committee selects the USA Team, while The R&A selects the GB&I Team.

Elaine Farquharson-Black will serve as GB&I captain. Farquharson-Black, a native of Scotland, represented GB&I in the 1990 and 1992 Curtis Cup Matches and captained the victorious 2016 team.

The USA Team, which leads the overall series, 28-8-3, last won in 2014 at St. Louis Country Club. The 1986 Match at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchison, Kan., is the only time the GB&I team has won in the United States.

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Rookie Boutier leads at Sanya Ladies Open





SANYA, Hainan Island, Nov 18 - Rookie Céline Boutier shrugged off back-to-back bogeys to fire a three-under 69 and take a one shot lead into Sunday’s final round of the Sanya Ladies Open at Yalong Bay Golf Club on Hainan Island, China.

The 24-year-old Frenchwoman, who has earned full U.S. LPGA playing rights for 2018 by virtue of two wins on the satellite Symetra Tour this year, was joint leader after round one and cruising to a comfortable lead until she stumbled on 15 and 16, giving the rest of the field hope.
Iceland’s Valdis Thora Jonsdottir matched Boutier’s 69 to take sole command of second, while Thai Prima Thammaraks is a shot further behind.
“I’m just a little frustrated because I started off pretty well and had two birdies in the last five holes, so that was tough,” said Boutier, a Paris native who attended university in the United States.
“I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to play for the win tomorrow, and I’m going to do my best.”
The eighth edition of the Sanya Ladies Open, sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour, the Asian Ladies Golf Tour and the China Ladies Professional Golf Association, is one of the highlights of the circuit and the international field has enjoyed the tropical weather on Hainan Island.

The picturesque 7,189-yard (6,754-metre) Yalong Bay Golf Club course is dotted with 98 deadly bunkers and sliced through by a meandering river that also adds to the treachery. Shaped like a dragon’s claw, the course is hemmed in by lush green hills and the beautiful Yalong Bay, all combining to form a stunning setting.
Despite three three-putts, Jonsdottir said she was happy with the flat stick in a round that boasted seven birdies and four bogeys.
“The greens are a bit tricky and you need to know where the grain goes so it’s good to have a local caddie who can read the greens,” she said.
Needing a good result to keep her card on the LET for 2018, Jonsdottir said her focus was on a good finish.
“That’s the main goal. I would like to see a win and I’ll go in hungry to the final round tomorrow.”
There is a bigger incentive, however.

The winner at Yalong Bay gets an automatic invite to the Evian Championship, a Ladies Golf Major, and that prize was firmly in the thoughts of Thammaraks -- who is two shots off the pace and used a touch of local superstition to help her to solo third place.
“I remembered in the practise round, my friend told me to rub the turtle head on the bridge (by hole eight) for good luck, so I did that ... and I made two birdies.
“My luck turned, but I’m going to work on my putting. I had 30 putts and yesterday was 26. If I had made some more short putts it would have been a really great day.”

Defending champion Supamas Sangchan moved up the field to be four shots off the lead after a two-under 70, alongside two-time winner Lee-Anne Pace from South Africa who fired a 73.

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CONGU Changes 2018

Changes to the CONGU UHS System were announced last month. In view of the proposed introduction of the World Handicap System (WHS) these changes have been kept to a minimum and take into account some of the options likely to be adopted in the WHS, principal of which is to encourage players to submit more scores to their handicap record.
The changes, which come into effect on the 1st of January 2018, are:

Retirement of Club & Disability Handicaps – As a result of their low impact these have been removed and replaced by a new Category 5 for Men and Category 6 for both Men and Women, providing for a maximum handicap of 54.0 for all golfers. Players will be able to maintain a Competition Handicap in all six categories. Upward adjustment for all categories will remain at 0.1 and downward adjustments for Net Differentials below Buffer Zones will be 0.5 for Category 5 and 0.6 for Category 6.

After 1st January 2018 Handicap Committees can increase handicaps above the current limits of 28.0 and 36.0, and they will also increase above those limits automatically as a result of above Buffer Zone returns in Qualifying Competitions and Supplementary Score submissions.

Supplementary Scores – Relaxation of the rules to allow an unlimited number of score submissions per year and removal of the restriction of one per week. However, the restriction on Category 1 players will remain in place.

Mixed Tee Competitions – Reinforcement of the single CSS Adjustment Calculation. Having a single CSS adjustment for two or more competitions will provide a more equitable value when one of the competitions has a very low number of players. To overcome the technical IT implementation issues, the approach agreed will be to enter all scores into a single competition (and so a single CSS Adjustment Factor is calculated) with a facility within the software to allow the results to be separated for each group of competitors.

Definitions – Confirmation that cards submitted for Initial Handicap Allocation are included in the definition of Qualifying Scores for handicap purposes. Accordingly a player whose handicap is allocated on the basis of such submitted scores under Clause 16 will automatically be allocated a Competition Handicap status.

9 Hole Competitions – Introduce the option of 9-Hole Medal Competitions and 9-Hole Open Competitions. For handicap purposes, the 9-Hole Medal scores will be converted to Stableford and will appear as stableford on the players handicap record.

Handicap Adjustments – Confirmation that the adherence to Appendix M (Guidelines for Handicap Reviews) is mandatory, not optional.

There will be no new hard copy of the CONGU® Manual, but an updated online version will be available on the CONGU® website, where a full summary of the changes will also be posted.

This document represents the substantive changes for 2018 – other changes, which are largely for clarification purposes, will be highlighted in the online documentation.

