Eight Australians will be teeing it up later today in the first round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Ladies Open, at the magnificent Dundonald Links course in Ayrshire, Scotland.
For the first time in history, the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open will be co-sanctioned by both the US LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour, and will be hosted at the same venue as the men’s Scottish Open held two weeks ago.
The tournament will boast the highest prize fund on the LET outside the major championships, with the 156-strong player field competing for a share of the US$1.5m prizemoney on offer and a first prize of US$225,000.
Dundonald Links has played host to the Ladies Scottish Open for the past two years, in 2015 Australian Rebecca Artis claimed an impressive victory over a high-class field including then world number 1 Lydia Ko.
The impressive links layout is designed by American Kyle Phillips, who also designed Kingsbarns Golf Links, the venue for next week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open.
Minjee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Sarah Jane Smith, Su Oh, Karrie Webb, Whitney Hillier, Sarah Kemp and Stacey Peters round out a strong Australian contingent competing this week, with many of these boasting the credentials and current form to contend this week in a world class field which includes 5 of the top 10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.
World No. 1 So Yeon Ryu headlines the field this week and will make her first start since the U.S. Women’s Open where she posted her eighth top-10 finish of the year. Ryu has two wins to her credit in 2017 already including her controversial victory over Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration in April.
The world’s second ranked player, Ariya Jutanugarn, also returns to the Tour in her first start since the U.S. Women’s Open as she looks to regain the form that earned her the world’s top-ranking and her first victory of the season almost two months ago. Since then Jutanugarn’s game has taken a sudden turn for the worst, with her last four starts resulting in a T-22, Missed Cut, Withdrawal, Missed Cut.
Former world number 1 Lydia Ko now sits at No. 4 in the Rolex Rankings, and returns to Scotland for the first time since 2015 when she contended before finishing in a tie for fourth place. Ko is coming off a tie for 20th at last week’s Marathon Classic where she won in a playoff in 2016, and remains in search of her first win in over a year. The 20-year-old Kiwi, who already has 14 LPGA wins to her credit including two major championships, maybe winless so far in 2017 but she has finished in the top 10 on 7 occasions and it would be no surprise if she were to breakthrough here this week with a victory.
World No. 7 Shanshan Feng is also making her first start since the U.S. Women’s Open where she led the tournament for most of the week, before being pipped late on Sunday by South Korean rookie sensation Sung Hyun Park.
World number 8 and Olympic Champion Inbee Park rounds out the top-10 players in the field this week.
Watch all of the action live on Foxsports Australia from 11:00pm Thursday
Live scoring can be found at lpgascoring.com
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