Tuesday, December 22, 2020

THE R&A HAS UPDATED ITS AMATEUR SCHEDULE

The R&A has announced a revised schedule for its amateur championships and international matches in 2021.
The R&A confirmed the following changes:

The Home Internationals
The Men’s Home Internationals, which are being staged by the R&A for the first time, will be played from 14-16 April at Royal Dornoch. The matches are usually played in late August, but it is hoped the earlier dates will help with Great Britain & Ireland’s preparations for the Walker Cup match against the United States of America at Seminole, Florida, in May.

The Home Internationals for the women, girls and senior women as well as those for the boys and senior men will take place at one venue for the first time, with Woodhall Spa hosting all five matches from 4-6 August.

The Senior Amateur Championships
The Senior Amateur championships have been moved to earlier in the year. The Men's Senior Amateur championship will now take place at Ganton from 6-9 July followed by the Women's Senior Amateur at Ashridge from 7-9 July.

The 41st Curtis Cup
This year's Curtis Cup match between Great Britain & Ireland and the United States of America, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be played at Conwy in Ireland from 26-28 August 2021.

The Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship
Launched by The R&A and the ANNIKA Foundation this year, the Women's Amateur Latin America championship will be played for the first time from 18-21 November 2021. The event, which is for the top women amateur players in the region, will be hosted at Pilar Golf in Argentina. This year's inaugural event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, said:

"We have considered a range of factors in revising our schedule of amateur championships and international matches and are grateful to all of the venues for their support and understanding to allow us to make these changes."

"We are hopeful that we will be able to stage these events as planned but we recognise that the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic still remains uncertain and will adapt our plans in line with the guidance provided by governments and our medical advisers."

The full calendar of events for 2021 can be found here.

Monday, December 21, 2020

SCOTTISH GOLF UPDATE ON COVID-19 GUIDANCE

Scottish Golf has issued a COVID-19 update in response to the emergency COVID-19 briefing given by First Minister of Scotland on Saturday.


The full statement issued today by Scottish Golf reads as follows:

"Following the First Minister’s weekend announcement that a move to Level 4 will be implemented from 26 December, we can advise that there has been no changes advised to the previously shared sporting guidance based on each local protection level."

"The Scottish Golf website remains current and the full detail of what is permitted can be found here, with further details from sportscotland on the wider sporting framework and responsibilities of COVID officers available here."

"Should there be any changes advised in the days ahead, we shall of course keep you updated but in the meantime all detail on our website shows the current position for golf."

"With best wishes to you and your membership for a safe festive season and collectively let’s hope for better things to come in 2021."

"Kind Regards,
The Scottish Golf Team"

JIN YOUNG KO SHOOTS 66 TO WIN LPGA TOUR FINALE

World No. 1 Ko Jin-young shot a six-under-par final-round of 66 to win the LPGA CME Group Tour Championship in Florida by five shots.


South Korea's Jin-young Ko had trailed her compatriot Sei-young Kim by one shot after Saturday's round, but birdied five of her last seven holes for a six-under-par final-round of 66, which took her to -18 and five shots clear of her nearest challengers, the World No.2 Sei Young Kim and Australia's Hannah Green.

Sei Young Kim traded blows with Jin-young Ko for ten holes, but was unable to match the barrage of birdies from the World No. 1 in the home stretch and could only manage a level-par round of 72. It left her in a share of second at -13 with Hannah Green, who finished with a bogey-free five-under-par 67.

America's Mina Harigae claimed fourth spot on -12, one shot ahead of New Zealand's Lydia Ko and America's Lexi Thompson. It is the first time in eight years that Thompson, the leading player after the first round, has ended the season without a single LPGA Tour victory.

England's Georgia Hall posted a level-par 72, after a costly double-bogey at the 16th, to finish tied for seventh at -10 with Canada's Brooke Henderson and America's Austin Ernst.

Fellow English player Charley Hull, who won the event in 2016, had to settle for a six-way tie for thirteenth on -7 after she shot a two-over-par 74.

The 2021 LPGA Tour will begin with the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions from 21-24 January at the Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club in Orlando, Florida.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

SEI YOUNG KIM TAKES THE LEAD AT LPGA TOUR FINALE

Defending champion Sei-young Kim fired six birdies to take the lead by one from World No. 1 Ko Jin-young at the LPGA Tour season-finale in Florida.


South Korea's Sei Young Kim has a one shot lead heading into the final day of the CME Group Tour Championship at the Tiburon Golf Club in Florida, with England's Georgia Hall and Charley Hull in the chasing pack.

World No. 2, Kim, carded a five-under-par 67 to top the leaderboard at -13, one shot ahead of the overnight leader, South Korea's Jin Young Ko, who shot a three-under-par 69 to finish in solo second at -12.

England's Georgia Hall was one-over-par for her round with eight holes to play, but fired five birdies in a seven-holes to get to -10 and move up into third place on her own.

One shot behind Hall is England's Charley Hull, who shot eight birdies to equal the lowest round of the day with a six-under-par 66 and jump into a share of fourth on -9. Hull is joined at -9 by Canada's Brooke Henderson and Australia's Minjee Lee, after they matched her round of 66. Completing the group in fourth are America's Austin Ernst and Lexi Thompson.

Three shots behind the leader, tied for ninth at -10, are Christie Kerr (USA), Lydia Ko (NZL), Mina Harigae (USA) and Hannah Green (AUS).

Saturday, December 19, 2020

JIN YOUNG KO LEADS THE FIELD AT LPGA TOUR FINALE

World No 1 Jin Young Ko leads the field heading into the weekend of the CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club in Florida.


South Korea's Jin Young Ko shot a five-under-par 67 on Friday, in the chilly and breezy conditions at Tiburon Golf Club, to take a one-stroke lead, at -9, over the defending champion, South Korea's Sei Young Kim, and the 2018 winner, America's Lexi Thompson, in the season-ending LPGA Tour event.

Australia's Hannah Green, who turns 24 on Sunday, shot a 4-under-par 68 on Friday to sit in solo fourth on -7.

England's Georgia Hall is a further shot back in a tie for fifth place on -6, after a brace of 69s, with Nelly Korda (USA), Cydney Clanton (USA), Austin Ernst USA), Megan Khang (USA) and Caroline Masson (SWE).

New Zealand's Lydia Ko followed her first round of 74 with the round of the day, a bogey-free 65, for a share of 11th at -5.

Friday, December 18, 2020

JUNIOR WINTER SERIES - NEW EVENT ANNOUNCED

The 5th Junior Winter Series Order of Merit event has been confirmed as: 21st February 2021 at Crail Golf Club. Both girls and boys can enter.
There are now three fantastic Junior Winter Series Order of Merit events to look forward to in the New Year.

The updated 2020/21 Junior Winter Series Fixture List is as follows:

11 February - West Kilbride - Closing date: 11 January
21 February - Crail (Balcomie Links) - Closing date: 18 January
14 March - Fortrose & Rosemarkie (rescheduled) - Closing date: 22 January

Entries for all three Junior Winter Series events are open. Girls and boys can enter. To find out more information &/or enter click on the links below:

West Kilbride &/or Crail: @sgfoundationgolf
Fortrose & Rosemarkie: @juniortourscotland

NEW CHANGES TO THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

The R&A has confirmed more changes to The Open Championship schedule, as a result of the cancellation of this year's Open at Royal St. George's.
The R&A has announced that The 151st Open will now be played at Royal Liverpool from 16-23 July 2023 and The 152nd Open will be played at Royal Troon from 14-21 July 2024.

The venues were originally scheduled to welcome the championship a year earlier, but the cancellation of this year's Open at Royal St. George's, due to the coronavirus pandemic, has prompted both events to be shuffled back a year. It is the first time since 1945 that the historic tournament has been cancelled.

The R&A has already confirmed that the famous links at Royal St. George's will stage The 149th Open from 11-18 July 2021 and that St Andrews will remain the host for The 150th Open, albeit a year later than planned, from 10-17 July 2022.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said:

"We have been working closely with Royal Liverpool and Royal Troon and the relevant local agencies to reschedule the Championships."

"We are grateful to everyone involved at the clubs and at our partner organisations for supporting our plans and showing flexibility to adapt their own schedules. We can now look forward to seeing the world’s best players competing at these outstanding links courses in 2023 and 2024."

The revised schedule for The Open Championship is:

The 149th Open - Royal St George’s - 11-18 July 2021
The 150th Open - St Andrews - 10-17 July 2022
The 151st Open - Royal Liverpool - 16-23 July 2023
The 152nd Open - Royal Troon - 14-21 July 2024

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

A LIM KIM WINS THE US WOMEN'S OPEN ON HER DEBUT

South Korea's A Lim Kim produced a spectacular finish to clinch a shock one-shot victory at The 75th US Women's Open in Houston, Texas.


