The Rose Ladies Series didn't get the ending it deserved, but it got the winner it deserved
Charley Hull won the Rose Ladies Series Order of Merit after the three-day Grand Final was cancelled midway through the final round as wildfires raged near Wentworth.
Play was suspended when fires on nearby Chobham Common crept over the railway line that runs alongside the West course’s 9th hole and near the 10th tee.
The 10th tee is the furthest point from the clubhouse on the huge Wentworth estate and players were brought in while the emergency services worked on controlling the fire. NCG spoke to a player involved who said everyone was in and safe.
Organisers announced soon after that play was suspended for the day and will resume on Saturday, but the Major Incident Command Centre ruled that the course would need to be closed indefinitely and the decision was made to end the Series after the second round of the Grand Final.
A statement read that they “worked through the night to find a suitable alternative date for both the venue and players” but “with the imminent recommencement of a packed LET and LPGA schedule it proved impossible to do”.
Alice Hewson, who led the at the 36-hole stage as well as the time of suspension, was handed the £10,000 first prize, while Hull wins £20,000 for topping the Order of Merit.
Scroll down for more Rose Ladies Series results.
What is the Rose Ladies Series?
While the LET stars waited to hear if they will have any more tournaments to play in 2020, Justin Rose and wife Kate decided to take matters into their own hands – and pockets.
The pair put their name and money behind a series of women’s events for British professional professionals throughout June and July.
The Justin Rose Ladies Series will feature seven one-day tournaments, followed by a three-day, 54-hole grand final held at North Hants, the Berkshire, and Wentworth from August 5-7.
The format for the grand final, which is being dubbed the Race to the West, will see the top 35 and ties after 36 holes progress to Wentworth’s famous West course.
The Roses are contributing £35,000 in prize money, while American Golf and Computacenter UK have matched that total as the title sponsor. All 10 golf clubs currently have offered their facilities for free.
Each tournament will be behind closed doors and highlights will be shown on Sky Sports.
As for why, Rose explained: “I am keenly aware that I now have the opportunity to go back to work and compete on the PGA Tour but this is not the same for the ladies and some junior tours as well.
“I am sad that the Ladies European Tour has been suffering so badly. To me this seems somewhat unfair so my wife Kate and I felt there was an opportunity to step up and help.”
Meanwhile, Sports Marketing Surveys have offered a £7,500 scholarship for a selected player taking part in the Rose Ladies Series.
The privately funded scholarship is to cover travel and other expenses to assist the award winner to gain a place on the LPGA Tour.
Candidates must be members of the Ladies European Tour who do not currently have LPGA Tour access.
The beneficiary will be selected at the end of the series and primarily on the basis of performance and need.
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Justin Rose Ladies Series: Results
Event 1: Brokenhurst Manor
Charley Hull won the inaugural event after seeing off fellow LET player Liz Young in a play-off on her home course.
World No 25 Hull was two clear with two to play but a double bogey at 17 saw her fall back level with Young on even par. A 15-footer for birdie at the first extra hole was enough to take the £5,000 first prize.
Event 2: Moor Park
Meghan MacLaren birdied the first hole of the second Justin Rose Ladies Series event at Moor Park and never looked back.
MacLaren was five shots clear of the pack on the 11th tee before four dropped shots in the next three holes made for a much more interesting finish.
In the end she finished at 3-under, two ahead of Liz Young and amateur Sam Fuller.
Event 3: The Buckinghamshire
Given the winning scores in the first two events were even par and 3-under, Gemma Dryburgh probably didn’t expect to challenge when she was 2-over on the 4th tee.
But she was in contention when she reached the turn at 1-over par before catching fire on the back nine, with birdies at 10, 13, 14 and 16 enough for a one-shot victory over former Women’s British Open champion Georgia Hall.
Event 4: Royal St George’s
Gemma Dryburgh made it back-to-back wins thanks to a 1-under-par 69 at Royal St George’s.
It was a frantic finish at next year’s Open venue. Dryburgh dropped a shot at the 15th and watched playing partner Charley Hull go one clear with birdie at the par-3 16th. The third player in the group, Georgia Hall, had a bogey four to fall back to even par.
Then Hull inexplicably finished bogey-bogey to hand Dryburgh, who parred her way home, her second Rose Ladies Series title.
Event 4: JCB Country Club
The final three holes at JCB Country Club proved to be decisive in the fourth Rose Ladies Series event.
In the end, Gabriella Cowley’s five birdies through 12 were enough to sneak a one-shot victory over a five-strong group tied for 2nd that included Charley Hull and Georgia Hall.
Indeed, on a day that yielded plenty of birdies, the six players that finished under par played the final three holes in a combined 9-over-par.
Event 5: Bearwood Lakes
After a couple of runner-up spots Georgia Hall is finally off the mark in the Rose Ladies Series.
It was a rollercoaster round at Bearwood Lakes for the former Women’s British Open champion, who holed four birdies and three bogeys in the opening 13, before parring her way home for a 1-under 71 that proved to be enough.
Meghan MacLaren, who won the second event at Moor Park, was in a six-strong group tied-2nd at level par.
Event 6: The Shire
Georgia Hall showed her class at the Shire to win her second straight Rose Ladies Series event.
Hall rolled in seven birdies and two bogeys for a 5-under 67 and a three-shot win over Liz Young and Kylie Henry.
Her record prior to the Grand Final read 2nd-2nd-2nd-1st-1st.
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