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Sung Hyun Park takes 3-shot lead at CME Group Tour Championship

Sung Hyun Park

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Golf felt so easy to Sung Hyun Park that only when she took out her card to catch up on her scores did she realize she had closed out the front nine with five straight birdies at the CME Group Tour Championship.
Park kept right on attacking.
The 24-year-old from South Korea added a 30-foot eagle putt late in her second round and finished with a seven-under 65, giving her a three-shot lead going into the weekend at Tiburon Golf Club.
Nothing seems to bother her, even the chance to cap off an amazing rookie season by sweeping all the big awards on the LPGA Tour.
“To be honest, I don’t feel quite as nervous as I thought I would,” Park said through an interpreter. “After the first shot, after the first hole, I felt a lot more comfortable. I’m not feeling as nervous as I thought I might be going into today.”
Leave that to the players chasing her.
Even with a three-putt bogey on the final hole, Park was at 12-under 132 and was three shots clear of Caroline Masson (66) and Sarah Jane Smith (69).
More importantly, none of the other players in the chase for the $1 million Race to the CME Globe bonus or any other big award was within five shots of Park, who is trying to become the first rookie since Nancy Lopez in 1978 to win LPGA player of the year.
Lexi Thompson, who leads the Race to the CME Globe and the Vare Trophy for lowest adjusted scoring average, shot a 67 and wound up losing ground. She was six shots behind and must stay within 10 shots of Park to win the Vare.
So Yeon Ryu, who leads the points-based award for player of the year, managed a 71 with her sore right shoulder but was 11 shots back.
The other two players who need to win the tournament to collect the $1 million bonus also had their work cut out for them. Brooke Henderson had another 70 and was eight shots behind, while world No. 1 Shanshan Feng shot 73 and was 11 shots behind.
Park was in control, only she didn’t see it that way.
“I don’t think it’s quite that far of a lead,” Park said. “Two, three shots of a lead can change at any moment. We will have to see what’s in store for this weekend.”
Park began her big run with an 18-foot birdie on No. 5, got up-and-down for birdie from just off the green at the par-5 sixth, holed a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 7, and then closed out the front nine with birdie putts from 8 feet and 15 feet.
“I actually didn’t know that I was going five birdies in a row,” Park said. “Come hole No. 10, I realized that I hadn’t been jotting down my scores as diligently, and so I realized it a little bit later on. And it felt great.”
That gave her the lead by one shot over Suzann Pettersen, except that Pettersen faded badly on the back nine.
Pettersen dropped four shots in a three-hole stretch by getting out of position off the tee and she shot 39 on the back nine for a 70 to fall five shots behind.
“I feel like I’m playing good,” Pettersen said. “Three bad drives on the back nine cost me four shots. That should not be possible on this course, where the fairways are about 100 yards wide.”
Park was honored at an awards banquet Thursday night as the LPGA rookie of the year. Now, she has more awards in her sights. A victory would give her the award for player of the year. She would capture the money title, which she leads over Ryu. And depending on how the weekend goes, she might be able to surpass Thompson in the race for the Vare Trophy.
Thompson did well to recover from two bogeys on her opening three holes.
“I hit a few really erratic shots in the beginning. It wasn’t a good start to the round,” Thompson said. “Just tried to stay positive and find something that could work for the last 14, 15 holes.”
Lydia Ko fell six shots behind in her bid to avoid a winless season. She was one shot behind going into the second round but managed only three birdies in her round of 71.
Park, meanwhile, had everything going her way. Even when she pulled her drive on the par-5 14th into a sandy area with a root next to her ball, she picked it clear and sent it through a goal post of trees back to the fairway. Three holes later, she blasted a drive and had only a 7-iron into the green at the par-5 17th, which she hit to 30 feet and made the long putt.
Does anything make her nervous?
“I hate spiders,” she said. “But in terms of golf, I always get nervous to this day on the first tee. I can feel my heart pounding.”
It’s a feeling that doesn’t appear to last very long.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Park On Verge of History, Holds 36-Hole Lead at CME

On Thursday night at the gala Rolex LPGA Awards, Sung Hyun Park claimed the only 2017 honor that’s been decided – Rolex Rookie of the Year.

On Friday the 24-year-old South Korean took a big step toward securing all the other major titles as she climbed to the top of the leaderboard at the CME Group Tour Championship.
With a second round 65 at the Tiburón Golf Club, Park finished 36 holes at 12-under-par 132, three strokes ahead of Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith and four clear of Nelly Korda, Pernilla Lindberg and Madelene Sagstrom.
But for a three-putt bogey on the final hole, Park would have set the tournament 36-hole scoring record, settling instead for a share of the mark with Lydia Ko, who was 12-under last year at the midway point.

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Charley Hull four strokes off lead at CME Group Tour Championship





Defending champion Charley Hull posted an opening-round 70 to get within four strokes of the early leaders at the CME Group Tour Championship.

Hull, who claimed a maiden LPGA Tour title in last year's event, mixed five birdies with a bogey and a double-bogey to stay in touch with pacesetters Sarah Jane Smith and Peiyun Chien.
Smith and Chien - both chasing their first LPGA Tour victories - carded blemish-free 66s to lead at Tiburon Golf Club, with Lydia Ko and Sung Hyun Park part of the group a shot off the pace.

