Golf betting tips: Preview and best bets for AIG Women’s Open

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Golf expert Matt Cooper fancies a former winner to go well at the Women’s Open, where Yuka Saso also rates a spot of value.

Golf betting tips: Women’s British Open 1.5pt e.w. Yuka Saso at 33/1 (Unibet 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6) 1pt e.w. Georgia Hall at 40/1 (Unibet 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6) 1pt e.w. Amy Yang at 50/1 (Coral, Ladbrokes 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6) 1pt e.w. Stacy Lewis at 100/1 (General 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6) Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

There are high hopes this week that something of a wrong will be righted with the second championship visit of the AIG Women’s Open to Carnoustie. Why so? Well, the last decade was witness to a couple of errors of judgement in the set-up of the courses. Five years ago the tournament headed to Woburn, home club of Charley Hull, presenting her, it seemed, with a wonderful opportunity. It might have been just that, had the event not been held on her third favourite course at the club, utilising a yardage so short it had never occurred to her to practice it. Far from being the best prepared for that test, therefore, she was rather bizarrely the worst. Five years before that, Carnoustie made its debut on the Women’s Open rota and once again the tee boxes were in the wrong place. The final hole, as we all know, is a brute, with the Barry Burn threatening both the drive and the approach. Those too fearful of the water risk dragging the ball into rough on the left (or, worse, out of bounds), taking the green out of the equation for the second shot. It’s unquestionably one of the toughest examinations in world golf and yet the field didn’t face it. The tee was moved up, the drive became straightforward, and the burn was more or less irrelevant for both the first and second bunt. It was a little like plotting a route for the Tour de France that ignored both the Alps and the Pyrenees, instead just faffing about on the flat. To no-one’s surprise, professional golfers, being masochists at heart, didn’t think much of a neutered Carnoustie. The eventual winner Yani Tseng bemoaned that “all the bunkers and the burns are out of play”. Even the head greenkeeper admitted it was a “watered-down version” of Carnoustie. The good news is that the R&A, who’ve since assumed control of the championship, won’t want a repeat so we can expect the real deal this week. It should be a fine test of linksland savvy and golfing resilience.

Carnoustie’s 18th is one of the most daunting closing holes around!⛳@Beany25 and @Iona_Stephen look at the final challenge awaiting the AIG Women’s Open field next week. Read more here👉 — AIG Women’s Open (@AIGWomensOpen) August 12, 2021

Mention of Tseng is rather melancholic. The Taiwanese player was dominant in the game back then, winning four majors in just eight starts in 2010 and 2011. Yet she’s won nothing since 2012, has made only one cut since this event three years ago, and has a stroke average of 78.44 from eight appearances this season. A cold reminder of just what a callous business golf can be. What of the market this week? You can’t argue with Nelly Korda being favourite off the back of three wins in her last four individual starts, but a trio of links efforts have her still seeking a first top-10. Lydia Ko is not without links form – third at Turnberry, second last week – but her last major win was at the start of 2016. Eighteen-year-old Atthaya Thitikul is an astounding talent who hasn’t finished outside the top five in her four LPGA starts this season and tops the LET rankings, but her short putting makes me wary. All can win this week, but I’ll pass on the opportunity to back them at the prices. Tipping YUKA SASO didn’t go well at the Olympics after she got off to a slow start. But, by the end of the week, she’d made the top 10 and once again proved that she’s very much at home at the top level. In fact, she’s made eight LPGA starts in the last nine months, only one of them wasn’t 21st or better and in every single one she featured in the top 10 at some point during the week.

The swing comparison everyone is talking about.

Rory McIlroy 🆚 Yuka — GOLFTV (@GOLFTV) June 7, 2021

The obvious highlight among those efforts was the victory in the US Open, but her links debut in last week’s Women’s Scottish Open was quite handy. She opened with a 67 (tied second) and closed with a 68 for T15th, cheerily heeding lessons along the way. Three years ago Georgia Hall chatted to Tom Lehman ahead of winning at Royal Lytham and Saso has taken a similar route, gassing with Justin Leonard (not just the winner at Troon, but also for the often-forgotten third man in the 1999 Carnoustie play-off). “I’m learning something every day,” she said at Dunbarnie Links. “It’s very different from what I’m used to. I’ve talked to Justin and I played with Stacy (Lewis) in a practice round. They gave me good advice.” CLICK HERE to back Saso with Sky Bet We’ll double up by adding the sorcerer as well as the apprentice because I just can’t ignore STACY LEWIS on the links at this week’s price. She missed the cut in her Women’s Open debut and did so again 12 months ago. Both, however, are forgivable – the first because she was a novice, the most recent because she was a little distracted having won the Scottish Open the week before. Take more note of what happened in-between which proved she’s reliably superb by the sea. She’s finished T31st and T12th at Royal Birkdale, tied eighth at Royal Liverpool, T17th at Turnberry, tied seventh at Kingsbarns and was the winner on the Old Course in 2013. She was also T11th at Carnoustie 10 years ago.