World number 94, South Korea's A Lim Kim birdied the last three holes to claim her maiden major title at The 75th US Women's Open and win her first tournament in the United States.

The 25-year-old, who started five strokes behind the overnight leader, South Korea's Hinako Shibuno, fired the round of the day, a four-under-par 67, to finish on -3 and win by a single shot from South Korea's Jin-young Ko and America's Amy Olson.

World number one Jin-young Ko, one of only six players to break par on the final day, closed with a three-under-par 68 to finish tied for second on -2 with Amy Olson. Olson managed to hold it together amid the grief of learning her father-in-law died unexpectedly on Saturday night and had a two-shot lead on the back nine, but could do nothing about Kim's late charge.

South Korea's Hinako Shibuno, the overnight leader, holed a monster putt for a birdie at the 18th to end a disappointing day with a big smile, despite her three-over-par round of 74, and finish on her own in fourth at -1. American's Megan Kang finished two shots further back in fifth on +1.

The top amateur was American Kaitlyn Pappa. She finished in ninth on +3.

England's Charley Hull, who had been in contention after the first round, hit a one-over 72 to close on +8 in a 10-way tie for 30th along with compatriot Bronte Law. Fellow Englishwoman Jodi Ewart Shadoff signed off at +17 after a final round of 80.

After her win A Lim Kim said:

"I'm very honoured to win the 75th US Women's Open. I still can't really soak in that I'm the champion, but it feels different winning the tournament here."

"Back in Korea the style and the environment is different. But I'm really glad, and through COVID-19 we had a lot of difficulties, but glad we had the US Women's Open held in Houston. It was a great win. I love this golf course, love this environment. I want to actually put a tent up here and stay a few more days!"

A Lim Kim wictory means that South Korean players have won three of the four majors played this year. Sei Young Kim won the The Women's PGA and Mirim Lee won the ANA Inspiration. The fourth, the AIG Women's Open at Royal Troon, was won by Germany's Sophia Popov, who like Kim claimed her first major this year as a non LPGA Tour member.

Monday, December 14, 2020

US WOMEN’S OPEN FINAL ROUND DELAYED TO MONDAY

The final round of The 75th US Women's Open will be played on Monday after bad weather wiped out most of Sunday's play in Houston, Texas.
The final round of The US Women's Open has been delayed until Monday, after a series of heavy downpours on Sunday forced play to be suspended and then abandoned.

The tee times for the final round on Sunday had been brought forward after heavy rain and thunderstorms were predicted to arrive during the morning at the Champions Club. The forecast proved accurate when play was suspended shortly after 9am local time.

The leaders in the final four groups had still to tee off when the players were called back to the clubhouse, where they remained for over three-and-a-half hours with the threat of electrical activity still in the air.

Given the conditions, USGA officials were left with no option but to abandon play for the day, with the final round resuming on Monday at 9am EST.

A USGA statement read:

"Fourth-round play at the U.S. Women's Open has been suspended for the day due to course conditions and potential inclement weather later this afternoon. The Champions Golf Club has received 73 inches of rain in the past 24 hours."

The overnight leader, Japan's Hinako Shibuno, will resume on Monday on -4, one shot ahead of America's Amy Olson. Shinbuno and Olson are two of only four players who are under par for the tournament, along with Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn and Korea's Ji Yeong Kim2, who are tied on -1.

England's Bronte Law is seven shots off the lead in a tie for 19th on +3 after completing two holes of her final round.

It is only the third time in US Women’s Open history that play has extended into Monday without a playoff.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

HINAKO SHIBUNO LEADS THE US WOMEN'S OPEN BY ONE

Japan’s Hinako Shibuno, the 2019 AIG Women’s Open champion, takes a one-shot lead into the final round of the 75th US Women’s Open in Texas.


Hinako Shibuno hung on to her US Women's Open lead as only two players managed to break par on a brutally tough third day in Houston.

Shibuno, who was three shots clear overnight, shot in a three-over-par 74, which was enough to keep her on top of the leaderboard at -4, although her advantage was whittled down to a single shot.

America's Amy Olson, the first-round leader, maintained her challenge for a maiden major after a commendable level-par 71, which moved her up to solo second place on -3.

Tied for third place on -1 are South Korea's Ji Yeong Kim2 and Thialand's Moriya Jutanugarn. Kim2 posted the round of the day by a large distance, firing a remarkable four-under-par 67.

New Zealand's Lydia Ko is tied for fifth on level-par alongside the American trio of Yealimi Noh, USA Solheim Cup star Megan Khang and amateur Kaitlyn Papp, while the current world No 1, South Korea's Jin Young Ko is just five off the pace heading into the final major round of the year.

England's Charley Hull crashed out of contention following a seven-over 78, which included a quadruple-bogey 8, leaving her compatriot Bronte Law as the leading British player tied for 19th on +3.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

SHIBUNO LEADS BY THREE AT THE US WOMEN'S OPEN

Japan's Hinako Shibuno leads the field by three shots at the half way stage of the 75th US Women's Open, at the Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas.


Major winner Hinako Shibuno added a four-under 67 on the Jackrabbit course to her first round 68 on the Cypress Creek course to open up a three shot lead on -7 heading into the weekend of the US Women's Open.

The Japanese star, who is affectionally known as the "Smiling Cinderella" due to her engaging smile, rose to sudden fame in the summer of 2019 when she won the AIG Women's British Open at Woburn, her first major, the first time she played outside Japan.

Swedish star Linn Grant leads the way for the amateurs after a brace of 69's left her in solo second place on -4.

Chasing her is America amateur, Kaitlyn Papp, who shot a three-under-par second round of 68 for a share of third on -3 with American duo Amy Olson, the overnight leader, and Megan Khang.

Behind them, in a group of eight on -2, is former US Women's Open winner, Thialand's Ariya Jutanugarn, her sister Moriya Jutanugarn and the American two-time major winners Stacy Lewis and Cristie Kerr. Kerr, a former US Open winner, dislocated a couple of ribs in a cart accident only a week ago and wasn't even sure she could play until the Open began.

England's Charley Hull started the day two strokes off the lead, but shot a two-over 73 to drop into a tie for 20th on level-par with her compatriot Jodi Ewart Shadoff and defending champion, South Korea's Jeongeun Lee6.

Solheim Cup star, England's Bronte Law and the 2020 AIG Women's Open Champion, Germany's Sophia Popov, narrowly made the cut on +3.

But the 2019 British Women's Open champion, Georgia Hall, will miss the weekend after finishing on +7, alongside her fellow Englishwomen Mel Reid and Megan MacLaren, as will all three GB&I amateurs. Hall shot a bogey free three-under-par 68, but it was not enough to make up for a disappointing opening round of 81.

Also making an early exit is South Korea's Mirim Lee, who won her first major at the Anna Inspiration this year and Europe's newly crowned number one, Denmark's Emily Pedersen.

The tournament, which has a $1m winners' cheque, was scheduled to take place in June but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, December 11, 2020

ANNIKA SORENSTAM ELECTED AS NEW IGF PRESIDENT

Ten-time major winner, Sweden's Annika Sorenstam is to take over as the new president of the International Golf Federation, on 1 January 2021.
Annika Sorenstam, who was a global ambassador for golf’s return to the Olympics in Rio, is to succeed former R&A chief executive Peter Dawson as the new International Golf Federation (IGF) president.

After 10 years of service, Dawson had notified the Board that he would not seek reappointment when his current two-year term expired at the end of the year. In light of Dawson’s decision, the IGF board elected Sorenstam as the IGF president, effective January 1, 2021.

Peter Dawson said:

"It has been a great pleasure and privilege to serve as IGF President. Golf’s reinstatement to the Olympic programme was a landmark for our sport and it was a true thrill to witness our return at Rio 2016. Our Olympic status has been a strong catalyst for increasing cooperation and coordination between the major organisations in golf and has significantly strengthened the bonds between the IGF and our National Federations."

"My thanks go to so many people in golf and in the Olympic family for their support over the past 10 years,” he added. “Their help and goodwill have been invaluable. I wish my successor, Annika Sorenstam, every success. The IGF could not be in better hands."

The chairman of the IGF Board, Jay Monahan, who is also the PGA Tour Commissioner, said:

"With Peter’s impending departure, we are thrilled to have someone as accomplished and universally respected as Annika Sorenstam to move into the role as IGF President. As a generational talent in women’s golf, Annika played a prominent role in golf’s successful Olympic bid by serving as a Global Ambassador with Jack Nicklaus and since retiring from competition, has been dedicated to promoting women’s golf at all levels through her foundation. She is the ideal person to succeed Peter in this role."