"I holed some nice putts," Smith said. "It was a bit rough in the beginning, but (I) holed some nice putts for par and sort of kept it going, and then made some good birdies coming in."
Smith followed an eagle-three at the sixth with four gains in an eight-hole stretch from the eighth, as Chien birdied three of her five holes on her way to getting to six under.

LATEST LEADERBOARD

Boutier and Meechai share first-round lead in Sanya





SANYA, China, November 17, 2017 – Rookie professional Celine Boutier of France and Wichanee Meechai of Thailand fired five-under-par 67s to share the first-round lead in the Sanya Ladies Open at Yalong Bay Golf Club in Hainan, China.

They hold a one stroke lead over nine other players: Marianne Skarpnord, Prima Thammaraks, Valdis Thora Jonsdottir, Yan-Hong Pan, Kristen Farmer, Lee-Anne Pace, Solar Lee and Marta Sanz Barrio.

Boutier has only played in two other Ladies European Tour tournaments this season, finishing tied for 11th in the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open and tied for 6th in the Hero Women’s Indian Open over the last fortnight.

She spent most of her time on the US Symetra Tour, where she has won two titles, collecting trophies at the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic and the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge, which locked up her place on the LPGA Tour for the 2018 season.

After carding five birdies on the Robert Trent Jones-designed, USGA standard Yalong Bay course on Friday, the Duke University graduate said that she felt her Stateside experience was an advantage.

“I think this course is similar to US courses, because of the Bermuda grass,” said the 24-year-old, from Montrouge, who is in China for the first time. “We don’t really find this type of grass in Europe. Out on the course, you need to know how to chip out of this rough, which can be tricky. When you putt you have to pay attention to the grain for the speed and the line.”

Reflecting on her first round, she added: “It was a very steady round and started pretty slowly. I didn’t make a birdie until my ninth and I only shot one-under on my front nine. Then I made four birdies on my back nine, which is the front nine of the course. I feel like I had a lot of opportunities all day long and I just dropped a couple of putts, which made a big difference to my score card.”

Co-leader Meechai is making her fourth appearance in the tournament and the LPGA player also felt at home on the Bermuda, picking up six birdies and one dropped shot at the short fifth.
“It was pretty nice weather today and I felt good about my game, so I hit it close and made some putts,” said Meechai, who chipped in for birdie on 17. “I expect to win this tournament because I want to give myself confidence before heading to the Final Stage of LPGA Q-School next week.”
Of the other players in contention, South African Lee-Anne Pace, a two-time winner of the event, in 2010 and 2013, who also won the 2014 Blue Bay LPGA event in Hainan, rattled in seven birdies and three bogeys to put herself into position for the weekend.
The 36-year-old South African said afterwards: “It’s always nice to come back here and I really enjoy playing on this course. It feels a bit like home because I’ve won three times on this island. It seems like it’s a lucky place for me, so I really hope I can win.”

Scot Pamela Pretswell Asher is on 1 under (71) and Michele Thomson on +1 (73)

LEADERBOARD

SANYA LADIES OPEN FIRST ROUND REPORT

Five share early lead in Sanya

Lee-Ann-Pace



Lee-Anne Pace, Marta Sanz Barrio, Kristen Farmer, Solar Lee and Yan-Hong Pan shared the early lead on four-under-par 68 in the Sanya Ladies Open at Yalong Bay Golf Club on Friday morning.
Pace, a two-time winner of the event, in 2010 and 2013, who also won the 2014 Blue Bay LPGA event in Hainan, rattled in seven birdies and three bogeys to put herself into position for the weekend.

The 36-South African said afterwards: "It's always nice to come back here and I really enjoy playing on this course. It feels a bit like home because I've won three times on this island. It seems like it's a lucky place for me, so I really hope I can win."
After starting from the 10th, Pace birdied the 11th and 14th holes before dropping a shot on 18. She then birdied the first, third and fourth holes, before coming up short and the par-3 fifth. There was another gain at the seventh, but a stunning drive on the eighth hole found a divot in the fairway, resulting in another dropped shot, before a final birdie on the ninth.
"I'm happy with four-under. I made quite a lot of putts and I think I had 26 putts, which helps. I hit a lot of greens. The course played a bit easier today as there was no wind when we played and accessible pins," Pace said.
"I holed one from off the green on number three, which was a bonus, after coming up short, so that got me going and then I birdied the next one and kept going. I hit them pretty close all day and had a couple of tap-ins."

While Pace is aiming for her 10th win on the LET, joint leader Sanz Barrio is looking for her first top-5 finish.
After making five birdies and a bogey at the 17th, the 25-year-old from Spain said: "I was pretty consistent and I didn't miss a fairway. I hit all the greens and hit the approach shots close. I only made one mistake on 17, which was a three-putt. The putting was working, so that was good. I'm loving the hotel and it's awesome. We went to the beach yesterday and today the weather has respected us. This is my first time in Sanya. It's a vacation area so it's really beautiful."

Meanwhile, another 25-year-old, Kristen Farmer, from Australia, is just enjoying the experience, having taken a fortnight off from her regular work to play in the Sanya and Hero Women's Indian Open.
A receptionist for telephone network company Optus in Canberra, Farmer has held various positions over the last five years, ranging from packing shelves at night to working in a golf pro shop, to fund her dream of playing on Tour.
Her goal for the first round was to shoot five-under, which would have been her lowest ever score, but the Australian Ladies Professional Golf and Ladies Asian Golf Tour member was thrilled to be in contention on four-under.
She said: "I played pretty solid and hit a lot of fairways, greens and then made a few birdies. The course is nice and tropical and a really good layout, it's beautiful and colourful."
Farmer made five birdies, including two on the front and three on the back. She chipped in on the third hole and then made another gain on the seventh. She made her only bogey on hole 10, after missing the green on the left side.
She birdied the 11th and 12th, by rolling in a 30-footer and sank another long birdie putt from 25 feet on the par-3 15th.
She continued: "I've been hitting the ball more solid. Actually, I struck the ball really well last week, but had nine three putts and I had none today and hit the approach shots close."