Prior to crossing the Atlantic she showed nice form, logging T12th and tied ninth, and it is only 12 months since she won that Scottish Open. True, she was only T67th on defence, but that doesn’t over-concern me. This week will be a tighter test from the tee and should be a more intense battle to beat par. That won’t fuss Lewis, who said last week, of playing in Scotland: “You have to be tough here. You’re going to play in the elements at some point and you have to love it. A lot of people are taken out of the tournament because they don’t love playing in the rain and wind, but it suits my personality and I love the creative side of links golf too.” I really can’t see how she’s available above 66/1. CLICK HERE to back Lewis with Sky Bet Korea’s AMY YANG got off to a sluggish start last week, but by the end of Sunday she’d ticked off a ninth top-25 finish of the year – and ahead of that effort she’d finished top 10 in two majors (the PGA and Evian Championships), tied fifth in the Marathon Classic and also tied sixth in a pairs event. Her weekend scores of 69-68 at Dunbarnie were a reminder of what a fine links performer she is. In the past she’s been tied fifth at Gullane in the Scottish Open, tied fifth at Royal Birkdale in this event, tied fourth at Machynys Peninsula (a modern links layout), and lost a play-off at Royal St David’s in Harlech. She was also tied fourth at Carnoustie 11 years ago and has a live chance to repeat that. CLICK HERE to back Yang with Sky Bet Closer to home, Hull’s had her difficulties on the linksland, but impressed when landing solo fifth last week and has been priced accordingly. I think she’s a little short given those long-term difficulties by the sea, a tournament best of T12th, and the fact that this will be her 11th week of golf in 13. She also ignored her SatNav on Sunday night. The direct route between Dunbarnie and Carnoustie should take about an hour; Hull instead opted to travel via her home near Kettering which is the best part of an 850-mile round-trip. Ireland’s Leona Maguire arrives off the back of seven straight top-25 finishes, six of them top-15, but I’m really not quite sure why both she and Hull are shorter than GEORGIA HALL, who is both a confirmed linksland specialist and far from out of form. The 25-year-old has actually recorded a career-best finish in three of the year’s first four majors, although the tied sixth in the most recent, the Evian Championship, was the best.

She’s done it!

England’s Georgia Hall is the 2018 Ricoh Women’s British Open Champion!#RWBO #MasterTheElements — AIG Women’s Open (@AIGWomensOpen) August 5, 2018

Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-ling takes first LPGA title

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Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-ling takes first LPGA title

‘I FEEL HAPPY’: Hsu Wei-ling, the first Taiwanese player to win on the LPGA tour since 2012, said she hoped the win would offer Taiwanese something positive to enjoy


Hsu Wei-ling on Sunday rode an eagle at the 15th hole to an emotional two-stroke victory in the Pure Silk Championship, capturing a long-awaited first LPGA title.

“I thought I wouldn’t cry,” said the 26-year-old, who broke down in tears after a two-putt par at the final hole to seal the win.

However, the emotion had been building since her eagle at the par-five 15th hole, where her second shot kicked onto the green and she made the putt to suddenly find herself with a two-shot lead.

Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-ling, left, holds the winner’s trophy with her mother, Lu Wei-chia, as she celebrates winning the LPGA Tour’s Pure Silk Championship in Williamsburg, Virginia, on Sunday. Photo: AP

Hsu’s playing partner, Moriya Jutanugarn — who started the day tied with Hsu for the lead — had arrived at the 15th hole with a two-stroke lead, but the Thai found a fairway bunker with her second shot and ended up with a double bogey at the easiest hole on the course at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia.

“On 15, I knew there was a good chance,” Hsu said.

“I thought: ‘I’ve been waiting seven years for this, I don’t want to wait anymore,’” added the 26-year-old, who graduated from the Symetra Tour to play her rookie LPGA season in 2015 and has 10 top-10 finishes, including one runner-up, on her resume.