Annika Sorenstam said:

"Peter did a great job the last 10 years as IGF President and I am humbled and honored to have been asked to succeed him. As an international player, having golf back in the Olympics means so much to me and to our sport. I very much look forward to working with the Board, the IOC and the governing bodies of golf in their efforts to continue to grow the game globally."

In addition to naming Annika Sorenstam as the new IGF President, the IGF Board has appointed PGA Tour executive Ty Votaw to another term as IGF Vice President.

About the International Golf Federation (IGF)

The International Golf Federation is the international federation recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the world governing body for golf. The headquarters of the IGF is located by the shores of Lake Geneva in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In addition to the two World Amateur Team Championships, the Eisenhower Trophy for men and the Espirito Santo Trophy for women, the IGF organizes the golf competitions at the Olympic Games and the Youth Olympic Games.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

THE US WOMEN'S OPEN STARTS IN TEXAS TOMORROW

Defending champion, Jeongeun Lee6, joins the best female golfers in Texas for the final major of the 2020 season, The 75th US Women’s Open.
The 75th US Women’s Open will start tomorrow, Thursday, 8 December 2020, in Houston, Texas. The championship was supposed to be held in the first week in June until the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the LPGA Tour for more than five months. The best option for the event was to reschedule it two weeks before Christmas, making it the final major of the year.

Uniquely, due to daylight constraints, the first two rounds will be contested on two courses at the Champions Golf Club. The players will play one round on the Jackrabbit course and the Cypress Creek course on either Thursday or Friday. Once the cut is made at the end of Friday’s play, the final two rounds will be played on the Cypress Creek course.

The 156-player field includes players from 26 countries, nine former US Open Champions, 26 amateurs and seven Texas stars including the 2020 Scottish Ladies Open champion, former Houston resident, Stacy Lewis, and the winner of last week’s Volunteers of America Classic, Angela Stanford.

The field will also include the defending champion, Jeongeun Lee6, and world number one, Jin Young Ko, two members of a formidable 27-strong contingent of Korean competitors.

Europe's challenge is spearheaded by Denmark's Emily Pedersen, who shot up the World Rolex Rankings after she dominated the 2020 Ladies European Tour to become Europe's No. 1 golfer.

Another European to watch out for is the 2020 AIG Women's Open champion Sophia Popov from Germany.

The British favourites will be out in force too. Georgia Hall and Mel Reid, who have already won on the LPGA Tour this year, are joined by an in-form Charley Hull, who has had a run of four top-ten finishes, along with Solheim Cup star Bronte Law, Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Meghan MacLaren.

Two promising English amateurs Emily Toy and Lily May Humphreys, who were recently named in the GB&I squad for the 2021 Curtis Cup, will make their major debuts in Houston. Toy earned her place as the 2019 British Women’s Amateur Champion, while Humphreys is ranked 17th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), with the top 20 eligible.

The English duo will be joined by the Northern Ireland amateur, 23-year-old Olivia Mehaffey, who is also in the GB&I squad for the 2021 Curtis Cup and 18th in the WAGR standings.

PETER ALLISS 'THE VOICE OF GOLF' HAS DIED AGED 89

Tributes have poured in from across the world of golf and broadcasting after the death of the ledgendary commentator Peter Alliss at the age of 89.


A former professional player, Peter Alliss started his broadcasting duties at The Open championship in 1961 and became the lead man for the BBC’s golf coverage in 1978. Known as 'the voice of golf' to fans around the world, he became synonymous with British golf coverage for more than half a century.

Having left school at 14, Alliss followed in the footsteps of his father, Percy, and became a successful golfer in his own right. He won more than 30 professional tournaments at home and abroad and finished in the top-ten at The Open championship five times. He represented GB&I eight times in the Ryder Cup between 1953 and 1969. Long before that final appearance, he had already combined playing with microphone duties.

Alliss soon became known not only for his forensically detailed knowledge of his sport, but also his witty moments. His live depiction of Jean Van de Velde’s epic collapse at the 72nd hole of the 1999 Open is the stuff of legend.

His celebrity status also enabled him to run a business designing more than 50 courses with his business partner Dave Thomas, including The Belfry, the home of the PGA, and the Landsdowne course at Blairgowrie. He also wrote many books.

Peter Alliss was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame with a Lifetime Achievement award in 2012 and he delivered his final commentary, on The Masters, last month from his home in Surrey. He had been due to retire after next year’s Ryder Cup, completing what would have been a remarkable six decades in the commentary booth.

In a statement released on Sunday, Alliss’ family explained his death was "unexpected but peaceful".

Tim Davie, director general of the BBC, led the tributes, saying:

"No one told the story of golf quite like Peter Alliss. He captured golf’s drama with insight, wisdom and humanity. He was a legendary commentator who brought the game to life for millions of us."

John Cleese added:

"I always thought that I could cope with the ending of the world if only Peter was commentating on it."

SCOTTISH GOLF PAST PRESIDENT MALCOLM M MITCHELL

Scottish Golf has announced the sad news that its immediate past President Malcolm M Mitchell passed away at the weekend.
Scottish Golf issued a brief statement as follows:

"Scottish Golf is saddened to learn of the passing of immediate past President Malcolm M Mitchell."

"Malcolm, who was a past captain of The New Club in St Andrews and a former PGA Scottish Region Secretary, passed away at the weekend following a short illness."

Karin Sharp, Chief Operating Officer of Scottish Golf said:

"On behalf of everyone at Scottish Golf, I would like to extend our condolences to Malcolm’s family and friends from across the game at this sad time."

"Malcolm was a great servant of the game and a proud ambassador in his role as President and will be sadly missed by those who knew him."

Monday, December 07, 2020

STANDFORD WINS VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA CLASSIC

Angela Stanford, in her 20th year on the LPGA Tour, shot the round of the day to win by two shots at the Volunteers of America Classic on Sunday.


American veteran Angela Stanford captured her seventh LPGA Tour title with a two-stroke victory at the LPGA Volunteers of America Classic in her home state of Texas.

The 43-year-old Texan began the final round one shot behind the leaders, but carded seven birdies in a four-under-par 67 to finish on -7 and pick-up her first LPGA title since her major win at the Evian Championship in 2018.

Stanford is the first player at or over the age of 40 to win on the LPGA Tour since America's Cristie Kerr at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in 2017 and Scotland's Catriona Matthew at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in 2011.

Major winners, South Korea's Inbee Park and Ryu So-yeon, who had tied for the overnight lead with the American rookie Yealimi Noh, had to settle for a share of second on -5 after all three players shot a one-under-par final round of 70.

World number one, South Korea's Ko Jin-young, who started the day one behind the leaders with Stanford, got herself briefly into a share for second after two birdies, but a double bogey at the par-four 14th halted her challenge and she finished alone in fifth on -4.

England's Charley Hull eagled the 17th to finish with a level-par 71 and tie for sixth place with Sweden's Anna Nordqvist on -3.

After her win Stanford said:

"It’s pretty cool since my parents have never seen my win in person. “It was fun to have my dad walking around the whole time and then mom at the end. I know there are going to be a lot of people giving me grief because I did it during a COVID year and nobody could come out. But to have my parents here, that was a pretty big deal."

Stanford, also revealed she had been working hard with coach Todd Kolb on her short game, one of her key assets during the week.

"After the Evian, it would have been easy to be satisfied and I think I was for a little bit," she added. "But then there's just something about bad golf. I don't like bad golf."

"So I really kind of went to work with my instructor, Todd, up in South Dakota and it was always my short game. My short game's always kind of held me back. I told him I would commit to it if he would commit to help me a certain way."

"So it was fun to win around here because I've struggled here because of my short game."

The US Women's Open starts in Houston on Thursday, with the season-ending Tour Championship the following week in Florida.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

THREE WAY TIE AT VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA CLASSIC

The Volunteers of America Classic is set for thrilling climax in Texas with a three-way tie between Inbee Park, Ryu So-yeon and Yealimi Noh.


South Korea's Inbee Park and Ryu So-yeon are in a three-way share of the lead with American teenager Yealimi Noh at the top of the leaderboard, on -4, as they head into the final round of the Volunteers of America Classic.

Ryu, a two-time major champion, shot a six-under-par round to move level with 19-year-old Noh, a joint overnight leader, and world number five Park, who has five majors under her belt and is chasing her 20th career LPGA title.

England's Charley Hull is just one shot behind the leaders after 54 holes as she looks to emulate her compatriots Georgia Hall and Mel Reid in winning on the LPGA Tour this season.