The local challenge is led by veteran Yan Hong Pan, who tied for third in the 2011 Sanya Ladies Open.
The former Chinese weight lifter carded four birdies in a bogey-free round and said: "I missed some short birdie putts, but made some unexpected long putts. Those putts are long and hard to read so it's a surprise.
"I don't think I've been hitting solid shots recently, but I changed my attitude. Two weeks ago, I won a local event in Fujian, but I had to say that my temper was a lot worse then. My friend told me that I couldn't play like that. I tried to look it differently. Now I accept everything that happens to me. If I miss the fairway, I try to hit the green. If I miss the green, I try to make up and down. You play better when you let it go."
China LPGA rookie Solar Lee, 27, from South Korea, also holds a share of the lead after carding five birdies against one bogey, at the long 16th. A winner on the Korean Dream Tour in August, she is thoroughly enjoying playing in the Sanya Ladies Open for the first time. She said: "The green speed was perfect so my putting was excellent. I love it here and it's like heaven. In Korea, it's really cold at the moment, so this weather is so good!"

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

FROM SCOTTISH GOLF WEBSITE - MOST IMPROVED FEMALE GOLFER



We’ve reached the end of the 2017 season and we hope you’ve enjoyed your golf wherever you’ve played. Competitive golf in Scotland remains buoyant with more than 1.3m rounds played across the country between April and October.

Using the numbers gathered from our Centralised Database of Handicaps*, we wanted to share some of the most interesting stats from the year, to acknowledge the achievements of club golfers and help you gauge your game compared to the rest of the golfing population!

Most Improved Female Golfer in 2017 | Top 10

Congratulations to Clydebank & District Golf Club's Sophie Murphy, the most improved female golfer in 2017, based on total handicap reduction.
Sophie started the season at 36 and worked her way down to 18.2, playing in 25 qualifying competitions along the way.

Superb work Sophie...you win an exclusive customised PING Scottish Golf bag!

Handicap Reduction

Sophie Murphy (Clydebank & District) 17.8
Anna Scott (Deeside) 14.3
Hannah Robb (St Regulus) 14.3
Summer Elliott (Nairn) 13.9
Freya Russell (Ladies Golf Club Troon) 12.1
Rachel Adam (Cullen Links) 11.8
Abigail May (St Regulus) 11.6
Lorraine Chalmers (Ayr Belleisle Ladies) 11.3
Amy McKie (Dumfries & County) 11.2
Leah Bryce (Sandyhills) 11.0

WHERE DOES YOUR HANDICAP RANK ?

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GOOD START BY GABRIELLE IN MOROCCO

Former Scottish women's amateur golf champion Gabrielle MacDonald shot a three-under-par 69 in the first round of the Ladies European Tour School Pre-Qualifier A at Palm Golf Club, Marrakech in Morocco today (Thu).

Playing as an amateur, the Craigielaw Golf Club member was in a three-way tie for second place, one behind the leader, Sideri Vanova (Czech Republic).

LEADING FIRST-ROUND SCORES par 72 68
Sideri Vanova (Cze).

British players' scores: 
68 Gabrielle MacDonald (Sco) (T2)
71 Sophie Powell (Eng) (T6)
72 Olivia Winning (Eng) (T10)
74 Elizabeth Mallett (Eng) (T19)
75 Abigail Laker (Eng) (am) (T23)
77 Gemma Clews (Eng) (T30)
79 Katrina Gillum (Eng) (am) (T39)
80 Rachel Goodall (Eng) (T41)
81 Victoria Craig (Eng) (43rd)
82 Molly Lawrence (Eng) (44th)
83 Rochelle Morris (Eng) (T46)

Field of 48 players

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

FAIRMONT'S AMY IS GCMA MANAGER OF THE YEAR

The most prestigious awards in golf club management took place at the GCMA 2017 Conference at Mercedes-Benz World in Surrey on Monday night and Director of Golf, Spa and Leisure at Fairmont St Andrews, Amy Yeates, was named the GCMA Manager of the Year.

Amy Yeates

Amy Yeates, described by her nominee as being at the forefront of the evolution of golf in Scotland, received her award from Jamie Abbott – MD of intelligentgolf, and her prize includes a trip to Thailand in association with Coco Golf and Thai Airways.

The judging panel was particularly impressed with the way Amy helped to drive through a new flexible membership scheme at Fairmont St Andrews, while providing inspirational leadership for her team.

Amy’s inclusive style helped her build and motivate her team through trust and empowerment, which has resulted in steadily increasing revenues and green fee yields – all the more impressive considering the highly competitive area the club operates in.

Bob Williams, GCMA CEO, said: “The GCMA Golf Club Management Awards reward the exceptional work that goes on in our industry, and Manager of the Year is the greatest honour. This was perhaps the hardest judging process I’ve been involved in – the standard of the finalists was exceptional – and Amy is an outstanding winner. It’s clear she’s a passionate manager who cares deeply about her team, and we were particularly impressed with her vision for the industry.”

