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  • Writer's picturePiers Manktelow

What a week of women's golf! Your quick round up from around the world of the women's game.

What a week that was! you will be forgiven for missing something this week as there was so much happening all around the world with both the pro and amateur tours! Check out below for your quick re cap.

ANA Inspiration- LPGA

Jin Young Ko won her first ever major championship this weekend with an impressive performance at the ANA Inspiration where she won by 3 shots. Ko's start to 2019 is now pretty unbelievable its that good. When we included her in "our 10 players to watch for 2019" we had no idea she would have started this well. Her results this year read, 2, 29, 3, 1, 2, and 1 this weekend.

Ko closed with a round of 70 on Sunday to claim victory over Mi Hyang Lee of Korea. Lee had a great hole in one during the event and it's fair to see she was pretty happy!

In 3rd was Lexi Thompson who was let down slightly by her 74 in round 3, but she will be very happy with her weeks work. “It feels amazing,” Thompson said. “I birdied the first hole and actually hit a ball OB on No. 3 but still managed to make bogey. My caddie Benji helped out tremendously,” 

Ko clinched her victory with a lovely birdie putt on the last before jumping into the lake by the 18th green!

“I won the tournament and that’s a happy moment,” Ko said through tears of joy. “I thank God, I thank my parents, I thank my grandparents. It is an honor for me to join so many great Korean players. I’m honored to be here.” 

Ko who was rookie of the year on the LPGA last year looks bound for greatness. It is difficult to find any faults in her perfect game at the moment.

Carlota Ciganda closed with a 68 to be tied for fourth at 283 with Kim and a 66 put Kristen Gillman at 284 along with Jessica Korda, Ally McDonald, Hyo Joo Kim, Kang and Jeongeun Lee6. Jaye Marie Green, Jenny Shin, Moriya Jutanugarn, Charley Hull and Jing Yan were at 285.

Our Prediction Results

Jin Young Ko: Winner

Nelly Korda: 52nd

Sung Hyun Park: 52nd

Inbee Park: 68th

Next Event: April 17th, Lotte Championship, USA

Jordan Mixed Open (LET)

On the other side of the globe from the ANA was the Jordan Mixed Open. This event became the first of its kind when it saw 3 different tours (LET, Staysure Tour & Challenge Tour) and a field of men and women combine and play for the same purse. The verdict, a great competition that there needs to be more of.

England's Meghan MacLaren moved 5 shots clear at one stage in the final round in what was a shootout between herself and Holland's Daan Huizing (Challenge Tour) However, on the back 9 things would change with a few uncharacteristic mistakes from Meghan and some great birdies from Huizing. Huizing closed out a two stroke victory with a final round 68 for a 54-hole total of 16-under-par, while Meghan finished with a closing round 72 to finish on -14.

MacLaren, who has been one of the most vocal players on the LET for improved pay and recognition for the women's game can only be proud of her achievement. All the fans and fellow players must also be proud of her performance as she put herself in the firing line for negative comments if she failed to perform. However, she played very well and ended up the best forming LET player by 7 shots over German Laura Fuenfstueck.

After his victory Huizing said “It’s a special one. I think it’s a great initiative. It was great fun playing in a final group with a Challenge Tour player, a senior tour player and a lady player. It was a great battle. It’s a different vibe and very special to be the first winner and I hope it’s something that can be continued in the future.”

After her tough finish Maclaren said “I’m obviously pretty disappointed not to win this week, having been in such a good position, but it was still an honour to be here and represent women’s golf alongside two other great tours. It was pretty tight coming down the last few holes, so I think it was great entertainment for everybody watching. It was a great concept but none of us really knew how it would pan out. The way the scores panned out throughout the week showed that it absolutely can work with the right thought process and course set-up if people do the research.”

Our Prediction Results (women only)

Meghan MacLaren Winner

Laura Fuenfstueck 2nd

Marianne Skarpnord 4th

Carly Booth MC

Next Event: 25th April, Lalla Maryem Cup, Morocco.

Terre Blanche Ladies Open (LET Access Series)

The LET Access Series got underway in France this week and it was an exciting to start to the 2019 tour as usual.

In the end it was Austrian Sarah Schober who defeated Hayley Davis of England in a playoff on the first hole.

Schober finally record her first win on the LET Access Series. Although the 26-year-old topped the 2016 LETAS ranking, she was winless throughout the year, finishing as a runner-up five times.

