The ladies’ round-up: the best stories of the weekFebruary, 2015
Charley Hull, The Princess Royal and Northamptonshire lead the way
Oh the new Wizard of Oz
Charley Hull and Holly Clyburn missed out on the chance to kick off 2015 with a victory. Both English girls went into the final round of the RACV Ladies Masters in a share of the lead but it was Australian teenager Su-Hyun Oh who won on just her second start as a pro.
Hull, who tied for second with compatriot Florentyna Parker and Aussie Katherine Kirk, will rue her efforts at the 6th. She had an air shot in trying to return her ball to the fairway before taking a drop en route to a treble-bogey seven.
She did though finish with an eagle to finish on a high.
Clyburn had a day to forget, closing with a 77 to slip well down the leaderboard.
But Oh was the star of the show having kicked off her professional career with a second place, this time she closed with four straight birdies to earn a two-year exemption.
Afterwards the 18-year-old, who was the number one amateur in 2013, revealed that some encouragement from her idol Karrie Webb had helped her over the line.
“I spoke to Karrie. I asked her: ‘what do I need to do, you’ve won this eight times.’”
“Karrie said ‘just don’t think, just do it kind of. Just let it go, just keep doing what you’re doing.”
She did to win by three shots.
R&A announces first female members
Belle Robertson will be 79 in April and still plays off 2 at Royal Troon, she is also now a member of the R&A.
The Scot is one of 14 new members, honorary and regular, after a glittering amateur career in which she was Scottish Women’s champion seven times and nine appearances in the Curtis Cup.
Though there are no plans to play in any R&A competitions despite her still very competitive handicap.
Dame Laura Davies, Annika Sorenstam and Louise Suggs are the other most notable golfing names in the honorary list.
The Princess Royal also makes the list. Her last comments on the game were less than complimentary: “Golf seems to me to be an arduous way to go for a walk – I’d prefer to take the dogs out.”
Dame Laura Davies, Annika Sorenstam and Louise Suggs are the other most notable golfing names in the honorary list
Northamptonshire leads the way
Northamptonshire’s golfers have become the first in the country to vote to merge their ladies’ and men’s county organisations.
At separate but simultaneous meetings, the men of the Northamptonshire Golf Union and the women of the Northamptonshire Ladies’ County Golf Association both unanimously agreed to take the historic step.
Union president David Foley said: “This is a fantastic outcome following months of work by the men and women of the respective county committees.
“We have demonstrated we can work together in a harmonious and effective manner. We are all looking forward to the challenges ahead and are excited by the new opportunities this merger offers us.
Following the merger, the new company – named Northamptonshire Golf Ltd – will be run by a board of directors of either gender, elected on the basis of “the best person for the job”.
The benefits which are envisaged include streamlining administration and the production and implementation of a co-ordinated plan for golf development in the county. The single organisation will better represent the county’s golf at local and national level.
Sky Sports picks up the rights for the Women’s British Open
The Women’s British Open will be shown on Sky Sports from 2017, going the same way as the men’s Open Championship.
The Ladies Golf Union and IMG who look after the championship have secured a five-year deal with the satellite broadcaster which will begin in 2017 meaning that all four days will be shown on Sky.
The statement read: “The Ladies Golf Union and IMG can confirm a new five-year broadcast agreement for the Ricoh Women’s British Open with the UK’s two largest sports broadcasters, Sky and the BBC, running from 2017-2021, in an arrangement similar to that announced last week by the R&A for the Open Championship.”
Similar but also different in that the BBC has been left with just a one-hour highlights package for the WBO as opposed to two for the men’s Open.
So, as from 2017 the only live golf that the BBC will televise will be the final two rounds of the Masters.
The BBC will be at the live controls for this year’s Women’s British Open at Turnberry before bringing the curtain down on a long-standing relationship at Woburn.
The brave new dawn gets underway at Kingsbarns in 2017, the first time the course has staged a Major.