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Showing posts from June, 2021

Who's No. 1? Nelly Korda

On June 28, 2021, a new No. 1 golfer ascended to the top of the women's world golf rankings. It was a golfer who had never been there before. It was Nelly Korda. At just 22 years old, Korda hit No. 1 in the world rankings after claiming her first major championship victory. That happened at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, played at Atlantic Athletic Club. Korda tied the tournament's 18-hole scoring record with a 63 in the Round 2. She closed with back-to-back 68s on the weekend to finish at 19-under (tying another tournament record) 269. That was good for a 3-stroke win. It was Nelly's sixth career win on the LPGA, but her third of 2021. In fact, through the Women's PGA Championship Nelly Korda was the only golfer with multiple wins on the LPGA Tour so far in 2021. Now No. 1, Korda became the first American golfer to reach the top of the world rankings since Stacy Lewis was there in 2014. And she was the first American golfer to win an LPGA major since 20

Atthaya Thitikul Earns First LET Win as a Pro

Atthaya Thitikul, also known by her nickname "Jeeno," is a Thai golf phenom who has been described as a "phenom" for what seems like a phenomenally long time. Playing as an amateur, she won the Ladies European Tour Thailand Championship way back in 2017 when she was only 14 years old. In 2019, still an amateur, she repeated as champion in that tournament, winning by five strokes at age 16. When the COVID pandemic hit in 2020, Thitikul had turned pro. But her pro career got off to a slow start because the pandemic kept her cooped up in Thailand. Jeeno earned her first win as a professional golfer in July of 2020 at the Singha-Sat Thai LPGA Championship on the Thai LPGA Tour. And now, less than a year later, Thitikul has her first win on the Ladies European Tour when playing as a pro (her third LET win overall). On June 27, 2021, Thitikul won the Czech Ladies Open. Atthaya carded scores of 68 and 68 in the first two rounds. In the final round she shot 65 to

Lily May Humphreys, English Up-and-Comer

Which British teenager can have her cake and eat it, too? Lily May Humphreys, that's who. The 19-year-old from England just played in her first LET Access Series tournament, and now she has her first career win as a professional golfer. Humphreys turned pro in early June 2021. Just a few weeks later, in late June, she teed off in the LETAS' Golf Flanders LETAS Trophy in Belgium. She opened with a round of 70, then carded a 67 in the second round. In the final round Humphreys posted her best score of the tournament, a 66, which was tied for low round of the tournament. She finished at 10-under 203, winning by six strokes. “It feels amazing to have my first win as a professional and hopefully, it’s the first of many!" Humphreys said after the victory . Given her pedigree, that's a reasonable expectation. Lily May played for Team Europe in the 2019 Junior Solheim Cup and for Team GB&I in the 2018 Curtis Cup. She was runner-up in the 2020 English Women's

Gabby Then on a Great Run in 2021

What kind of year is Gabby Then having in 2021? A pretty good one: She's won three pro tournaments. It started back in March when Then won on the Cactus Tour in a playoff. She added a second Cactus Tour win in May, claiming another event by 10 strokes after finishing at 8-under 208. A couple weeks earlier in May, this time playing on the Women's All Pro Tour (WAPT), Then posted a third-place finish in the Central Arkansas Open. Then she added a third win overall for the year in the WAPT's Kathy Whitworth Paris Championship, played June 15-18 in Paris, Texas. In that one, Then shot rounds of 64-63 in the final two rounds to finish at 15-under 261 and win by two strokes. She had 19 birdies for the tournament, and went bogey-free over those final two rounds. Following that WAPT win, Then stood second on the WAPT money list and third on the Cactus Tour money list. Those two circuits are mini-tours that many Symetra Tour and even some LPGA Tour golfers occasionally pla

French Amateur Marine Griffaux Earns Win in 1st Pro Event

What's the best an amateur golfer can do in her first-ever start in a professional golfer tournament? Winning it, of course. And that's exactly what Marine Griffaut did. Griffaut, from France, won on home turf at the Montauban Ladies Open, which concluded on June 13, 2021, in France. The tournament was a stop on the 2021 LET Access Series schedule. LETAS is the official developmental tour of the Ladies European Tour. Griffaut started the final round two strokes off the lead, but carded three birdies on her front nine. She finished with a final round of 70 (after earlier rounds of 73 and 66) to post 7-under 209. Her margin of victory was three strokes. As noted, it was the very first professional event Griffaut had ever played in. "This was my first professional tournament, and my original goal was just to make the cut," Griffaut said after the win . "Then I shot six-under yesterday and was close to the win, so I told myself ‘You can do this Marine, this i

Morgane Metraux's Breakthrough Win

At the 2021 Island Resort Championship, this Swiss didn't miss. Morgane Metraux earned her first Symetra Tour victory at the tournament in Harris, Michigan, that concluded on June 13, 2021. Metraux, from Lausanne, Switzerland, won the 54-hole event with a final score of 17-under 199. She had rounds of 69, 63 and 67, and that final-round score included six birdies. Metraux was one stroke behind Maude-Aimee Leblanc at the turn in the final round. But she took the lead with a birdie on the 16th hole. Metraux turned pro in 2018 after playing college golf at Florida State University. Playing the Symetra Tour in 2018, she made 11 cuts in 13 starts and had a best finish of tied for eighth (twice). A shoulder injury forced her to miss all of the 2019 tournament golf season. In 2020, Metraux played the Ladies European Tour, where her best finishes were 10th- and 11th-place showings.

Matilda Castren: First Finnish Winner on LPGA Tour

Who was the first golfer from Finland to win on the LPGA Tour? Before June of 2021, that's a question that had no answer: No Finnish golfer had ever won on the LPGA. But now, the correct answer is Matilda Castren. Castren, in 2021, was still in rookie season on the LPGA, even though her rookie status began in 2020 (the COVID-19 pandemic caused status from 2020 to carry over to 2021). And at the 2021 LPGA Mediheal Championship, Castren earned her first career victory — and the first win for Finland on the LPGA. Castren began the final round two strokes behind leader Min Lee. But she started the final round with birdies on the first three holes, then added an eagle on No. 5. That put her 5-under through five holes for the final round. She built her lead to three at one point before Lee managed to close the gap. But then Castren stuffed an approach on the 18th green and closed out her victory with a short birdie putt. Castren shot 65 in that final round and finished at 14-unde