The Austrian started the final day two shots behind Davis at 3 under par after putting herself in contention with rounds of 71 and 70. It was Davis who stumbled over the closing holes. A bogey on the short 16th, followed by an wayward drive on the 17th resulting in another bogey, and the Englishwoman found herself one shot behind Schober.

Both players hit the final green in two at the par 5, 18th and it was Davis who bounced back with a two-putt birdie after Schober had three putted . Davis shot a closing 74 to Schober's 72.

They headed back down the 18th with Davis playing first into the green. Unfortunately, the 26-year-old found a rocky area right of the green close to the water. Meanwhile, Schober found the green, with a similar putt to that of the one she had on her 54th hole.

Afterward Schober said “My putting was pretty consistent, especially yesterday and today because I did some adjustments on the first day so it worked out really well and I hit quite a few fairways as well, which was really helpful. It’s kind of a relief to get the first one out and especially after 2016 when I was five times second".

Our Prediction Results

Sarah Schober: Winner

Manon De Roey: 6th

Emma Nilsson: MC

Natalia Escuriola: MC

Next Event: May 3rd, VP Bank Ladies Open, Switzerland

Windsor Golf Classic- (Symetra Tour)

Leona Maguire from Ireland was another player in our "10 to watch for 2019" after an incredible amateur career where she held the number 1 world ranking for a record number of weeks. She turned pro at the back-end of 2018 and she has just clinched her first pro win after claiming the Windsor Golf Classic on the Symetra Tour this weekend.

A brilliant closing round of 65 from Maguire which saw herself and Pajaree Anannarukarn from Thailand tied on -12 after 54 holes. So they headed into a playoff and a birdie on the first playoff hole gave Maguire her first win.

“I’ve been so close for the past few weeks and started off really well today, tried to keep my foot down,” said Maguire, “I suppose being so close last week gave me a little bit of extra motivation and it tastes a little sweeter today.” “ I chipped in on the first for birdie which kickstarted by round, then holed a few nice putts to keep the momentum going. The way the greens and pins were I knew I had to go low to catch Pajaree, everyone was going to make birdies.”

Next Event: April 26th , Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout

Augusta National Women's Amateur

Jennifer Kupcho, the world's top-ranked amateur, played her final six holes in five under par, including an eagle on the par-five 13th, to prevail against Mexico's Maria Fassi and become the first champion of the Augusta National Women's Amateur.

"It’s always a great feeling to win," said Kupcho. "But I think to win at Augusta National, just to get to walk the fairways and walk up 18 with as many fans as there were, it's an experience like none other."

The first 2 rounds were not played at Augusta national, however the top 30 players would move on to compete at Augusta National on Saturday and make history for women's golf. All the players who missed the cut were allowed to play a practice round on the course on Friday as the tournament took a day off.

The international field, which included 72 players from 25 countries at the start of the championship, was well-represented on the leader board. Four strokes behind runner-up Fassi was Yuka Saso (69) of the Philippines, the reigning Asian Games gold medalist, and Japan's Yuka Yasuda (72), who tied for third place at two-under 214.

3rd Singha Championship (Thai LPGA)

Another one of "our 10 towatch for 2019" tasted victory this week. This time it was the turn of 16 year old Aphichaya Khantol who won on the Thai LPGA after defeating Panananan Muangkasakun on the first playoff hole after both finishing Tied for 1st on -1.

Yubol who was the defending champion after winning this even last year at the age of 15 said "I'm very happy this year I got my first championship. It is the first playoff in professional play for me and it was very excited. Last year I won the championship here. This year, the field conditions are much harder than before. I would like to thank my parents and my younger brother who came to be my caddie.

Next Event: 24th April, 4th Singha Championship

Yamaha Ladies Open (Japan LPGA

Narita Michishi has won the Yamaha Ladies Open 2019 by 1 shot after a closing round of 67 to finish on -5 and claim the 150,000 Euro Prize money. With the victory she goes top of the order of merit after 5 tournaments this year.

Afterwards she said "The unthinkable thing is happening. Even now, I cant stop thinking about that, I am so happy".

Next Event: April 12th, Studio Alice Girls Open, Japan

Lotte Rent a Car a Car Ladies Open (Korean LPGA)

On the KLPGA Ayean Cho won by 1 shot and claimed the Lotte Rent a Car a Car Ladies Open for 2019 winning the 93,000 Euro prize fund. Cho now leads the Order of Merit and the Rookie of the Year on the KLPGA after 2 tournaments in 2019.

Next Event: April 12th, Celltrion Queens Masters

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