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ELAINE FARQUHARSON-BLACK TO CAPTAIN GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND IN 2018 CURTIS CUP


Elaine receives the Curtis Cup from LGU president Diane Bailey after victory at Dun Laoghaire GC, Ireland June 2016


15 November 2017, St Andrews, Scotland: Elaine Farquharson-Black will captain Great Britain and Ireland in the Curtis Cup for the second time when the biennial encounter against the United States is played at Quaker Ridge from 8-10 June 2018.

Farquharson-Black, who played in the 1990 and 1992 matches, led GB&I to a 11½-8½ win over the United States when it was contested at Dun Laoghaire last year and will be looking to retain the trophy when the two sides face each other in New York next summer.
She will be assisted again by Helen Hewlett who will act as team manager for GB&I.
Elaine Farquharson-Black, Captain of Great Britain and Ireland, said, “I am very proud to have been selected to captain Great Britain and Ireland again and I am looking forward to the challenge of retaining the trophy after our memorable win at Dun Laoghaire last year.
“We will be working with a very talented group of golfers over the coming months before we select a team of eight players for what promises to be a thrilling match against the United States next summer.”

An invited group of six players will join Farquharson-Black on a visit to Quaker Ridge next week, including Alice Hewson, Leona Maguire and OIivia Mehaffey who all played in the winning GB&I team in 2016. India Clyburn, Sophie Lamb and Annabel Wilson will also join the trip to the east coast of the United States which will include opportunities for the players to practice on the course.
Next year’s match will mark the 40th staging of the Curtis Cup. It has been won 28 times by the United States and 8 times by GB&I with three matches having been tied (1936, 1958 and 1994).
After staging the Walker Cup in 1997, Quaker Ridge will become only the third course in the United States to have hosted both the Curtis Cup and Walker Cup following The Minikahda Club (1957 Walker Cup, 1998 Curtis Cup) and Marion Golf Club (1954 Curtis Cup , 2009 Walker Cup)

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Sanya Ladies Open previews -- Camille Chevalier remains focused on first trip to China

Simin Feng and Camille Chevalier
Camille Chevalier remains focused on first trip to China

Sanya, China – 15th November 2017: Last week’s Hero Women’s Indian Open champion Camille Chevalier has received hundreds of messages from well-wishers following her maiden win at DLF Golf and Country Club on Sunday, but she doesn’t plan to read them until she returns home to France.
The 23-year-old LET rookie from Aix-en-Provence is determined to stay fit and focused throughout the Sanya Ladies Open, which gets underway at Yalong Bay Golf Club in Sanya, Hainan Island, from Friday.
“Since I won in India, I can play in Dubai and next year I will play in the Evian Championship, so I’m happy about that,” she said.
“I have time to celebrate and party when I go home next week. For now, I’m going to focus on this tournament and do the same as last week: focus on every shot.”
This is Camille’s first visit to China and she is enjoying her stay in Sanya on Hainan Island, which is known as the ‘Hawaii of China.’
“I think China is really cool and I like the beautiful nature here, as well as in India, because it’s very different from European nature, with different flowers, green mountains and pristine vegetation, as well as the sandy beaches. I don’t know the course well yet, but it is well maintained and I am looking forward to playing and placing my shots wisely, which is what I did well last week.”
This will be the eighth consecutive Sanya Ladies Open at Yalong Bay Golf Club, which is hosting its 18th professional golf tournament in total.
While Camille is playing in the event for the first time, fellow rising star Simin Feng, is playing in her third Sanya Ladies Open.
The 22-year-old, originally from Beijing, recorded a best finish of tied 31st in the tournament in 2015 and she said: “It is like China’s paradise here and a great tourist destination. This year, we have made it a home as we have bought a house on the island, so I am really enjoying my time here. My goal is to play as well as I can. It’s my last event of the year so I will put in everything I have. I’ve been doing some mental training so I’m trying to be more aggressive and more decisive with my shots.”
Camille and Simin joined fellow tournament invitees Victoria Lovelady, Emma Nilsson and Valdis Thora Jonsdottir for a photoshoot at the Ritz Carlton Sanya on Tuesday ahead of the tournament, which has attracted 126 competitors from 27 different countries and is tri-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour, the China Golf Association and the Ladies Asian Golf Tour.

Lee-Anne Pace
‘Queen of Hainan’ looking for hat-trick
Lee-Anne Pace is known as the ‘Queen of Hainan’ by the Chinese media after three wins on the tropical island, at the 2010 and 2013 Sanya Ladies Open, as well as at the Blue Bay LPGA in 2014.
This weekend presents a third opportunity for Pace to lift the Sanya Ladies Open trophy at Yalong Bay Golf Club, which is hosting the championship for the eighth time. Speaking ahead of the three-day tournament, which starts on Friday, she said: “It’s always nice to be back in a place where you’ve won before and I really like the golf course. It’s fun to play, so it will be an exciting week. It’s almost like being on holiday here and at the same time, you play golf and make a living.”
When asked the secret to her success in China, where she also won the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open in 2010, she said: “It’s funny because at home there’s a course with similar grass and I always seem to play well there as well, San Lameer, which is very similar: a resort course and very relaxed. Maybe it suits my personality… off the golf course!
“I’d like to win again and I think I have a chance. I’ve been playing really well lately and getting better and better as the weeks have gone by. I’m putting well, so I’ll hopefully get the ball in the hole.”
Pace, the 2010 Order of Merit winner, who won five titles on the LET that year and added three more in 2013, before winning the SA Open at San Lameer Golf Club in 2014, will be targeting her 10th LET title this weekend.
However, there’s another player looking for a hat-trick: Xiyu Lin from China, who won the title in 2014 and 2015.
Lin, who represented China at the 2016 Olympic Games, said: “I’m happy to play this event eight times in a row. I made some nice breakthroughs here over the years, so I called it my ‘Happy Land’. This year, I didn’t consider my form to be at its best, but I tried to recover to my previous standard. Hopefully, I will find my good vibes here and enjoy the whole week.”
The 2016 winner Supamas Sangchan from Thailand has also returned to defend. The other former winners were Australian France Bondad in 2011 and Cassandra Kirkland from France, in 2012, whom the LET lost to cancer earlier this year


