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  • Writer's picturePiers Manktelow

Quick weekly round up of women's golf from around the world.

Another great week from around the world of golf. Check out your review of the 8 tournaments that took place this week.

LPGA-Bank of Hope Founders Cup

All the talk in the lead up to the Bank of Hope Founders Cup was about the potential “birdie-fest” that would take place at Wildfire Golf Club. The wind and cooler conditions on the first two days contributed to markedly different scores compared to previous years. However, Saturday and Sunday returned to normal with birdies flying in from everywhere.

With 8 holes left on Sunday night only 1 shot separated Inbee Park, Laura Davies and already in the clubhouse In Gee Chun. However, Park birdied 12,13,14,and 15 to end up winning by 5 shots! and claiming her 19th LPGA victory. On top of those wins the 29 year old has seven majors championships and an Olympic gold medal. A quite amazing achievement at such a young age.

After her victory she said “I didn't expect to win very early [in the season], I mean obviously, after a long break, In Singapore, I felt like my ball striking was quite good I and just needed to work on the putter a little bit. It has worked pretty good this week.” Amazingly Park didnt make one bogy in her final 36 holes!

It was round 3, moving day where things really got going. There were 2 rounds of 63, one from Laura Davies who had her first 63 since 2005. While Inbee Park was on 59-watch early on Saturday when she started birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie, but also finished with a 63.

Davies was chasing her first win on the LPGA since 2001! and after the 12th looked to have a very good shot, however, Park showed her class and stepped up a level. Even after 32 years it appears you can still get nervous. “I knew what the record was and that I hadn’t won in who knows how long. It was as nervous as I’ve ever felt,” Davies said about her feelings on the first hole “I almost shanked my drive and made bogey but then I chipped in for eagle on No. 2 and that calmed me down. I was four over after six holes on Thursday so I’m quite pleased how I fought back.”. In her 32nd year playing on the LPGA she now hopes this performance will stop people asking when she is going to retire.

Finishing joint 2nd were American Marina Alex, who has shown glimpses this season of what she is capable of. However, this weekend everything came together and she was rewarded with her career best finish. Also Tied second was Thai star Ariya Jutangarn who picked up her 3rd top 10 finish in her 5th start this season moving to 5th in the CME Race to the Globe.

In a tournament where Lydia Ko has finished in the top 10 for the past 4 years in a row more was expected of her. Her season continues to get off to a slow start. Ko, who has changed caddie and coach in the off season looks like she needs more time to adapt to the changes.

Rolex Ranking of Winner: Inbee Park 19th

Next Event: 22/3/18, Kia ClassicCarlsbad, CA

KLPGA- Brunei Ladies Open

The tournament was tri-sanctioned by the China LPGA Tour, the Brunei Darussalam Golf Association and the LPGA of Korea Tour (KLPGA).

Hong Ran earned her first victory since 2010 on Monday when the Korean veteran won the inaugural Brunei Ladies Open title going wire-to-wire for a five stroke win. She fired rounds of 64,67 and 64 winning just over 100,000 Euros. This was the 31 year-old's 4th career victory moving her up to 3rd spot on the Order of Merit.

"I am so happy to win a KLPGA tournament, it has been eight years. My condition was the best in the past three days, so the good condition is the main factor that I win this tournament. When I made a long putt at the 12th hole I feel like I will win the tournament, Then I tried to be stable and calm so after I finish my last putt I could keep myself calm and didn't cry. In winning the tournament I have a lot confidence. There are still lots of tournaments so I will do my best to win more in the 2018 season." Ran said after clinching victory.

Rolex Ranking of Winner: Hong Ran 226th

KLPGA Next Event: 5/4/18, Lotte Rent a Car Ladies Open, Sky Hill Jeju

China LPGA Next Event: 22/3/18, Hengqin Phoenix Tree Building Orient Golf Challenge

Symetra Tour- Florida's Natural Charity Classic

In a weekend of 63s it was fitting that American Lauren Kim fired one to clinch the first tournament on the Symetra Tour 2018. Lauren fired a bogey-free, 9-under par 63 in the final round to claim the 2018 Florida’s Natural Charity Classic. She started the day 4 shots off the pace and her 63 with an eagle on the last helped her to win by just 1 shot.

