Mi Jung Hur fired a five-under-par 66 – the joint lowest round of the day – in wet conditions to earn a four-stroke victory in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.
The 29-year-old South Korean, who led by two at the halfway stage of the tournament after a nine-under-par 62, came from a stroke back entering the final round to win on 20-under-par.
Despite having set the tournament scoring record after two rounds, and having earned a runner-up finish in the event at Dundonald two years ago, she revealed that she had never previously been a fan of links golf.
“Actually, I don’t like links courses, but after this week, I love them,” said Hur, whose neon yellow waterproofs were decorated with the slogan “Win at all costs.”
Hur claimed her first LPGA Tour victory as a rookie in 2009 and then another five years ago in 2014. Five years had passed since her last title and this was her first victory as a married woman, after her wedding last year. She thanked her Scottish caddie, Gary Marshall, for helping to keep her clubs and balls dry and for encouragement throughout the severe and changeable conditions over the four days.
“On the first day, I made a birdie and then two bogeys. Then he told me on the fourth hole, come on MJ, you can win this. He said that again today again on the fourth tee after I’d just made a three-putt, so that helped a lot.”
Hur began her final round with a bogey on the third hole and trailed after eight holes, but made her first birdie of the day on the par-3 ninth, sinking a putt from six feet, to enter a four-way tie for the lead.
After making her fourth straight birdie putt, from around nine yards, on the par-5 12th hole, the Texas-based professional felt that she could win the tournament.
She made another great putt from five feet on the 16th to take a three stroke advantage and then polished off the round with her sixth birdie of the day on 18.
The US Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6 (70) and third-round leader Moriya Jutanugarn (71) tied for second position on 16-under, with the 2017 champion Mi Hyang Lee a stroke back in fourth place and the 2018 winner Ariya Jutanugarn two shots further adrift in fifth.
With a tie for sixth, alongside Minjee Lee and Elizabeth Szokol, Anne Van Dam moved up to second on the LET Solheim Cup points list, while Carly Booth tied for ninth and won the Douglas Lowe Memorial Trophy as the top performing Scot in the tournament, after a final round of level par 71.
Dementia UK raise over £9,000 at Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open
Dementia UK, who provide specialist dementia support for families through its Admiral Nurse service, benefited to the tune of £9,050 as the Official Charity of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club this week.
Part of that figure came from a ‘Birdie Pledge’ initiative, backed by title sponsor Aberdeen Standard Investments whereby every birdie and eagle made by the professionals amounted to £5 and £10 being contributed to the fundraising tally – totaling £7,566, with 1339 birdies and 43 eagles being made across the four tournament days. An additional 3 hole ones scored by Laura Davies, Cajsa Persson and Jacqui Concolino contributed an additional £441 with £1 being donated for every yard.
The Birdie Pledge contribution combined with the sale of daily prize draw raffle tickets and donations for official draw sheets, contributed close to £1,500 to the total amount, with the remainder being raised through kind gestures made at Dementia UK’s exhibition stand in the tournament village.
Martin Bishop, Director of Fundraising and Communications, Dementia UK, said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone at Aberdeen Standard Investments and everyone involved in the Ladies Scottish Open and the staff at The Renaissance Club for supporting Dementia UK and raising this great amount. The Ladies Scottish Open is a fantastic event with some spectacular golf on a superb course and the money raised through everyone’s passion and dedication is simply amazing. The funds raised will go a long way in helping families facing dementia through our specialist Admiral Nurse service and our national Dementia Helpline.”
LET ACCESS SERIES:
SJOHOLM WINS ANNA NORDQVIST VASTERAS OPEN WITH SENSATIONAL FINISH
Sweden’s Annelie Sjoholm recorded three successive birdies on the final three holes to finish on –6 for the tournament, a score that saw her take a first LET Access Series title at the Anna Nordqvist Vasteras Open. The 23-year-old posted a four-under-par final round which saw her move from fifth position at the start of the day to clinch a one-shot victory over compatriot Maja Stark on her home course in Bjarby.
“Of course I was nervous, it is my home course. I had a huge home crowd, there were so many people coming to watch. So, it was great playing well in front of them. My last three holes, I birdied them and they were so loud.”
Sjoholm’s round of 68 was the joint lowest on the course and included five birdies and a just solitary dropped shot which came at the tricky par-3 twelfth hole. The final three holes proved crucial with the Swede playing flawless golf tee to green which was duly followed up by three beautifully rolled in putts. Three consecutive birdies saw Sjoholm jump from a share of third position into the outright lead in the home event for the Swedish star.
A shot adrift of Sjoholm was playing partner and fellow Swede Maja Stark. The amateur recorded a final round of 70, two-under-par, to finish as runner-up in the event for the second year in a row. Stark had led with three holes to go but saw her lead overturned by Sjoholm’s stunning finish to the round.
“With three holes to go, I knew she (Maja Stark) was two shots ahead of me. So, I know I needed a good finish. I hit it close on eighteen, just outside the middle, and I knew if I made that one I had at least Maja and then I wasn’t sure about the others. But I had a good feeling about it because I had a good round.”
Earlier in the season, Sjoholm lost a play-off and finished runner-up at Neuchatel and has since secured multiple top-20 finishes in the 2019 series. Her delight was clear to see as she secured a first LET Access Series in front of a buoyant home crowd in her native Sweden. The victory also cements Sjoholm’s position in the top-20 of the all-important Road to LaLargue.
In the final group, overnight leader Elia Folch struggled on the final day to slip into eighth place after a +4 round of 76. The Spaniard couldn’t replicate her feel on the greens with five bogeys putting an end to her title challenge at the impressive Vasteras Golf Club.
Also finding it tough in the final eighteen holes were Russian Nina Pegova and England’s Cloe Frankish; the duo had begun the day T2 on –4. Frankish shot a +2 74 to finish in seventh for the tournament. Despite a difficult final day, the tournament will give Frankish further confidence as she continues to threaten at the back end of tournaments after early season struggles on the tour.
Pegova reached the halfway mark two-under-par, enough to lead the tournament through the opening stages in Bjarby. The fourteenth saw the Russian’s title challenge severely dented however as costly errors led to a double bogey, soon followed by another dropped shot at seventeen which ultimately saw Pegova finish in a respectable T3.
Alongside Pegova in a tie for third position the top three of the LET Access Series’ leading players in the Road to LaLargue. Sanna Nuutinen, winner last week at the Amundi Czech Ladies Challenge, was left to rue a poor +3 second round as the opening day leader posted a second –3 score to finish three shots behind Sjoholm at the top of the leaderboard.
England’s Hayley Davis and Spain’s Laura Gomez Ruiz joined the Road to LaLargue leader in a share for third after both climbed the leaderboard with impressive final day showings at the Swedish course. Davis now had six top-10 finished in the LET Access Series this season, whilst Gomez Ruiz continues to shine with a breathtaking fifth top-10 finish in six events.