Camille Chevalier, Simin Feng, Victoria Lovelady, Emma Nilsson and Valdis Thora Jonsdottir enjoying their warm-up for the Sanya Ladies Open in Hainan.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

LANARKSHIRE COUNTY AGM AND PRIZEGIVING

The Lanarkshire County AGM and prizegiving was held at Cambuslang Golf Club last night - Monday 13th November

Alyson Hendry became the new Captain taking over from Roxy Brown. The new Vice captain is Fiona Norris

Alyson Hendry pinning badge on new Vice- Captain Fiona Norris 
LLCGA Committee
Back Row left to right: Allison Bell, Junior Secretary, Anne Mungall, Jean Maddock, Marion Craig. Anne Lloyd, secretary, Kay Cherrie, Morag Macdonald
Front Row left to right: Christine Main, Treasurer, Fiona Norris, Vice-Captain, Alyson Hendry, Captain, Pat Hutton, President, Roxy Brown, Past Captain.
Missing from photograph: Irene Morrison.

Some of the prize Winners
To see more -- Go to the Lanarkshire County Website 

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TEAMS SET FOR THE QUEENS PRESENTED BY KOWA




The third edition of The Queens presented by Kowa will be played on December 1-3 at Miyoshi Country Club near Nagoya in Japan and the four teams, from the ALPG Tour, KLPGA, LET and JLPGA, are now set. (Players in the top row are team captains).

SEE FULL TEAMS HERE

The Queens presented by Kowa is a three-day match play event featuring four teams of nine players. Each team shall be allocated points in accordance with its respective match results, with 2 points for a win, 1 point for a half and 0 points for a loss.

The format of play for day one will be eight four ball matches. Day two will feature nine singles matches. The first and second day’s play will be known as “Qualifying Rounds.”
Based on the points’ totals from the first two days, the third day’s play will see “The Championship Final” contested by the first and second placed teams over four foursome matches, as well as the “Third place final” between the third and fourth placed teams, played over four foursome matches.

There has been a modification to the order of play this year, with the singles matches being played on the second day, rather than the third day and foursomes on the third day, rather than the first. In 2015, the LPGA of Japan team won the inaugural competition and the Korean LPGA team will be the defending champions having won the event in 2016

Monday, November 13, 2017

New support for clubs to involve BAME communities in golf




 
Issued 13th November, 2017

New support for clubs to involve BAME communities in golf

 Bame-resource

Golf clubs across England are being offered new support to encourage more people from diverse ethnic communities to get involved in the game.
It is the result of a two-year project in Birmingham, run by England Golf and course operator Mytime Active, to discover how to involve Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in golf.

The project successfully attracted 140 people from a range of backgrounds to take a six-week beginner course and now, with the support of Sporting Equals, a toolkit has been created to help clubs engage with local communities to grow the game.  
It's part of the England Golf strategy to create a healthy future for golf by encouraging clubs to offer what their existing and potential customers want. Chief Executive Nick Pink said: "Our aim is to be customer focused. We want clubs to respond to the needs of all players and encouraging minority ethnic communities is an area with huge potential for growth in the sport."

England Golf is committed to showing that golf is a game for all, to encouraging clubs to offer inclusive programmes which appeal to their local community, and to challenge perceptions by using diverse imagery to portray golf.

The Birmingham project centred on three courses: Hilltop Golf Course, Pype Hayes Golf Course and Hatchford Brook Golf Centre. Jason Stanton, Operations Director of Mytime Active remarked: "Over 40% of Birmingham's population is from a non-white background and Mytime Active operates seven golf courses across the city, making us ideally placed to engage with the local population. 
"The three courses we chose for the project already had links with the local community and we were able to build on these to develop relationships and discover how to involve more people from BAME groups in golf." 

The project involved local community groups and leaders and looked at everything from the make-up of the communities to the image of the game and the barriers to playing. 
These included the usual difficulties, such as time and money, as well as cultural restrictions. For example, a group of Bangladeshi Muslim women were keen to learn but needed a female-only session, taught by a male golf pro with a female assistant, and a relaxed dress code so that they could wear headscarves and saris. 
With these barriers overcome, 15 women completed the six-week course, with 12 others attending for between three and five sessions. There are plans to include more golf opportunities in the summer programme at their community centre.
The project first offered golf at trial and taster sessions in the community before signposting the six-week beginner courses at the golf centres. Encouragingly, the average age of the 140 participants was 32, compared to the national average of 46; and 35% were women, compared to the national average of 15%. The largest ethnic group was from a Bangladeshi background, with 32 participants, followed by 30 with a Pakistani background. 

