It is not difficult to decide which player is in great shape and who will attend this year’s Grand Final, the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath.
No one could be more confident than Solheim European Cup star Céline Buotier after she claimed her first major win when she was crowned at the Women’s Scottish Open in Dundonald last week.
Although the Frenchwoman was not in her prime with a 70 on Sunday, she was calm enough to win by two strokes. Pottier was under 29 in her last two events and is the first player to take three victories on the LPGA Tour this year.
“If I win, I can retire,” the 29-year-old joked about the prospect of keeping her purple spot and claiming her third straight win this week.
However, it’s hard to ignore Potter with the quality of golf she has delivered over the past two weeks – a lucrative period in which all players strive for success.
“They both require training sessions, so that forced me to focus and research a bit,” she revealed, after earning more than $2m (£1.6m) for the season.
“Sometimes you’re so focused on playing and hitting shots that it’s a little difficult to get the full picture of my play. “Golf is so annoying that even if you win or score well, you’re like, ‘Oh, but that shot, that putt, I could have done better.'”
Buotier is clearly a perfectionist, and dealing with the high levels of expectations created by her recent performance will be her biggest challenge at Walton Heath.
“Honestly, I’m going to try not to think too much about what this means and other things because I feel like it scares me,” she laughs.
“My game is in good shape. I’m not sure what’s going to happen in terms of the [gos] tournament because I’ve never played it and I don’t think these are typical draws.
“I was excited to see what it looked like and I got an idea.”
Buotier will experience the classic Morse course in the heart of Surrey which, while not a traditional coastal link, will prove to be a test of suitability for the world’s best players.
The historic 6,800 yard layout will use the 16 holes of the old course at Walton Heath and the pars 12 and 13 of the new course. The rolling trails will not be as steady and fast as usual after the unseasonal July rains.
Who else can wrestle? “I’ve played there a few times, and last week too, I went shooting for Evian. It looks amazing,” said Scotsman Gemma Dryburgh. “It’s not a traditional open course but it will be great – lots of heather around. Go away, you’ll be fine.”
The 30-year-old from Aberdeen broke into her first top 10 with an eighth-place finish in Evian before a relatively quiet week at the Home Open when she finished 44 second on the Ayrshire coast.
Walton Heath is the person most likely to catch Charlie Hall’s eye. British women rarely like to check out connections, preferring specific indoor settings.
However, her standout performance of the season came from the sea – but not on an assisted course – at Pebble Beach, where she finished second at the US Open last month.
The 27-year-old from Kettering appears to be more relaxed after being recently diagnosed with ADHD. “I know what turns me on now that I’ve been diagnosed with severe ADHD,” she revealed to BBC Look East.
“Now I can understand why I get bored sometimes on the golf course. I feel much better now.”
It will take a world class performance from Hull to win their first major title this week as there are threats from all over the world.
Not far behind Pottier in the latest figure is Lim Kim, 27, of South Korea, who has finished third and fourth in the past two weeks of first-class action.
Galleries in the UK will be delighted to get their first look at Rose Chang as a professional artist.
The 20-year-old American made a great start to his career in the paid division, winning the US Open and finishing in the top 10 in the next three majors.
Last year’s US Open champion Minjee Lee hit a great streak. The Australian has broken into the top 20 in his last two starts, as have Jennifer Copshaw and Sweden’s Lyn Grant.
Canada’s Brooke Henderson finished second in Evian, while world number one Nelly Korda rounded the top 10 shortly after winning the Aramco event at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire, as she edged past Hull into second.
Walton Heath will offer a traditional English golf course. Certainly, it will be a matter of identifying a worthy winner, and Pottier leads an impressive list of contenders.
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