Hull made light of the conditions, after a two-hour delay for frost, carding a three-under-par 68, which lifted her to within one shot of the lead and a share of fourth on -3 with world number one, South Korean Jin Young Ko, and American duo Jessica Korda and Angela Stanford.
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Ireland's Leona Maguire shot her best round of the week, a one-under-par 70 to move to +3 and in a tie for 30th.

English duo Mel Reid and Jodie Euart Shadoff both shot a level par third round of 71 to tie for 44th with a group of ten on +5, while Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow shot a three-over 74 to tie for 68th on +9.

The event is the final LPGA tournament before next week's US Women's Open in Houston.

EMILY PEDERSEN WINS THE LET BREAK PAR CHALLENGE

Race del Costa De Sol winner, Emily Pedersen, has won another European title to add her collection, the 2020 'LET Break Par Challenge'.
Denmark's Emily Pedersen has added to her remarkable haul of European titles with victory in the inaugural 'LET Break Par Challenge', sponsored by Golf Saudi, and with it a cheque for €5,000 to donate to a charity close to her heart, the ‘Pink Cup Breast Cancer Foundation’.

The big-hitting Dane has been in sizzling form all year, winning an impressive five LET titles, four individual and one team, while breaking par no less than 171 times in 42 rounds. As part of that tally, she shot an astonishing 13 eagles, more than double her nearest challenger. With 5 points for a eagle and 1 point for a birdie, the 24-year-old amassed an massive total of 223 points, 54 points ahead of the runner-up, Belgium's Manon de Roey.

Not even an albatross, which is worth 25 points, from Manon de Roey or a hole-in-one, which is worth 10 points, from four other players could stop the 24-year-old. As a result of her victory, Pedersen will donate €5,000 to the ‘Pink Cup Breast Cancer Foundation’, for which she is an ambassador.

Speaking about her win, Pedersen said:

"I’m delighted to have won this challenge. It has been exciting for me to try and make birdies and eagles to win points throughout the season and I am proud to be able to make positive change for the ‘Pink Cup Breast Cancer Foundation’ as a result of my play. It is always fun to shoot under par but having this new challenge to think about and seeing the leaderboard each week has been something I have had my eye on and I am extremely pleased to win the award and donate money to them."

Alexandra Armas, Ladies European Tour, CEO, said:

"We launched the LET Break Par Challenge as a fun way to highlight the exceptional skill and talent that our Tour has to offer. Emily is a worthy winner of the first edition and has played some magnificent golf, making eagles and birdies when they mattered the most. Golf Saudi have been terrific supporters of the LET this year and our partnership with them on this challenge highlights their commitments to showcasing the women’s game on the global stage."

The top GB&I player in the 2020 'LET Break Par Challenge' was Scotland's Kylie Henry, who finished in fourth place with 5 eagles and 123 birdies from 37 rounds. Her tally of 5 eagles was only surpassed by Pedersen.

STEPHANIE KYRIACOU WINS LET ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Stephanie Kyriacou has topped off an extraordinary first season on the Ladies European Tour by winning the 2020 ‘LET Rookie of the Year’ title.


Australia’s Stephanie Kyriacou has claimed this year's prestigious 'LET Rookie of the Year’ title. The accolade completes a superb debut year as a professional for Kyriacou, who won the title by 92 points from England's Alice Hewson.

Kyriacou's remarkable year started in February when the teenager made an extraordinary breakthrough victory as a amateur at the Australian Ladies Classic Bonville, destroying the field of top pros to win by eight shots. Turning professional the following week, she joined the Ladies European Tour only to find, after one event, her new career was put on hold for almost six months because of coronavirus.

In August, with her dad in tow, the 19-year-old headed headed to Scotland, as the LET season restarted with the Scottish Open and AIG Women’s Open at Royal Troon, only for the pair to end up stranded in Europe. Twice, their precious return flights to Australia were cancelled amid the global crisis. As Kyriacou explained:

"So, basically, we came for two events in Scotland over a fortnight and ended up flying all over Europe and the Middle East, playing eight tournaments in five countries over three-and-a-half months in the middle of a pandemic because we couldn’t get home."

For dad Nick, a keen club golfer, it was doubly challenging, having to run his building and property business in Australia from thousands of miles away while doubling as Steph’s factotum, manager, roommate and caddie.

Despite all those challenges and the fact that her breakthrough win did not count towards the title race, it did not stop the youngster proving herself to be the best new talent on the LET.

In what would turn out to be a three-and-a-half month roller coaster of a trip, she played in her first major championship, shot a course record, recorded five top ten finishes in eight starts, finished third in the 2020 LET Race to Costa Del Sol and pocketed a cool €84,272.43 in prize money.

As a result of her remarkable efforts, she becomes the third Australian to win the ‘LET Rookie of the Year’ title and joins an illustrious group, which includes major winners Laura Davies, Annika Sorenstam, Suzann Pettersen, Anna Nordqvist and the 2020 Race to Costa del Sol winner Emily Pedersen.

Commenting on her achievement, Kyriacou said:

"It was one of my goals at the beginning of the year so I am glad that I could tick this one off the list. There are some big names on the trophy and one of my friends has been updating me every week on my progress and as the season went on, I started to think I had a good chance."

"When I was playing amateur events, I thought I was ready but then I was so nervous in the first few events as a professional. Once I had made a few mates on tour though, I started to feel more comfortable. People think I look calm out there, but I am feeling the nerves just as much as anyone. I am so happy to win this title."

Alexandra Armas, Ladies European Tour CEO, said:

"Stephanie burst on to the scene as an amateur back in February with a win at the Australian Ladies Classic in Bonville and has shown tremendous resilience in her first year as a professional. She has taken quickly to life on tour and kept us entertained with her exciting play on the course and easy-going attitude off it. She should be incredibly proud of her achievement and we look forward to watching her progress in the coming years."

As there is no 2020 LET Qualifying School and a category freeze across the board on the LET, the Australian star will still be a 'rookie' in 2021, giving her a chance to become the first-ever two-time ‘LET Rookie of the year’.

Saturday, December 05, 2020

EMILY PEDERSON IS RACE TO COSTA DEL SOL CHAMPION

'The great Dane' Emily Pedersen has dominated the Ladies European Tour this season to win the 2020 'Race to Costa del Sol' title in style.


Denmark’s Emily Pedersen signed-off on her impressive Ladies European Tour season with a victory at the Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana and her third LET title in a row to win the 2020 'Race to Costa del Sol' by a huge 834-point margin.

The 24-year-old Dane has been in unstoppable form all year. She recorded a remarkable seven top ten finishes from 12 starts, won four LET individual titles, shot a career-best 11th place in a major at the AIG Women’s Open at Royal Troon, pocketed €415,000 in prize money and finished with more than triple the points of her nearest challenger, Sweden's Julia Engstrom.

Pedersen is only the second player to win three LET titles in a row, after France's Marie-Laure de Lorenzi in 1988, and only the second Danish golfer to top the money list on any major international tour, emulating six-time LET winner Iben Tinning, who won the LET Order of Merit in 2005.

It's been a remarkable turn-around for Pedersen, who has recently been struggling to make cuts and had slumped as low as 540 in the Rolex World Rankings last year. As a result of her latest triumphs, she has catapulted into the top 100 for the first time in her career and sits on top of the European Solheim Cup standings.

Reflecting on her increadible season, Pederson said:

"I can’t believe I’ve won the Race to Costa del Sol, it’s always been a dream of mine and I am so happy to not only be playing well this year but to win a few trophies too. There were times when I thought that I wouldn’t get back to my best but working with my team we have focused really hard on not just reaching the same level of where I was but going past it. The last few months have been amazing."

"I’m proud to be flying the flag for Danish golf and I’ve had so many nice messages from not just players on the LET but the men’s European Tour too. I enjoyed myself on the golf course this year and winning the Race to Costa del Sol will give me lots of confidence for 2021 as I set my sights on being part of Team Europe for the Solheim Cup and maybe even the Olympics."

Thursday, December 03, 2020

FOUR SCOTS IN GB&I VAGLIANO AND CURTIS CUP SQUAD

The R&A has named its Great Britain and Ireland squads for next year's Walker Cup, Curtis Cup and Vagliano Trophy.
The R&A has selected two squads of Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) players ahead of next year’s Walker Cup and Curtis Cup matches against the USA and the Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe.

The 48th Walker Cup will be played at Seminole Golf Club in Florida from 8-9 May 2021 and the Vagliano Trophy will be played along with the Junior Vagliano Trophy at Lausanne Golf Club in Switzerland from 25-26 June 2021. Meanwhile, the rearranged 41st Curtis Cup will be played at Conwy Golf Club in Wales from 26-28 August 2021, after the match was postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the Vagliano Trophy the GB&I team is looking for its first win against the Continent of Europe since 2005. While in the Curtis Cup GB&I will be aiming to extend the team's unbeaten home run to three in a row at Conwy, having won the match at Nairn in 2012 and Dun Laoghaire in 2016.