Afterwards Kim who is currently ranked 672nd in the world said “It’s surreal right now. Kind of a work in progress and something I’m really proud of, to be able to come back from the off-season and win the first event. Today just went my way. It kind of didn’t feel so hard to shoot 9-under. You wonder why it doesn’t happen more often. The putts were just rolling my way and I was hitting good shots. A lot to be proud of.”

Entering the day, Daniela Iacobelli and Hyemin Kim were tied for the lead at 5-under. For Hyemin Kim, she struggled to a of 2-over, finishing tied for seventh at 3-under.

Meanwhile, Iacobelli made a run, but could not overcome Lauren Kim’s performance, as she carded a 4-under 68 to finish solo second. Along the way, Iacobelli captured four birdies, with only two bogeys on the afternoon, and capped her performance with an eagle on No. 18.

There were two amateurs in the 132-player Florida’s Natural Charity Classic field and they both finished in a very respectable 7th position. American Ina Kim-Schaad had been challenging for the lead going into the final round but finished with a +1, 73. On the other hand, Chinese amateur Angelina Ye finished with an eagle on her last hole for a 69 and climbed into T7th.

The Symetra Tour this season should be very exiting there is a great mix of very talented players from around the world. You will definitley see some starts of the future on show.

Rolex Ranking of Winner: Lauren Kim 672nd

Next Event: 6/4/18, IOA Championship Presented by Morongo Casino Resort & SpaBeaumont, California

Japan LPGA- T Point Ladies Championship

After day 1 was canceled due to heavy winds and rain, the event was reduced to 36 holes.

Ai Suzuki made up for losing out in a playoff last week by claiming another victory on the LPGA of Japan winning around 73,000 Euros. Suzuki also moves to the top of the OofM after the first 3 events of the season. This was Suzuki 8th career victory on the JapanLPGA.

Suzuki beat All Midori by 1 shot who finished on -7 while Miki Saki was the only player challenging in the final round. She finished 2 back on -6.

The tour now moves on to the AXA Ladies next week where Suzuki appears the be the one to catch.

Rolex Ranking of Winner: Ai Suzuki 30th

Next Event: 23/3/18, AXA Ladies' Golf Tournament in MIYAZAKI.

Thai LPGA- 1st Thai LPGA Championship

Manuschaya Zeemakorn (a) triumphed in the 1st event of the season. The amateur won by 3 shots after rounds of 73, 69, and 68. She beat Wannasiri Sirisampant into 2nd place. At the beginning of the week Manuschaya said "I want to be just the best amateur or a top 10 finish" However, she showed her potential with a fantastic victory.

Next Event: 4/4/18, 2nd SINGHA-SAT THAI LPGA CHAMPIONSHIP 2018, Kabin Buri Sport Club, Pachinburi

Ladies Philippine Golf Tour- ICTSI Tagaytay Highlands Ladies Challenge

On what looks like an absolutely stunning golf course the 5th event of the season was held at the Tagaytay Highlands Golf & Country Club.

Princess Superal broke a near two-year spell on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour in smashing fashion, earning just over 15,000 Euros. She won the ICTSI Tagaytay Highlands Ladies Challenge in a record 16-stroke victory over Cyna Rodriguez.

After her win she said “I’ve waited for this for so long and I’m very, very happy to have finally put it all together and won again, This will surely boost my confidence in my next tournaments,”

Superal will play in next weeks event before flying to America to play on the Symetra Tour.

Rolex Ranking of Winner: Princess Superal 626th

Next Event: March 21 - 23, 2018, ICTSI Riviera Ladies Classic, The Riviera Golf & CC

Italian Ladies Amateur Championship

After 4 thrilling rounds of golf, Emma Spitz of Austria and Italian Alessandra Fanali could not be separated both finishing level par after 72 holes. The playoff only lasted one hole and it was Spitz with a par who came out on top claiming the Italian Ladies Amateur Title.

In 3rd place was Clara Manzalini and 4th was Alessia Nobilio who had a good Spanish Amateur in February. Defending champion Romy Meekers of the Netherlands finished in 14th.

After her victory Spitz simply said "I cant believe it!".

SriLankan Amateur Championship

Congratulations to Taniya Balasuriya who won the SriLankian Ladies Amateur Championship. She won the 36 hole final 6 & 5. Its been a good few weeks for Tanya as she also played in the Women's Amateur Asia Pacific tournament in Singapore. The 15 year old looks set for a bright future. Taniya afterwards thanked her coach and her father also saying "I'm so happy!"

Prediction Results

LPGA: Brooke Henderson- Cut

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