LPGA AND LET TEAM UP FOR THIRD EDITION OF LADIES SCOTTISH OPEN
The world’s best female golfers from the LPGA and the Ladies European Tour return to the Home of Golf this week at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland for the third playing of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open. The event marks the finale of the LPGA Tour’s 12-week summer stretch and is the last qualifying event for European hopefuls to earn their spot on the 2019 European Solheim Cup Team.
In 2018, Ariya Jutanugarn collected her third victory of the season at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open thanks to a final round 5-under par, 66 to win at 13-under par, one-stroke ahead of Minjee Lee. Rolex Rankings No. 4 Lee, No. 5 Jutanugarn and No. 7 Jeongeun Lee6 lead the 156-player field which also features 27 of the top 30 players from the 2019 LET Order of Merit vying for the $1.5 million purse.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE LADIES SCOTTISH OPEN
- This is the third playing of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open co-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET – the event was first played on the LET in 1986
- For a third consecutive year, the Ladies Scottish Open is being played on the same course as the men’s European Tour’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open which was won by Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger three weeks ago
- 31 different countries will be represented in the field this week, including seven players from Scotland
- This is the final qualifying event for Team Europe for the 2019 Solheim Cup, the full team will be announced, including Catriona Matthew’s four captain’s picks, on Monday at Gleneagles
- Two of the four 2019 major winners are in the field this week: Jeongeun Lee6 (U.S. Women’s Open) and Hannah Green (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship)
JUTANUGARN’S READY (OR NOT?) TO RULE THE LINKS
In 2018, Ariya Jutanugarn did something she thought might never be possible. She won on a links course. At Gullane Golf Club, Jutanugarn fired a final-round 66 to take what was her third title of the season. Despite her breakthrough links victory last year, playing just two miles down the road this week at The Renaissance Club, Jutanugarn still isn’t quite comfortable.
“I feel like I don't really like links course,” Jutanugarn said on Tuesday in North Berwick. “It's not because the course not good, they great, but I just feel like it's so tough for me. But when I come back here, I keep complain to my caddie, so tough, so tough. He told me just be patient and told me just learn new thing every day and feel better.”
While Jutanugarn would love a successful title defense, this week is not about hoisting her 11th career LPGA title. Instead, the 23-year-old Thai is focusing on having balance and happiness in her life.
“I would say one of the big goals this year is not about winning a tournament but how to like manage myself and balance myself like golf and life,” Jutanugarn reflected. “And I feel much better and getting much better, but I still have so much things to work on, especially my commitment. Because you know, when you close to win the tournament, you start thinking about outcome and start to play not well, not good enough to win the tournament because I'm thinking about the outcome too much.”
While she has yet to win in 2019, her fresh outlook is paying off this summer as she’s collected six top-11 finishes in her last seven starts.
“I just learn this last few months, and when I'm getting more happy, spend time with my sister and my mom, do something else more, I realise that my golf is better, too.”
PRESSURE-PACKED WEEK IN STORE FOR CATRIONA MATTHEW
It’s not often a professional golfer has a commute of less than five miles. However, that is exactly the case for North Berwick-resident Catriona Matthew this week. The major champion took home the 2013 and 2011 Ladies Scottish Open titles while it was an LET event, and returns this week to The Renaissance Club just five miles down the road from her house.
“It's great fun playing at home,” Matthew said on Tuesday. “Obviously there's more pressure I think. It's always tougher, especially when you do it so infrequently, I think, playing in your home country. For me, this really is at home. I live just down the road. Yeah, it's nice to be able to stay at home, but it does make it a kind of different week.”
Not only does Matthew have to deal with the pressure of performing in her home country, but this week marks the final qualifying event for the European Solheim Cup team, of which Matthew will be at the helm at Gleneagles come September.
While the European Solheim Cup Captain wouldn’t reveal who she’s considering for her four captain’s picks, she did say a good finish this week in Scotland could have a real effect on who makes the team.
“I think at this stage, you know, everyone's being considered,” Matthew said. “I think a lot will depend on the blend of the team. We've got a few rookies in there perhaps potentially, so looking at perhaps whether you want foursomes, fourball, adaptable players who can play both formats.”
The full European team will be announced on Monday at Gleneagles, and Matthew said the hardest part of her role is going to be calling the players who don’t make the team.
“No matter what you do, someone's not going to be happy with your decision. The best thing I've tried to do is try to be up front with people and communicate if they come and ask me, I'll try and be fairly honest in what I think they need to do. I think communication is what I'm hoping and I'll try to do.”
RACE TO THE CME GLOBE UPDATE
Heading into the 22nd week of the 2019 Race to the CME Globe, three-time 2019 winner and two-time 2019 major champion Jin Young Ko holds a commanding lead over Rolex Rankings No. 2 Sung Hyun Park with 3,437 points and 2,286 points, respectively. Fellow two-time 2019 winner Brooke Henderson is in third with 2,228 points followed by 2019 HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open winner Minjee Lee with 2,179 points.
The 2019 season brings a fresh face to the Race to the CME Globe. LPGA Members will accumulate points at each official LPGA Tour event leading up to the CME Group Tour Championship. The top 60 points earners and ties will then earn a spot in the CME Group Tour Championship, with the entire field competing for the $5 million purse and the $1.5 million winner’s check, the largest single prize in the history of women’s golf.
156 players; 72 holes, stroke play; after 36 holes, the field will be cut to the top 70 and ties
$1.5 million USD; winner’s portion is $225,000