Women’s British Open: Five names to watch out for

LPGA Drive On

Richard Hazeldine Richard Hazeldine

The fourth major of the LPGA season starts on Thursday at Royal Lytham in England as the world’s top female golfers gather for the 2018 Women’s British Open.

FOX Sports Asia looks into its crystal ball and gives you the names of five potential winners.

Ariya Jutanugarn
The obvious choice as the form player of the LPGA this year, the Bangkok native already has three wins under her belt this season including the third major of the calendar when she won the US Women’s Open at the end of May. Jutanugarn will be hoping to add a second British Open crown to her collection after her victory at Woburn in 2016.
Despite growing up in the heat of Thailand, the 22-year old is equally comfortable in the changeable conditions of links courses as she demonstrated just last week with a victory in the Scottish Open at Gullane. If she can carry that form into Royal Lytham then she will be very difficult to stop.

Minjee Lee
Another form player, Lee came close at the Scottish Open last week, missing out on a playoff by just one shot when her birdie putt at the 18th lipped out. The Australian has been remarkably consistent this year with one victory (at May’s Volvik Championship), two runners-up finishes and five other top-10 spots.
The Perth-based 22-year old is currently second in the season-long Race to the CME Globe, and is looking to improve on her best major finish so far, a third place at last year’s ANA Inspiration.

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Sung Hyun Park
The 24-year old Korean has enjoyed a strangely inconsistent season after her stellar debut last year that saw her win Rookie of the Year. Park has missed six cuts so far after missing none in 2017. She has recovered well from a mini slump toward the end of May, bouncing back to pick up the second major of her short career at last month’s Women’s PGA Championship. More importantly, Park is remarkably consistent in majors. Out of the twelve majors she has played in date, she has two wins and six top-10 finishes, only finishing outside the top 16 on three occasions. Although she’s not a fan, if she brings her major game to Lytham then the rest of the field need to watch out.

In Kyung Kim
The defending champion arrives in Lancashire in decent form with two top-ten finishes in her last three tournaments, although she has not tasted victory since last year’s win at Kingsbarns. Another player for the big occasion, Kim has three top-ten finishes in her last three majors while she also says she likes the challenge presented by links golf – a stark contrast to many other of the LPGA’s younger players. Do not be surprised if she becomes the first back-to-back winner since Yani Tseng in 2010/2011.

Charley Hull
The dark horse of our five picks, Hull has flattered to deceive since winning the CME Tour Championship in 2016 and has not won on the LPGA since. However, the 22-year old has been remarkably consistent in 2018, finishing no lower than T40 in every event she has played with six top-ten finishes, and is the only player on tour to do so in all three majors this year. A talented golfer with a great game, Hull’s problem seems to be a lack of focus. The question that remains is whether she can finally gain that focus and turn one of those top-ten finishes into something better.

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