Support through Sport UK's Claire and Rhian covered part of the 2016 Women's British Open ...
The 2016 Women's British Open was held at Woburn Golf Club, Buckinghamshire, during the last weekend of July. We attended on the Saturday and witnessed some of the world's top female golfers in action.
The Championship was played on the Marquess Course, which had previously played host to the British Masters. Set within 200 acres of parkland, it was a spectacular venue.
We spent the day trying to follow as many of the players as possible. We'd never watched live golf before and so it was fascinating to see the players both teeing off and wrapping up on the greens. It was also good to see each competitor completing their rounds on the 18th.
Heading into Saturday, South Korea's Mirim Lee was leading at 11 under. However we were supporting Northamptonshire and GB's Charley Hull, who started the day in tenth position at five under. In 2013, the then 17-year-old Hull became the youngest ever competitor to participate in the Solheim Cup, where she helped lead Europe to victory. During the following year, she went on to win her first professional title in Morocco.
There was huge support for local girl Charley. She had a large following of fans, many of them young girls. In an earlier press session, when asked if she felt that she had a role to play inspiring youngsters to take up the game, she said:
“Yeah, I do, because I'm one of the young English players coming up, so I think that I feel like I am a major role model. It's a good feeling, you just have to make sure you keep it in a good way”.
“It is part of being a professional golfer, to get people to play, because if I hadn't have had that, I wouldn't have got into the game either”.
Unfortunately Charley shot her worst round on the Saturday, bogeying both the 11th and 14th holes and going three over on the first. However her strong performances on both the Thursday and Friday, coupled with her final day's performance of three under, meant that she ultimately finished the tournament tied for a respectable 17th place. Hull's next competition will be in Rio, where she'll be competing for Team GB.
The 2016 British Open tournament winner was Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn, who secured her first ever Major. She became the first ever Thai player, of either gender, to win a Major.
As mentioned, golf was a new spectator sport for us. We spent a brilliant day witnessing the pinnacle of the women's elite game. We also thoroughly enjoyed trying out the various "have a go" attractions. We now very much look forward to watching Hull and compatriot Catriona Matthew compete for GB at Rio.
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