Four Scots are included in the GB&I Vagliano Trophy and Curtis Cup squad. 17-year-old Hannah Darling (Broomieknowe), who was a member of the 2019 European Junior Solheim Cup Team at Gleneagles, is the youngest to be selected for the 17-strong squad. She is joined by Shannon McWilliam (Aboyne), one of only four players selected from the 2018 GB&I Curtis Cup team, Chloe Goadby (St Regulus) and Hazel MacGarvie (Royal Troon).

Elaine Ratcliffe, the GB&I captain, said:

"We have been able to bring in a number of new players into the squad alongside those who were selected last year and are now looking forward to working with the group as we prepare for the Vagliano Trophy and Curtis Cup. We have a good blend of youth and experience in the squad but there is still time for other players to make their case for inclusion in the final teams selected. I know the girls will relish the opportunity to compete and try to win the two matches."

GB&I Vagliano Trophy and Curtis Cup squad:

Hannah Darling (17, Broomieknowe, Scotland)
Shannon McWilliam (21, Aboyne, Scotland)
Annabell Fuller (18, Roehampton, England)
Olivia Mehaffey (23, Royal County Down Ladies, Ireland)
Chloe Goadby (23, St Regulus, Scotland)
Emily Price (21, Ludlow, England)
Paula Grant (27, Lisburn, Ireland)
Euphemie Rhodes (18, Burnham and Berrow, England)
Charlotte Heath (19, Huddersfield, England)
Emily Toy (23, Carlyon Bay, England)
Lily May Humphreys (18, Stoke by Nayland, England)
Lauren Walsh (20, Castlewarden, Ireland)
Hazel MacGarvie (21, Royal Troon, Scotland)
Isobel Wardle (20, Prestbury, England)
Julie McCarthy (21, Forrest Little, Ireland)
Annabel Wilson (19, Lurgan, Ireland)
Caley McGinty (20, Knowle, England)

In the Walker Cup, the United States of America halted a run of home wins after an outstanding performance in the afternoon singles of the second day at Hoylake last September, and so, GB&I will be looking to replicate that success and win away from home for the first time since 2001.

World No 8, Nairn's Sandy Scot, who played for GB&I at Royal Liverpool, is the sole Scottish player to be named in the 15-strong Walker Cup squad.

You can read the full statement published by The R&A and also see the full list of players selected for the GB&I Walker Cup squad at:
https://www.randa.org/News/2020

SCOTTISH GOLF APP - CHECK YOUR COURSE HANDICAP

Did you know that you can now use the Scottish Golf App to check what your Course Handicap will be at any golf course in Scotland?
Scottish Golf has added a new Course Look Up feature to its Scottish Golf App. Providing you are a member of a Scottish Golf Club and have a current Scottish Golf CDH ID number, you can use it to check your Course Handicap for any golf course with a current course and slope rating in Scotland.

All you need to do is click on the blue 'Course Lookup' button at the top of your Scottish Golf App 'Home' screen and use the search function to find the course you want to play. You will then be able to see what the par, course rating and slope rating is for each set of the tees on that course, whether they are rated for men and/or women and what your Course Handicap will be.

A Course Handicap is the number of strokes a player receives, before handicap allowances, from a specific set of tees as determined by the Slope Rating. This is the handicap you will put on your score card.

A Handicap Allowance is the percentage of a Course Handicap that is recommended to create equity for all players participating in a specific format of play. It is used to convert a player's Course Handicap to a Playing Handicap when a player is playing in competitions. It ensures that all players can enjoy a fair and equal game when playing with or against one another.

You can find out more and/or download the Scottish Golf App at:
https://scottishgolf.org/scottish-golf-app/

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

SCOTTISH GOLF APP - SUBMIT A GENERAL PLAY SCORE

Did you know that you can submit a score for your handicap at any time using the General Play function on the Scottish Golf App?


One of the key changes of the new World Handicap System (WHS) is the option to submit scores under General Play.

Under the WHS you can submit a General Play score to count towards your Handicap Index at any time, providing it is played for over a measured course. It means you don’t have to wait for the next medal day at your golf club or for an open competition in order to improve your handicap.

In order to submit a General Play score, you must:
  • Register for your General Play score before you tee-off
  • Play with at least one other person.
  • Play on a course with a current Course Rating and Slope Rating.
  • Ensure the round is in accordance with Rules of Handicapping.
  • Follow the Rules of Golf.
  • Play during an active season (all-year-round in GB&I).

Providing you are a member of a Scottish golf club and you have a current Scottish Golf CDH ID number, one of simplest ways to register and submit a General Play score is to download the Scottish Golf App and follow the step-by-step video above.

You can find out more and/or download the Scottish Golf App at:
https://scottishgolf.org/scottish-golf-app/

Monday, November 30, 2020

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND'S CLUBS SET TO OPEN TOMORROW

Golf Ireland has announced that all golf clubs in the Republic of Ireland will be able to re-open from this Tuesday.
Golf Ireland welcomed the Irish Government’s decision on Friday that golf courses in the Republic of Ireland can re-open from 1st December 2020, as a six-week national lockdown ends and restrictions ease.

The decision by the Government means that golf can resume, although it will be subject to strict health protection protocols and travel restrictions. There are plans for some further relaxations on travel when COVID-19 restrictions are eased for "close to two weeks" over Christmas.

Golf Ireland CEO, Mark Kennelly, said:

"The golf community is pleased that courses can reopen from Tuesday next. Golfers welcome the opportunity to resume play on a responsible and safe basis, as they did during the May to October period."

"The governing bodies are issuing renewed guidance to our member clubs today and we strongly urge all golfers to continue to fully adhere to these protocols which are aimed at keeping golf and the wider community safe while the Covid-19 pandemic remains such a serious threat. We also ask golfers to fully comply with the wider public health restrictions, particularly the travel restrictions that will remain in place until 18th December."

"Earlier this year, Irish golf demonstrated how our sport could be enjoyed by women and men of all ages in a safe and secure environment. As golf resumes, we hope that golfers enjoy their play but continue to be vigilant in adhering to the safety protocols."

Golf clubs in Northern Ireland are currently all closed, after the country entered in to a national two-week 'circuit-breaker' lockdown on Friday.

MARTIN GILBERT TO BE NEW CHAIR OF SCOTTISH GOLF

Martin Gilbert, one of Scotland’s best-known business figures, is set to become the chair of Scottish Golf at its AGM in March next year.

Today, Scottish Golf announced that Martin Gilbert, who recently retired as the chair of Aberdeen Standard Investments after establishing the company as Aberdeen Asset Management in 1983, will be presented as chair-elect at the Scottish Golf AGM in March 2021, when Eleanor Cannon will step down after her six-year term as chair.

Gilbert has been a prominent supporter of golf in Scotland for many years, firstly through Aberdeen Asset Management and latterly Aberdeen Standard Investments. AIS has been the headline sponsor of the men’s Scottish Open since 2012, and the Ladies' Scottish Open since 2011.

Via his businesses, Gilbert has also sponsored some of Scotland's leading golfers including the 1999 Open Champion, Paul Lawrie, the 2009 British Women’s Open Champion, Catriona Matthew, and more recently European Tour winner Robert MacIntyre.

Eleanor Cannon said:

"This is a tremendous coup for golf in Scotland and the entire board is delighted that Martin, whose passion and support for the sport are very widely known, has agreed to take on this role next year."

"His achievements, both in business globally and in his role as the biggest supporter of Scottish Golf over the past two decades, speak for themselves and I am sure his dynamic approach will allow Scottish Golf to flourish. I am extremely pleased that our members and our sport will benefit from Martin’s guidance and undoubted love for golf in the years ahead."

Martin Gilbert said:

“As many people know, golf has been a lifelong passion of mine and I’m hugely excited to be taking up this role in the Home of Golf. I commend Eleanor and her team for their sterling leadership of the new, amalgamated body since its inception in 2015."

"The strategic direction that has been adopted by Scottish Golf is bold and exciting. I am very much looking forward to progressing this strategy and working closely with the board, the team and the membership in continuing to develop the game at all levels in Scotland."

Today's news from Scottish Golf comes less than a month after it announced that major winners Paul Lawrie and Catriona Matthew have signed up to help deliver the next generation of Scottish champions through a new mentoring programme for the country’s top young talent.

The Scottish duo will also contribute to a broad review into the structure of Scottish Golf’s performance programmes and player pathways.