The project was supported by Sporting Equals, which promotes greater involvement in sport and physical activity by the BAME population. The organisation provided advice and insight and eight members of the West Midlands staff went even further, by taking part in golf activities in their lunch breaks. 
They also modelled for pictures to promote and market the project. Their images help to dispel stereotypes by reflecting the local community and portraying the mixed group in casual, comfortable clothing – and having fun. 

They later went to play nine holes at Hatchford Brook and regional officer Dan Allen commented: "Golf was not an accessible sport in the area where I work and live. There were no role models that align themselves to the community groups I surround myself in, therefore I have struggled to play. However, the offer from Mytime Active to participate with my colleagues really appealed and gave me the pathway to get into the sport. Knowing the basics of the technique of how to hit the ball from these lessons has given me the confidence to go to a golf course and not look stupid – which was a definite barrier!"

Sporting Equals Chief Executive, Arun Kang, urges clubs to reach out to and welcome customers from diverse backgrounds. He says: "Golf is an inspiring sport which has produced some great champions from a range of backgrounds; however, there still remains a worrying shortage of BAME engagement." 

The toolkit for clubs, Encouraging ethnic diversity in golf through community engagement, includes case studies, good practice guidance and other information. It can be downloaded here.

Image above copyright Leaderboard Photography

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JANE GRUBB IS MGR ANGUS LADY GOLFER OF THE WEEK

Jane Grubb (Montrose Mercantile Ladies) is MyGolfRankings' Angus Lady Golfer of the Week. She has risen to No 4 on the MGR table behind leader Sakuna Ramsay (Edzell), Ann Dawson (Arbroath Artisan) and Jane Tough (Brechin).


ANGUS LADIES
1 Sakuna Ramsay (Edzell) 976 pts
2 Ann Dawson (Arbroath Artisan) 953
3 Jane Tough (Brechin) 946
4 Jane Grubb (Montrose Mercantile) 914
5 Lesley Forsyth (Montrose Caledonia) 898
6 Diane Hamilton (Kirriemuir) 893
7 Pamela Wickstead (Monifieth) 888
8 Kay McAllister (Edzell) 881
9 Katherine Taylor (Brechin) 879
10 Pat Roy (Forfar) 844

ANGUS LADIES CLUBS
1 Montrose Caledonia 792
2 Carnoustie 748
3 Edzell 716
4 Brechin 707
5 Letham Grange 702
6 Montrose Mercantile 697

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Camille Chevalier wins the Hero Women’s Indian Open and Michele Thomson pipped by one shot

Camille Chevalier
Gurgaon, India – 12th November 2017:
Ladies European Tour rookie Camille Chevalier produced a back-nine birdie blitz to become a first-time winner at the Hero Women’s Indian Open in Gurgaon.
The 23-year-old from Aix-en-Provence fired five birdies in her last eight holes on the Gary Player-designed Black Knight Golf Course at DLF Golf and Country Club for a final round of 67, to finish at 12-under-par, a stroke clear of the overnight leader Michele Thomson from Scotland.
“I’m really happy because I’m a rookie and I just won a tournament, so it’s awesome. This is my first win on tour so I’m really happy and I can’t wait to celebrate with my friends,” said Chevalier, who becomes the third successive first year professional to capture the title, following Emily Kristine Pedersen and Aditi Ashok, who both went on to be named Rookie of the Year.
Chevalier, whose previous best finishes on tour were tied 16th in the Lacoste Ladies Open de France and joint 17th in Thailand, now moves into first position on the LET Rookie Ranking and 17th on the Order of Merit.

Chevalier had started the final round three strokes behind Thomson and was six back after eight holes, at which point Thomson had built a five-stroke advantage. Thomson, however, then made back-to-back bogeys on 10 and 11, while Chevalier, who had played the front nine in level par, birdied 11 and 12.
There was a three-shot swing on the 14th, which Thomson double bogeyed and Chevalier birdied to gain a share of the lead at 10-under.
Although Thomson made a gain on 16, Chevalier birdied the last two holes, denying Thomson on the 18th.
“I think making the final putt was the only time I felt nervous,” Chevalier said. “It was 65 metres and I hit a 58-degree wedge over the water. I wanted to hit the slope so it would roll back and luckily it did, to around a metre from the flag.
“I really didn’t get affected by anything, because I didn’t expect that I was going to win. I was more concerned about keeping my card for the LET next year, because I was border line, so I’m really happy to be keeping my card because I was so stressed about it.”

Michele Thomson
Thomson faced a much longer, downhill birdie putt, but her effort ended just beyond the hole. After following her course record 64 with a 71, she said: “Today I had a great start again and was trying to make the same score but the putter went cold on the back nine and I missed by one. There were a couple of mistakes on the back nine, but I can’t take anything away from Camille; she played awesome and congratulations to her. I will take back a lot of positives away, and will try and do one better next time.”

Anne Van Dam, Carlota Ciganda and Sarah Kemp shared third place, three strokes back. Van Dam was feeling slightly hard done by after her 67.
She said: “I had eight birdies and seven wedge shots ended inside a metre, so my birdies came quite easily and I’m very happy with that. I had three bogeys which were unfortunate and I lipped out on 16 and 18 from a short distance, so if I look at the leader board now it feels a bit tough, but I’ll feel confident heading to China.”
A stroke further back in a tie for sixth place, another LET rookie, Vani Kapoor from India, was delighted with her career best finish on her home course.
“I’ve been playing this tournament for the past seven years and have been waiting to have my week. I’d very happily take this. The final day didn’t go as I expected it to. It was the first time I was in contention, and I was a bit nervous as well, but I’m really happy with the way I handled myself on the course,” said Kapoor, who moved up to 73rd position on the Order of Merit heading to China.
In all, there were four Indian players who made the cut in the tournament, which is co-sanctioned between the LET and Women’s Professional Golf Association of India. The 2016 champion Aditi Ashok tied for 13th place and Pravani Urs was the leading amateur.

