Golfing Update: June

This month in golf:

Women’s US Open ends dramatically, two more qualify for open, the rich list is revealed and Tiger docks in Hamptons.

Thailand’s Jutanugarn claims US Women’s Open title

At only 22-years old Ariya Jutanugarn finds herself making a play for the No. 1 seed after claiming her second major title at Shoal Creek. Things started well for Jutanugarn (who currently sits at No. 5 in the World Rankings) as she confidently cruised her way to a seven-shot lead, however she was forced to dig deep after making a series of mistakes during the last nine holes. A triple-bogey seven at the 10th hole was the start of the No. 5’s troubles and she soon found her lead being whittled away through her own drop in performance, as well as her rival’s tenacity.

The Thai golfer was given no space to relax as South Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim made a series of incredible long-range putts to narrow the gap. After 72 holes the pair found themselves tied on -11, thanks to Kim finishing on a 67, whilst Jutanugarn ended disappointingly on a couple of bogeys and a score of 73. Both golfers made the journey back to the 14th hole for a two-hole majors play-off. Play was formidable on both parts, but it was Jutanugarn who managed to dig deep and deliver some career-best shots to secure her victory.

The Golfing Rich List is revealed as Tiger docks his yacht

Professional golf is one of those sports that, similar to tennis, is associated with big brands and expensive tastes. It’s arguable that the huge sums of money on offer at each competition is part of the reason the sport is as popular as it is, so its no surprise that a number of golfers have worked their way into Forbes’ Highest Paid Athletes list this year. Although it was headline grabbing boxer Floyd Mayweather that claimed the top-spot for his mind boggling earnings of $285m, five golfer still managed to feature in the Top 100 list.

The youngest athlete on the list, Jordan Spieth made $41.2m last year thanks to his performance at the Open this time last year, behind him was Rory McIlroy with $37.7m and behind them all was World No. 1 Justin Thomas who pulled in $26. It might come as a surprise to some but it was Tiger Woods who bested his golfing rivals appearing at No. 16 on the list with earnings of $43.3m (the majority of which earned from endorsements). Tiger recently docked his $20m superyacht in the Hamptons ahead of next week’s US Open, who he is considered to be shoe-in for winning. The 155ft-long ‘Privacy’ comes complete with five guestrooms, a gym, walk-in fridge and contemporary doors.

Two more notable golfers earn entry to the Men’s US Open

For the third year in a row, crowd favourite Andrew Johnston has gained entry to the US Open after finishing T1st at the Walton Heath qualifiers on Monday. Beef qualified alongside the likes of James Morrison, Scott Gregory and Matthew Southgate on what is jokingly described as ‘golf’s longest day of the year’. The popular Englishman finished top of the pile that day alongside Morrison, who hit two 67s to match Beef’s 65 and 69.

Walton Heath saw a number of other notable players who also gained qualification to the upcoming Open which included Throbjorn Olesen (fresh off claiming his fifth European title at the Italian Open) and the 2006 US Amateur champ, Richie Ramsay. After a nine-man playoff for the top spot, fourteen players from the comp qualified to have a go at Shoal Creek which commences on the 14th June.

Golfing Update: May

This month in golf:

McIlroy declared Master the ultimate tourney, Tiger makes bid for return and Westwood digs deep.

McIlroy: ‘I don’t care about the Open.’

Four-time major winner, Rory McIlroy has gone one record saying that he no longer cares about The Open and that The Masters is now the biggest competition in the world. Speaking to Sports Illustrated he said:

The Masters has now become the biggest golf tournament in the world, and I’m comfortable saying that. I don’t care about the US Open or the Open Championship, it is the biggest golf tournament in the world, the most amount of eyeballs, the most amount of hype, everything is at Augusta.

McIlroy has yet to take a victory at Augusta, so clearly the legendary course is weighing on his mind somewhat. This April, the Northern Irishman missed out once more finishing tied in fifth place with a number of other players. Clearly somewhat miffed by his lack of a Masters trophy, McIlroy will have to go looking to complete his career Grand Slam at next year’s competition…

Tiger will be back for Carnoustie Open

There is perhaps no other golfer that has courted such controversy and greatness in such equal measure as Tiger Woods. After missing out on two Open championships due to various injuries, the legendary player will be seeking to claim his fourth Claret Jug this July. Winning his first title Open title all the way back in 2000, Woods followed this with two back-to-back wins at St. Andrews and then Royal Liverpool in ’05 and ’06, respectively.

Tiger’s 14 major championships puts him one place behind Jack Nicklaus on the all-time list, he’ll need 5 more to surpass the man, a challenge considering that Woods has only just broken back into the top 100, after dropping out of the top 1000 for the first time in his career back in July 2017. Having won two of his Open championships in Scotland, as well as another in England, Tiger’s hoping to make a complete return to the game come July – although he’s admitted that it might be a challenge:

Carnoustie can be a brutal golf course and it was brutal that year [1999]. It’s just so tough, but it’s all there in front of you. There are no tricks, there’s nothing hidden. It’s just come and get me.

Lee Westwood donates big to Edinburgh charity shop

After ending the reign of Tiger Woods and ascending to the top seed of international golf in 2010, English golfer Lee Westwood has slunk somewhat into the shadows in recent years. Despite still competing, the Worksop-born player doesn’t look in a position to claim a major championship victory anytime soon in a period of declining form which has seen him drop down the rankings to settle just outside of the top 100. This drop in form doesn’t seem to have deterred the 45-year old from making a recent move to Scotland.

Westwood donated thousands of pounds worth of golfing memorabilia to Shelter Scotland recently after moving in to the city earlier this month. The charity, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, will be selling the rare personal items at their Morningside shop with the proceeds going towards tackling homelessness and bad housing throughout the country.