EMILY PEDERSEN FINISHES LET SEASON ON A HAT-TRICK

Emily Pedersen extended her winning streak on the Ladies European Tour with a four-stroke victory at the Andalucia Costa del Sol Open de Espana.


Denmark’s Emily Pedersen powered to Andalucía Costa Del Sol Open De Espana victory, closing with a six-under par bogey-free final round of 66 for a four shot win on -15 from home favourite Nuria Iturrioz.

A model of consistency all year, the 24-year-old Dane has won an impressive five LET titles from 12 starts and becomes only the second player to win three LET tournaments in a row, after Marie-Laure de Lorenzi in 1988.

Walking away with the first-place winner’s cheque of €90,000, Pedersen also collected €20,000 for winning this year's inaugural Race to Costa del Sol and finishes the 2020 LET season with a mammoth €415,000 in prize money.

After her win in Spain, Pedersen said:

"I can’t believe I’ve won the Race to Costa del Sol, it’s always been a dream of mine and I am so happy to not only be playing well this year but to win it here this week in Spain. The last few months have been amazing."

"It was very special with my dad, Jesper, here. He got me into golf and he has been a big support the whole way, he kept me going when I was down and it is really big for me to have him here and win this amazing trophy."

Three-time LET winner Nuria Iturrioz put up a valiant fight in front of her home fans, recovering from a shaky start to record a final three-under-par round of 69 to finish in solo second place on -11. The gutsy display was enough to claim the award for the highest finish for a Spanish player at the Open and saw her walk away with a consolation prize of €51,629.

Rising Spanish star Ana Pelaez also made history, recording the best finish by an amateur in the Spanish Open. Playing with her idol Azahara Munoz, the 22-year-old amateur is one to watch for the future as she fired a sensational five-under-par 67 to finish in solo third on -7.

Scotland's Kelsey MacDonald followed-up her top ten finish in Dubai with a share of 11th place on -3, four shots ahead of compatriot Kylie Henry, who finished tied for 19th place on +1.

The other two Scots, Laura Murray and Alison Muirhead finished within a shot of each other, with Murray T-46th on +8 and Muirhead T-51st on +9.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

EMILY PEDERSEN ON COURSE TO WIN THE SPANISH OPEN

Race to Costa de Sol winner, Emily Pedersen is on course to win her third consecutive Ladies European Tour (LET) title.


Denmark’s Emily Pedersen closed with a sensational eagle at the 54th hole to post a bogey-free four-under-par 68 to leapfrog Spain’s Nuria Iturrioz and assume a one-shot lead at the Andalucía Costa Del Sol Open De Espana.

Joining the pair in the final group and occupying solo third spot on -6 after a five-under-par third round of 67 is Morocco’s Maha Haddioui. Looking to make history of her own as the first Arabic winner on Tour, the 31-year-old, who is competing in her eighth season on Tour.

Scotland's Kelsey MacDonald is still on course for a second top-10 finish in her last four events on the Ladies European Tour. The Scot is lying fifth after a one-over-par third round of 73. MacDonald will tee off on Sunday alongside Luna Sobron Galmes (ESP) on -5 and Manon Gidali (FRA) on -3.

The only amateur to make the cut is local star Ana Pelaez, who impressed with a four-under-par 68 to move into a share of seventh on -2 alongside her Spanish idol Azahara Munoz and Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen.

After three rounds, only 14 players are under-par for the tournament heading into the final day, with England's Annabel Dimmock carding a joint-low round-of-the-day 67 to join compatriot Meghan MacLaren and Scotland's Kylie Henry in the group tied for 10th on -1.

Laura Murray (SCO) is tied for 24th on +3 after a two-under-par round of 70, while Alison Muirhead (SCO) is tied for 51st on +7.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

SPAIN'S NURIA ITURRIOZ LEADS THE SPANISH OPEN

Spanish golfer Nuria Iturrioz leads the field by three shots on eight-under after round two of The Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España.


Overnight leader Nuria Iturrioz (ESP) will take a three-shot advantage into the third round of the Spanish Open, from the Race to Costa del Sol champion Emily Pedersen (DEN) and Kelsey Macdonald (SCO), as the Spanish star looks to claim a fourth LET title of her career.

Playing the remaining 11 holes of her second round this morning, Scotland’s Kelsey MacDonald will be full of confidence, having birdied the 18th hole to make it into the final group tied with Pedersen on -5.

Spain’s Luna Sobron Galmes and Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen are leading the chasing pack tied for fourth on -4.

England’s Meghan MacLaren recovered from being five over after 10 holes on the opening day to post rounds of 75 and 68 to jump into a share of fifth, with just seven players under par for the tournament after the first two days.

Three other Scots followed MacDonald's lead and made it safely through to the weekend. Kylie Henry finished her second round tied for ninth on level par, while Alison Murhead will start her third round tied for 37th on +5, one shot ahead of Laura Murray, who is tied for 44th on +6. Unfortunately, Gemma Dryburgh and Michele Thomson both missed the cut, which fell at +9.

The third round of the season finale is now underway at the challenging Real Club De Golf Guadalmina, after a shot gun start, as the international field bids to make up for lost time due to a weather delay on Thursday.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

JUNIOR TOUR SCOTLAND - NEW EVENT ANNOUNCED

The Junior Tour Scotland has announced a new event for 2021. It will be held at Kilspindie Golf Club from 22-23 May and is open to both girls & boys.
The Junior Tour Scotland has issued the following statement:

"Delighted to announce that Kilspindie Golf Club have given us permission to hold a "mini JT event" for Girls Under 18 and Boys Under 15. It will be a 36 hole event on the 22nd and 23rd May 2021. We are waiting on another course, as it's our intention to run a similar event through the West. Full details will follow in due course."

"Sincerely,"
"Paul"
"on behalf of the Junior Tour Admin Team"

The 2021 Junior Tour Scotland Fixture List is now as follows:

3 & 4 April - Royal Dornoch
8 May - Southerness
22 & 23 May - Kilspindie Golf Club
26 & 27 June - Royal Musselburgh
10 & 11 July - Arbroath
14 & 15 August - Duff House Royal
28 & 29 August - Brora

5th September - Final at Luffness New

All events except Southerness, Kilspindie and the final at Luffness New are 54 holes. You can find out more at: @juniortourscotland


There are also two Junior Winter Series events still to be played and entries are open. The 2021 Junior Winter Series Fixtures are as follows:

11th February - West Kilbride Golf Club - Info/entries at: @sgfoundationgolf
14th March - Fortrose & Rosemarkie - Info/entries at: @juniortourscotland

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

THIS WEEK'S LET SEASON FINALE IS THE SPANISH OPEN

This year's shortened Ladies European Tour (LET) season will draw to a close this week at The Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España.


The 18th edition of the Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana, which is the final event of the 2020 Ladies European Tour season, will take place from 26-29 November at the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina.

Amongst the pre-tournament favourites for the event are four-time Solheim Cup star Azahara Munoz (ESP), local star Nuria Iturrioz (ESP), 2020 Race to Costa del Sol leader Emily Pedersen (DEN), two-time LET winner Meghan MacLaren (ENG) and 2020 VP Bank Swiss Open winner Amy Bolden (WAL).

Azahara Munoz, who is a two-time Open De Espana champion and a former winner at Real Club De Golf Guadalmina, has happy memories of the par-72 layout having not only grown up down the road in Marbella but having honed her game on the narrow treelined fairways and testing greens since the age of nine.

There are six Scottish players in the draw. Kylie Henry, who is the leading Scot in the 2020 Race to Costa del Sol, will be joined by Gemma Dryburgh, Kelsey MacDonald, Alison Muirhead, Laura Murray and Michele Thomson. Thomson was a member of the winning team at last week’s Saudi Ladies Team International.

The 2020 LET season might be drawing to a close, but it is not over yet. With 300 Race to Costa del Sol points on offer and a slice of the €600,000 prize fund, there's still plenty to play for at the season finale in Spain.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

NORTHERN IRELAND'S GOLF CLUBS TO CLOSE ON FRIDAY

All golf clubs in Northern Ireland have been told to close at midnight on Thursday as the country enters a two week 'circuit-breaker' lockdown.
Last week, the Northern Ireland Executive announced that the country was set to face a two-week period of tougher COVID-19 lockdown measures from midnight on Thursday, 27 November 2020.

There had been some hope for golf clubs when Justice Minister Naomi Long claimed that the NI Executive was still to provide 'clarification' on whether golf courses could remain open. However, after a meeting of the Executive on Monday it was confirmed that they would have to close.