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

ABERDEENSHIRE LADIES COUNTY GOLF ASSOCIATION PICTURE AT AGM,




Back row: Gillian Mackenzie (Banchory), Carol Wilson (Murcar Links), Kelly Guthrie (Oldmeldrum), Michelle Finnie (Aberdeen Ladies)
Middle row: Julie Henderson (Inverurie), Heather Mackenzie (Aboyne), Val Bruce (Aboyne), Kimberley Beveridge (Aboyne), Yvonne Moir (Kemnay), Donna Pocock (Kemnay), Sammy Leslie (Kemnay), Rachel Polson (Kemnay), Joanne McCloskey (Craibstone)
Front Row: Ann Smart (Banchory), Carmen Griffiths (Aboyne), Margaret MacNaughtan (Aberdeen Ladies), Molly Stewart (Murcar Links), Sheila McNaught (Newmachar), Caitlin Fraser (Tarland), Rachel Mathieson (Hazlehead)


Aberdeenshire Ladies’County Golf Association had a very successful AGM where Sheila McNaught gave a very comprehensive review of 2017 before handing over to our new Captain, Ann Smart.

List of Aberdeenshire Ladies County GA officials for 2018:
President: Ros Dunsmuir (Newburgh-on-Ythan)
Captain: Ann Smart (Banchory)
Hon. Treasurer: Carol Wilson (Murcar Links)
Hon. Secretary: Karen Stalker (Cruden Bay)

Thanks go to Hon Secretary Karen Stalker for the photo which she is missing from and all the details.

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LIFE TURNS A FULL CIRCLE FOR MICHELE THOMSON

Michelle Thompson of Scotland sinks a birdie putt on the 10th hole

By V Krishnaswamy in Gurgaon

Beating the hell out of a golf ball is clearly a lot better than being a beat constable. Ask Michele Thomson.

 It was ten years ago that Thomson first came to India as a prodigious amateur to play in Bangalore at the Emaar-MGF Masters. She finished T-64. A decade later, she is back here with on a sponsor’s invite from Hero, for the Hero Women’s Indian Open. “I requested an invite so I knew I was coming here after Abu Dhabi,” she said. Those 10 years in between are a story in itself – working for the Scottish police force, working in a pro shop and meeting Donald Trump.

The one-time prodigy, now 28, has seen it all. Literally. From losing her mother Eleanor at 11; to being a Scottish Amateur champion and making the Curtis Cup team, which she recalls was fun, because there were teammates to share the joy with.

 She turned pro in 2009 and did begin fairly well if not spectacularly. However, after just ‘half a season’ or so, she gave it all up, because pro golf was “lonely”.

 She joined the police and became a Beat Constable in Aberdeen. A little over two years later, she left the Police and worked in a pro shop and in the four-year period from 2009 to 2013, she did not touch golf clubs.

 She worked at Trump’s course in Aberdeen. “I came out of the Police and started working in a pro shop and caddying and then decided that I needed to get back on tour. I started working at Donald Trump’s course in Aberdeen. I have met him, but only in passing.”


 On Saturday, Thomson rewrote the course record at the Black Knight course by Gary Player at the DLF Golf and Country Club. In one single swoop she brought the record – shared by Patcharajutar Kongkraphan (in 2015) and Marianne Skarpnord (on Friday) down from 5-under to 8-under to open a handy gap at the top. Four birdies on either side of the course, which many consider as the toughest on the LET schedule, saw Thomson card 64 and she moved to 10-under for 36 holes.

 “Many of the girls who were there when I left the Tour around 2009 are still around. It’s been fun to get back and they have all been so friendly,” said Thomson after her career performance. “I’m friends with Kelsey MacDonald, Kiran Matharu, Carly Booth.” Matharu, an English golfer of Indian origin, was also a prodigy once, and is now slowly finding her way back.

 How did Thomson get back to golf ? After quitting the police, she worked in a Pro shop and as a caddie. One day, watching the Ladies European Tour golf on TV re-kindled her aspirations.

 On her website, she says, “Being in the police is a tough job. You witness some difficult scenes – car accidents, bereavement, drunken disturbances. When you are standing outside a bar in the early hours of the morning, waiting for all the drunken people to leave and knowing that trouble could flare at any time, it puts a bad shot on a golf course into perspective. If I play a bad shot now, I know it is just that.”

 Thomson came back as a full time pro in 2013. She played local events and some on the LET Access Series. By 2015, she had a win in Spain and was eighth on LET Access Series Money List. A year later, in 2016, she secured her full card for the LET in 2017, finishing fourth on the LET Access Series.

 On what her team is, she said, “(former LPGA and LET player) Jo Morley is my caddie. Having the support of my dad, Graham, in the background and my coach Neil Marr and all my friends on tour. If you enjoy your time here and they have your back, it’s great.”

 Slowly but steadily, the one-time prodigy, now 28, is once again finding her golfing mojo back. Sunday could be the crowning glory.

Kylie Henry is currently on -1

LEADERBOARD 

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