From a breakthrough victory in America for Meghan MacLaren to another title for Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker, we round-up the best of weekend’s golf…
MacLaren makes American breakthrough
Meghan MacLaren secured her maiden Symetra Tour with a two-shot victory at the Prasco Charity Championship.
The Englishwoman, a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, birdied two of her last three holes to complete a three-under 69 at TPC River’s Bend and the week on nine under.
🤩🏆 F*** YEAH🏆🤩 #thatsallfornow pic.twitter.com/FcVBLM0zvl
Victory lifts MacLaren to sixth in the Race for the Card standings, with the top 10 players at the end of the season then securing their playing privileges on the LPGA Tour for the 2022 campaign.
“I am just really, really happy to be honest,” MacLaren said. “It sounds quite simple, but we are all out here to win and get our cards. I have had some kind of low moments over the last couple of years, so to get over the line is incredible.”
Meghan MacLaren is your 2021 #PrascoCC Champion! 👏 #Road2LPGA pic.twitter.com/eNpVNMd0ZG
Sweden’s Linnea Johansson posted a final-round 68 to jump into tied-second with China’s Weiwei Zhang, with Spain’s Fatima Fernandez Cano on of six players three shots back in a share of fourth.
Stricker celebrates Senior Players title
Steve Stricker eased to a third senior major title with a wire-to-wire victory at the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship.
The Ryder Cup captain posted a level-par 70 at Firestone Country Club to end the week on seven under and six ahead of defending champion Jerry Kelly, with the pair the only players to end the week under par.
Stricker mixed three birdies with as many bogeys on the final day to stay clear of the chasing pack, with his winning margin increase when Kelly bogeyed four of his last five holes. Victory also secures him a place in the field for The Players next March at TPC Sawgrass.
“It was so hard,” Stricker said. “It’s so hard to have a lead. And then to play with a friend, Jerry [Kelly], out there, basically it’s his home course. He plays well here. I could tell that he was playing well and I’m just trying to hang on. It’s tough to play when you’re not that aggressive, but I’m happy.”
Super hard, super rewarding.
Congrats, @SteveStricker. pic.twitter.com/LqIXqkdN1m
Fred Couples posted a three-under 67 to finished tied-third with David Toms, Ernie Els claimed fifth spot ahead of Jim Furyk. England’s Paul Broadhurst ended in a share of 10th, with Darren Clarke and Colin Montgomerie both a further shot back on six over.
Thitikul snatches Czech victory
Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul earned her third Ladies European Tour title and first as a professional with a narrow victory at the Tipsport Czech Ladies Open.
The 18-year-old, who won the Ladies European Thailand Championship while still an amateur, carded a brilliant final-round 65 at Golf Club Beroun to finish a shot clear of Nuria Iturrioz.
Thitikul recovered from two bogeys over her first four holes to fire six birdies in a seven-hole stretch around the turn, before picking up three shots over her final four holes to set the winning total of 15 under.
“I am so grateful for my first win outside of my country,” Thitikul said. “I came close to a win on many previous tournaments, and I finally did it, it means so much to me! I am so proud to be able to represent my country.”
Iturrioz was unable to find a final-hole birdie to force a play-off, with a bogey-free 68 seeing her claim second ahead of Germany’s Leonie Harm. England’s Cloe Frankish ended the week shots off the pace in a share of fourth.
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