CADDIE KNOWS BEST – THOMPSON ENJOYS CRUCIAL LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
Kevin McAlpine wasn’t supposed to pick up Lexi Thompson’s bag until this week at Kingsbarns. Instead, they are celebrating the 12th week of their successful partnership. While circumstances brought them together earlier than expected, it’s McAlpine’s four years of looping at Kingsbarns that sparked their initial connection.
“Just coming into the week and having the knowledge that he has on this golf course, he’s taught me a lot,” said Thompson, who played today’s back nine in 6-under 30 en route to her tie for second at -9. “Coming in, I didn’t know lines or what to do on the greens, hitting shots into them and everything, and where was the best leave. He’s told me basically everything. I’ve learned so much about the golf course along the way in the last few days.”
HALL MAKES MOST OF MAJOR OPPORTUNITIES
Georgia Hall has played in just six LPGA events in 2017 but over the last month, she has competed in three majors – the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the U.S. Women’s Open and the Ricoh Women’s British Open. And the 21-year-old from England, who plays full-time on the Ladies European Tour, has certainly made the most of these major experiences. Hall started her major streak with a T46 at the KPMG Women’s PGA, followed by a T51 showing at the U.S. Women’s Open. She now finds herself tied for second with World No. 2 Lexi Thompson at the Ricoh Women’s British Open after a 5-under round on Friday that featured seven birdies, including four straight on holes 2-5.
“I try and play level-headed all the time, whether I get a birdie or a bogey,” said Hall, who is a lock for the European Solheim Cup Team by virtue of leading the LET Solheim Cup points standings. “I’m just trying to get as many birdies as I can out there. The course is quite scorable today because it wasn’t that windy. It’s a bit tougher yesterday, so I tried to get off to a good start, which I did.”
Hall has played on the Ladies European Tour since 2014, and leads the tour’s 2017 Order of Merit with more than €82,000 in earnings. While she plans to always call England home, Hall hopes that a competitive move to the United States is in her future.
“I’m going to go to Tour School at the end of the year,” said Hall. “I think that’s definitely where you need to be.”
USA SOLHEIM CUP UPDATE
This week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open marks the final week for players to secure precious Solheim Cup points ahead of Sunday’s final team selections. Players in the top 20 will receive double points, with the winner receiving 120 points. The top six players in the USA standings are locked in – No. 1 Lexi Thompson, No. 2 Stacy Lewis, No. 3 Gerina Piller, No. 4 Cristie Kerr, No. 5 Jessica Korda and No. 6 Danielle Kang. But behind that lead group, several players are fighting for the final two automatic qualifying spots, two Rolex Rankings qualifiers and two at-large picks for Captain Juli Inkster.
|Position||Player (Rolex Ranking)||Points||First Round Result||Second Round Result|
|7||Michelle Wie (No. 35)||251.5 points||1 (64)||T21 (140)|
|8||Brittany Lang (No. 37)||247 points||T94 (73)||MC (146)|
|9||Brittany Lincicome** (No. 42)||237 points||T50 (71)||T48 (142)|
|10||Angela Stanford (No. 48)||232 points||T94 (73)||MC (146)|
|11||Austin Ernst (No. 53)||227 points||T94 (73)||MC (144)|
|12||Lizette Salas** (No. 45)||216.5 points||T17 (69)||T14 (139)|
|13||Marina Alex (No. 60)||182.5 points||T109 (74)||T48 (142)|
|14||Mo Martin (No. 54)||178 points||T33 (70)||T5 (137)|
Positions and rankings as of July 31, 2017; **denotes current Rolex Rankings qualifier
Other players making a case for a captain’s pick include young Americans Ally McDonald (4), Megan Khang (T9) and Angel Yin (T14), as well as six-time USA Team member Paula Creamer (T34). Nelly Korda, who was invited to pre-selection meetings and events, missed the cut at even-par 144.
In-Kyung Kim is playing in her 10th Ricoh Women’s British Open; her best finish came in 2010, when she finished T3 at Royal Birkdale Golf Club
Georgia Hall is playing in her fifth Ricoh Women’s British Open; her best finish came in 2014, when she finished T29 at Royal Birkdale Golf Club This is Hall’s sixth LPGA event of 2017, with her best finish coming at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, where she tied for eighth
Lexi Thompson is competing in her sixth Ricoh Women’s British Open, with her best finish of T8 coming in 2016 at Woburn Golf & Country Club
Ally McDonald is playing in her first Ricoh Women’s British Open McDonald’s best career LPGA finish is T30, which she returned at the 2017 LPGA Volvik Championship, 2017 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and 2016 Evian Championship
In 2014, McDonald was a member of the USA Curtis Cup Team that defeated Hall’s GB&I Team; McDonald and Mariah Stackhouse halved their foursomes match with Hall and Stephanie Meadow
Jenny Shin made a hole-in-one on No. 14 with a hybrid from 170 yards
“I love match play as it is. It’s my favorite format, and now that I’m a professional, I don’t get to play it at all anymore, which is a shame. But I’m looking forward to it. It should be great.” - Georgia Hall, on her excitement about playing in the Solheim Cup
“I’ve had friends at different times in my life predict that I would win this tournament. I mean, when I was just a scrappy kid playing on public golf courses they said that. ... The history has been writing itself and I’m enjoying the ride and I’m still dreaming.” - 2015 Ricoh Women’s British Open champion Mo Martin