British Open Preview & 4 to watch
Location: Milton Keynes, England
Course: Marquess’ course, Woburn Golf Club Golf Club
Prize Fund: $3,250,000
Defending Champion: Georgia Hall (Eng) (-17)
Woburn Golf Club has a rich affiliation with the event and professional golf tournaments having first hosted the Women’s British Open in 1984 and ten times since then, most recently in 2016 when Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn prevailed by three strokes. It is a tight course so driving accuracy will be key. Below we look at 4 players who could lift the trophy come Sunday. But first how did our picks for the Evian Championship get on?
Shanshan Feng; 2nd
Sung Hyun Park: 6th
Sei Young Kim: 17th
Jeongeun Lee6: MC
Jin Young Ko (South Korea)
Jack Nicklaus was a master at it. Waiting around for the leader to make a mistake and that is what Ko did perfectly on Sunday at the Evian Championship to claim her 2nd major of the year, steeling victory from compatriot Hyo Joo Kim who was unlucky in triple bogeying the 14th.
Her win on Sunday was her 3rd of the season and major number 2 after clinching the ANA Inspiration. She has also had 3 runner up spots this year as well. Not a bad year! The win on Sunday moved her back to the top of the world rankings and she also leads the CME race to the globe.
She missed the cut last year but don't read anything into that as this course will be much more her thing. 10th on tour for fairways hit with an 80.24% average and 1st for GIR with an average of 78.89 %. Watch out field!
Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand)
The champion of 2016 the last time the Open was held at Woburn is coming nicely into form. The world number 1 coming into the season looked unbeatable at times last year. She looked a bit tired at the beginning of the season and her golf was clearly suffering.
She finished in style at the Evian with an eagle on the 72nd hole to clinch 5th spot. In her last 6 starts she has only finished outside the top 10 once and nearly looks back to her best. Now 6th in the world and 13th on the race to the globe.
Shes 7th for putts per GIR with 1.76 and the key to her return to form is she is now hitting more greens and giving herself these opportunities. She should relish being back at Woburn and will be a big threat to Ko.
Marina Alex (USA)
Marina, picked up her first ever LPGA win last year at the Cambia Portland Classic, This year she has only had 3 top 10 finishes but her form recently has been good. She finished 9th at the Thornberry Classic at the beginning of July and 16th at the Evian Championship.
At the Open she has made the cut in the last 2 years and Woburn should play to her strengths. She is currently ranked 16th on tour in both driving accuracy and GIR with an average of 78.39 % and 74.28 % respectively. Her putting has let her down this year but her recent good form has seen an improvement in that department and if she putts well this week she has a chance.
She finished 60th the last time the Open was at Woburn.
Inbee Park (South Korea)
Inbee Park looks like she has rediscovered her love for the game as she has signed up for 3 more events this year. She has 19 career victories to her name including the British Open in 2015.
In her last 3 starts Inbee has finished 7th at the PGA Championship, runner up at Arkansas Championship and 8th last week at the Evian Championship. She had a chance of victory heading into the final round but a poor final round let her down.
She is ranked 9th in driving accuracy for 2019 with an average of 80.53 % and ranked 11th in GIR with 74.70 %, so Woburn should suit her play.