Earlier today, the Golfing Union of Ireland issued out a statement to all affiliated golf clubs and facilities in Northern Ireland, which states as follows:

"We regret to confirm that as per the NI Executive’s new COVID-19 restrictions which will take effect at 23:59 on Thursday 26 November, all sports facilities, including golf courses, must close at this time."

"While it is acknowledged that golf has demonstrated itself to be a safe sport during the pandemic, the wider public health guidance must be adhered to and we encourage all golf clubs and golfers to comply fully with the advice of the NI Public Health Agency."

"In the meantime, as is the case in the Republic of Ireland, we will continue to engage with the relevant authorities to ensure that golf courses can reopen as soon as possible."

Golf clubs in the Republic of Ireland are also closed at the moment. 

ENGLISH GOLF COURSES SET TO REOPEN NEXT WEEK

English Golf Courses will be able to reopen when the four-week national lockdown in England ends next Wednesday, 2 December 2020.
Yesterday, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced in a statement to Parliament that outdoor sports can resume when the 2nd national lockdown in England comes to an end on 2 December and the country returns to a new three-tiered system of restrictions.

England Golf later confirmed:

"The announcement paves the way for golf to return in England at all COVID-19 alert levels within the Rule of Six, permitting fourball play without restriction on number of households."

"Coaching, fitting and ranges will also be allowed to open, as will indoor hospitality facilities in tiers one and two (those in tier three can continue a takeaway service only)."

The announcement came as Parliament debated a petition, signed by more than 257,000 people earlier this month, which called for golf courses to be made exempt from the list of venues required to close during lockdown.

Speaking after the Prime Minister's statement, the Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf, North Warwickshire MP, Craig Tracey, said:

"I am sure all involved in golf in England welcome the sport's return and the industry has yet again pulled together to form a coherent message to Government articulating why it was safe to do so."

"As was seen both before and during this lockdown, golf is a sport that can be played safely and the industry adapted quickly to manage the restrictions imposed previously."

“Golf now has operational experience and established COVID secure practices, including rule changes and other mitigation measures that meet the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ directive."

"It is therefore ideally placed to welcome people back when lockdown ends in all the home nations."

“The health and wellbeing benefits of playing golf are well documented in scientific literature and leaders in public health, public policy and sport from across the globe recognise that golf tackles physical inactivity and contributes to the prevention of a range of non-communicable diseases."

“Combining the undeniable benefits that golf offers to a significant proportion of the country, and the steps taken that ensure golf is a sport that can be played safely, the golf industry looks forward to welcoming players back and is confident it can meet future restrictions."

Monday, November 23, 2020

SEI YOUNG KIM WINS PELICAN WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP

Sei Young Kim followed up her first major title last month by winning her 12th LPGA Tour title at the Pelican Women's Championship on Sunday.


South Korea's Sei Young Kim cruised to her second tour title in six weeks with a comfortable three-shot triumph over America's Ally MacDonald at the inaugural Pelican Women's Championship in Florida.

Starting the day five ahead, Kim's lead over MacDonald was cut to three shots when she bogeyed the par-three 9th, but that was the closest the American would get to the leader. A birdie from Kim at the 14th moved the World No 2 further ahead and despite bogeying the last she won comfortably at -14, on a week when only 19 players broke par.

USA Solheim Cup star Ally McDonald, who was coming off her first LPGA Tour win at the LPGA Drive On Championship, closed with a two-under-par 68 to finish alone in second on -11.

Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow fired a one-under-par 69 to finish third on -9. The performance, which matched her previous best LPGA Tour finish of third place at the 2014 US Open, moves her up 24 spots to 35th in the LPGA's season rankings.

Lydia Ko (NZL) and Austin Ernst (USA) shot rounds of 69 and 68 to finish tied for 4th on -8, while Jessica Korda (USA) returned the round of the day, a six-under 64, to finish tied for 6th on -7 with Brooke Henderson (CAN), Angela Stanford (USA) and Jennifer Song (USA).

England's Mel Reid, who won her first LPGA event in October, finished in a share of 12th on -3 after a one-under-par round of 69, while her compatriot Jodi Ewart Shadoff surged up the leaderboard into a share of 14th place after she fired a five-under 65 to get her to -2.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

SEI YOUNG KIM LEADS BY 5 AT PELICAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Sei Young Kim opened up a five-shot lead as Ally McDonald chased with an ace at the 12th on the third day of the Pelican Women's Championship.


South Korea's Sei Young Kim put herself in prime position to claim her 2nd victory in six weeks, having won her first major title at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship last month, by producing an outstanding finish to extend her lead from one shot to five in the space of three holes.

USA Solheim Cup star Ally McDonald had put pressure on the world No 2 when she bounced back from a double-bogey at the eighth with a perfect tee shot at the short 12th. That got McDonald to within one of the leader, and the two traded birdies at the long 14th before Kim took control of the tournament as the American faltered. A par at the eighteenth completed a six-under 64 for Kim and a 54-hole score of -14 under, with McDonald carding a 68 to finish five shots back in 2nd place on -9.

Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow is in 3rd place after firing six birdies and four bogeys for a two-under-par third round of 68. Meadow is currently at -8 for the tournament, six shots behind the leader, Kim, and one shot ahead of New Zealand's Lydia Ko who carded a four-under-par third round of 66 to move into 4th place on -7.

Tied for 5th on -6, one shot behind the Kiwi, is a trio of Austin Ernst (USA), Brooke Henderson (CAN) and Minjee Lee (AUS).

England's Mel Reid surged into a share of 10th place after she fired a bogey free five-under-par 65 to get her to -2.

Friday, November 20, 2020

EMILY PEDERSEN WINS A HAT-TRICK OF TITLES IN SAUDI

Emily Pedersen, who has been in red-hot form all year, dominated in Saudi to seal a hat-trick of wins and with it The Race to Costa del Sol crown.


Denmark’s Emily Pedersen followed-up her triump in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International on Sunday, which she won after a thrilling play-off against Georgia Hall, by winning both the team and individual events in the inaugural Saudi Ladies Team International on Thursday.

Playing alongside her partners Scotland’s Michele Thomson, South Africa’s Casandra Hall and English amateur Matt Selby, Pedersen fired a bogey free final five-under-par round of 67 to win the individual title by two shots on -14 and lead her side to a slender one-shot win in the team event on -40.

In the individual event, Stephanie Kyriacou (AUS) fired five birdies and two eagles on the final day on her way to a course-record 63 and a share of 2nd alongside Anne van Dam (NED) and Luna Sobron Galmes (ESP) on -12, with Charley Hull (ENG) a further three strokes back in 5th place.

English duo Georgia Hall and Elanor Givens ended the week six shots back in a tie for 6th place, while Dame Laura Davies eagled the par-five last to close with a second successive two-under-par 70 and a share of 15th on -4.

The top Scot was Kelsey MacDonald, who finished tied for 12th on -5.

After completing her clean sweep in Suadi, Emily Pedersen said:

“We did really well today, we complemented each other. Today was the first day where we didn’t have a hole over par, so I’m really happy that we got that done and it was a really clutch putt by Casandra on the last."

"I can’t believe what’s happened this season, I was confident I could get back to where I was, but I couldn’t imagine that it would be like this. It’s been a strange year for all of us with COVID but while everyone’s saying it is the worst year, I’m having the best year ever, so that’s a little weird but I am really happy."

"I have loved the course; I think it sets up well for me and worked well with Mikey. We worked out our tactics and stuck to it through everything. The weather is good here, the people are nice, and it’s been a good ten days."

Her fellow team mate, Scotland's Michele Thomson added:

"It’s been unbelievable, I was absolutely delighted when I heard she'd [Pedersen] picked me. She is one of the best players I think I’ve ever played with and we just wanted to make some birdies out there today. Although I am about ten years older than her, I have learnt a lot from her this week, and I’ve gained a great friend this week."

This year's shortened Ladies European Tour (LET) will conclude next week at the Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana, with Pedersen already assured of winning the 2020 LET Order of Merit.

SCOTTISH GOLF UPDATE ON COVID-19 GUIDANCE

Scottish Golf has issued a COVID-19 update on the details of the new travel restrictions, which become law from 6pm today, Friday 20 November.


The full statement issued by Scottish Golf today reads as follows:

"As detailed in our COVID-19 Update yesterday, we were awaiting final detail from the Scottish Government about travel restrictions which will become law from 6pm this evening (Friday 20 November)."