She padded her lead with a birdie at 16, finishing with a three-under-par 68 for a 13-under-par total of 271.

Moriya rebounded with her fifth birdie of the day at the 17th hole on the way to a one-under-par 70 and solo second on 11-under-par 273.

She was one stroke in front of American Jessica Korda, who had three birdies and two bogeys — including a three-putt at the last — in a one-under-par 70.

Hsu became the first Taiwanese player to win on the LPGA tour since five-time major winner Yani Tseng won the 2012 Kia Classic.

She said that she hoped the win would offer something positive for fans in Taiwan to enjoy amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

“I don’t know, like, what this win means for [Taiwan], but I really hope that I can give them some positive thought and a good energy to believe something,” she said.

“I know people are against the virus right now, sports are shut down, but there is something that the players or the people or the Taiwanese playing a different sport … they can still cheer for.”

Hsu came into the week without high expectations, exhausted from the travel from the LPGA event in Thailand two weeks ago in a journey broken by a 36-hole qualifier for the US Women’s Open.

“I think this is the happiest thing ever, how my caddie cried and somehow I just cried so hard the last hole,” she said. “But I feel happy.”


Reuters, KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina

Phil Mickelson has never doubted himself over the course of his 30-year PGA Tour career, and still has the hunger and desire to win that drives all great players, the six-time major champion’s brother and caddie, Tim Mickelson, said on Sunday.

Phil Mickelson carded a one-over-par 73 to finish on six-under-par at the PGA Championship and become golf’s oldest major winner.

It was also his first major title since the 2013 British Open.

Tim Mickelson has been on his brother’s bag since 2017, so Sunday’s triumph was the first time that he has been able to share victory in a major from inside the ropes.

“He never doubted himself,” Tim Mickelson said, after Phil Mickelson’s two-shot win over Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen at Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

“His will and desire to win now is as high as it’s ever been in my opinion. Certainly it’s probably higher than when I started caddying for him,” Tim Mickelson said. “I think the best players in the world all have that, and Phil has just carried that on for 35 years.”

Phil Mickelson’s manager, Steve Loy, predicted that there is much more to come.

“He’s healthier than he’s ever been,” Loy said. “I think he’s going to win five more times, maybe 10. You can’t tell him: ‘No.’ Every time I try to tell him: ‘Look, we are running out of time,’ he’s going: ‘I don’t want to hear it.’”

Ladies Professional Golf Association

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The idea that Taiwan’s Wei-Ling Hsu would win her first LPGA Tour title began to take shape as the final group, including Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn and 2021 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions winner Jessica Korda, neared the 15th hole where Jutanugarn gave up two strokes in the fairway bunker to finish with a double bogey. On the same hole, Hsu made eagle, giving her a three-stroke advantage over the rest of the field heading into the final stretch. Korda and Australian Sarah Kemp maintained their cool as they, in addition to Jutanugarn, shared second place.

Hsu, who led the group after the first and co-led after the third, had plenty of reasons to win. Not only would it be her first career victory, but she’d be able to award Taiwan their first victory since five-time major winner on the LPGA Tour, Yani Tseng, won the 2012 Kia Classic.

“I don’t know like what this win means for [Taiwan], but I really hope that I can give them some positive thought and a good energy to believe something,” said Hsu who reported on the COVID-19 situation in her native country. “You can always believe something and it will actually happen. I know people are against to virus right now, sports are shutdown, but there is something that the player or the people or the Taiwanese playing a different sport out, different country, they can still cheer for.”

A better performance indeed as Hsu shot -3 under for a tournament total of -13 under after carding 20 birdies and one eagle throughout the week.

“I definitely never expected this. Like I said earlier this week, I was so tired. I didn’t expect much. And definitely when I finished first round solo lead, I definitely thought about that, but the second round just knock me down a little bit because I had a 1-over par,” said Hsu.

“I think this is the happiest thing ever, how my caddie cried and somehow I just cried so hard the last hole. But I feel happy and just happy,” Hsu said of how she felt after her historic win.

Barely missing her second win on the LPGA Tour was Jutanugarn who was still proud of her fight the past four days.

“I mean, it’s still a good week. I like to play in the last group on Sunday—that’s always a good week. Of course, it’s not finish I wanted to, but, you know, I still going to take a lot of good things from here,” said Jutanugarn.