"Following the parliamentary process, Scottish Golf has today received updated information on these restrictions and can confirm that the rules regarding travel are as follows:"
  • "Participants can travel to take part in organised sport and physical activity or informal exercise within their own Local Authority area."
  • "If you live in a Level 3 or Level 4 local authority area you should:" 
    • "Avoid any unnecessary travel out of the area." 
    • "Keep journeys within the area to an absolute minimum."
  • "Participants aged 18 years or over (adults) living in a Level 3 or Level 4 area should only travel locally (within around 5 miles of their local authority area) to take part in physically distanced non-contact sport or exercise outdoors. You can also take part in local informal exercise such as golf that starts and finishes at the same place but straddles the boundary of two local authority areas."
  • "Participants aged 18 years or over (adults) who live in a Level 0, 1 or 2 area should minimise unnecessary journeys and avoid travel to Level 3 or Level 4 areas to take part in sport or physical activity."
  • Participants aged 17 years or under can travel to and from Level 0, 1, 2 and 3 areas (but not Level 4) to take part in organised sport, physical activity, training and competition. Where living in a Level 4 area then you should only travel locally (within around 5 miles of their local authority area) to take part in physically distanced non-contact sport or exercise outdoors. You can also take part in local informal exercise such as golf that starts and finishes at the same place but straddles the boundary of two local authority areas. 

"We appreciate that the guidance for travel is slightly different to detail we provided earlier in the week. At all times our information is developed in partnership with sportscotlandbased on information available specific to sport and at the time of publication was based on the understanding at that time. Throughout our response to the pandemic, we have tried to ensure golf clubs have had as much time to prepare as possible ahead of any changes coming into force and been clear that the guidance can be subject to change."

"Our COVID-19 Local Restrictions Summary Sheet has been updated to reflect today’s changes and can be accessed here."

"We would like to remind all clubs that this legislation comes into force at 6pm this evening and Scottish Golf encourages all clubs and their members to adhere to the law at all times when travelling for exercise."

"Once again, we thank you for your continued support during these difficult times and appreciate your understanding that guidance will remain subject to change at short notice as we continue our response to the pandemic."

THE FIGHT TO KEEP ENGLISH CLUBS OPEN GOES ON

A petition to 'Exempt golf courses from the list of venues required to close due to COVID-19' restrictions will be debated in Parliament on Monday.


England Golf has received notice from the UK Government that a debate on the petition to 'Exempt golf courses from the list of venues required to close due to COVID-19' will be heard in Parliament on Monday 23 November 2020.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf was unable to persuade the UK Government to keep English golf courses open during the current four-week lockdown period in England, which is due to end on 2 December 2020.

More than 257,000 people signed the online petition in just three days, with England Golf highlighting the various health and wellbeing benefits of the sport, but they were unable to stop the closure of golf courses on 5 November. However, as the petition received more than 100,000 signatures it reached the threshold at which it could be considered for a debate in Parliament.

Catherine McKinnell MP, the chair of the Petitions Committee, will lead the debate on Monday, nine days before the lockdown in England is set to be lifted. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport will send a Minister to respond.

England Golf has confirmed that it wholeheartedly supports the views of the petition. England Golf's Chief Executive, Jeremy Tomlinson added:

"We know the benefits our sport can provide for both mental and physical health at this time of isolation and hope the Government can recognise this during the upcoming debate and support golf's return to playing."

"Earlier this year, the game of golf was able to clearly demonstrate that it could be enjoyed in a Covid-safe way, which is why it was one of the first sports to return once restrictions were lifted.

This was a privilege that the sport took incredibly seriously and accordingly adopted the highest possible standards to keep participants safe."

"Our sport has come together in one voice during this difficult year and it’s thanks to the support of our members, clubs and counties, as well as our collaboration with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf."

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

SCOTTISH GOLF UPDATE ON COVID-19 GUIDANCE

Scottish Golf has issued a new COVID-19 update in response to the changes in tier and travel restrictions, which come into force this Friday.


The full statement issued by Scottish Golf today reads as follows:

"Following our last communication on Tuesday 17th November, Scottish Golf is now in a position to provide all affiliated clubs with further guidance relating to the Scottish Government’s COVID protection levels by local area."

"With restrictions tightening across many parts of the country, we welcome the fact that on-course activity can continue across Scotland in compliance with local restrictions. In recognising the contribution of golf to the physical and mental health of our membership, we are most appreciative of the opportunity to keep the golf courses open and our golfing community benefiting from playing the game during these ongoing times of uncertainty."

"We have been working with our partners at sportscotland and the Scottish Government to gain final sign-off on our latest version of our COVID-19 Guidance for Golf Clubs and Golfers which includes a new summary sheet detailing what golf activity can take place under each level of protection. This information should be used in conjunction with Scottish Golf’s main guidance and clubs should be aware that this guidance may be subject to further change. Should this happen, we will continue to keep all clubs informed."

"Through our ongoing work with The Scottish Government, MSPs on the Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee want to know more about the impact of COVID-19 and associated restrictions on sports clubs, sporting organisations and sports and leisure venues. Clubs are encouraged to complete a short survey which should take no more than 6-7 minutes to complete. Please note this survey closes on 7th December."

"It’s really important that the Committee capture as much insight and experience of the sector as possible to ensure MSPs have a full picture of the impact."

"We know that these new restrictions are difficult, but it remains our shared responsibility to prioritise the health of our local communities by working together to follow the Government guidelines. In doing so, this will ensure that we continue to benefit from playing the game we love. We thank all of our clubs and golfers for continuing to play their part during these challenging times."

"We will continue to keep all clubs and tournament organisers updated via our dedicated COVID-19 webpage which can be accessed here."

JUNIOR SOLHEIM CUP QUALIFYING EVENTS ANNOUNCED

The PING Junior Solheim Cup has announced the qualifying schedule for the 2021 European junior team. The team be selected in July 2021.
The PING Junior Solheim Cup will take place from 1-2 September 2021 at Sylvania Golf & Country Club, Ohio, USA. 

The road to Ohio for Europe’s top junior amateurs will start in January 2021. The first qualifying event on the schedule will be the Portuguese International Ladies’ Amateur Championship in January and the last will be the European Ladies’ Amateur Championship, which will be held in July at the Alwoodley Golf Club in England.

With stops in Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands and Ireland in between, the seven-month ranking race will see the leading six players automatically qualifying to represent Team Europe and a further six being selected by Team Europe Captain, Annika Sorenstam and the selection panel. In the event of a tie in the individual standings, team selection will be decided based on the European Women’s Amateur Ranking.

First played in 2002, the PING Junior Solheim Cup follows a similar format to the Solheim Cup, featuring 12 European junior amateurs (born 2003 & later) vs their American counterparts and has produced some of the world’s leading players, including European stars Georgia Hall, Charley Hull and Carlota Ciganda, as well as American talents, Lexi Thompson, Paula Creamer and the Korda sisters, Jessica and Nelly.

Europe's Junior Solheim Cup Captain, Annika Sorenstam said:

"I look forward to watching the girls play in 2021 with an eye on making Team Europe. I’m also excited to motivate and inspire them through the Captain’s Letters I’ll be sending them as I encourage them to play their very best. My memories of the Solheim Cup are some of the best I have from my professional career and I can’t wait to share some of those experiences with the girls."

The European Qualifying Events for 2021 are:

Monday, November 16, 2020

THE SOLHEIM CUP WILL MOVE TO EVEN YEARS IN 2024

The Solheim Cup will move to even years from 2024, after the Ryder Cup was rescheduled to odd years as a result of this year's COVID-19 pandemic.
The LPGA & LET announced today that the Solheim Cup will move to even years starting in 2024. The 2021 and 2023 competitions will be held in their previously announced dates and locations in Ohio and Spain, respectively, with back-to-back playings in 2023 and 2024.

The Solheim Cup Committee approved the change to even years following the announcement that the Ryder Cup will move to an odd-year schedule, after the 2020 competition was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The specific dates and location for the 2024 Solheim Cup, which will be held in the United States, will be announced in the future.

Dennis Baggett, Executive Director of the Solheim Cup, said:

"With the world sporting schedule changing so much due to current difficulties, we felt it was in the best interest of the Solheim Cup to return to an off-year rotation with the Ryder Cup. When the competition returns to the United States in 2024, I have no doubt fans will have an incredible opportunity to celebrate the best women golfers from the United States and Europe as they represent their home countries."

The 2021 Solheim Cup will take place from 4-6 September at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. USA Captain Pat Hurst, along with Assistant Captains Angela Stanford and Michelle Wie West (a 3rd assistant captain will be named in 2021), will lead the best players from the United States as they look to reclaim the Solheim Cup on home soil. The European team will once again be led by Captain Catriona Matthew, with Vice Captains Laura Davies, Kathryn Imrie and Suzann Pettersen by her side.

The 2023 Solheim Cup will take place from 22-24 September at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain. It will be followed a week later by the Ryder Cup in Italy, giving European sports fans a rare two-week spectacle of competition and patriotic fervour.