Hae Ran Ryu clinched the prestigious Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award for 2023 on the LPGA Tour. This honor comes on the heels of her impressive tie for 12th place at The Annika last week. Heading into the CME Group Tour Championship, Ryu has amassed a total of 893 points, holding an insurmountable 274-point lead over Grace Kim in the Rookie standings.
Hae Ran Ryu is your 2023 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year ‼️🏆
Ryu’s inaugural season on the LPGA Tour has been nothing short of remarkable, marked by six top-10 finishes, including a noteworthy victory at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Among her achievements are a solo third at the Mizuho Americas Open and a solo fourth at the Cognizant Founders Cup. She also notched her best result in a major tournament, finishing eighth at the US Women’s Open.
“I’m honored to receive the Rookie of the Year Award and join the prestigious list of past winners. This year has been unforgettable, and I take pride in what I’ve accomplished on the LPGA Tour,” expressed Ryu. “I’m forever grateful to my team and fans for their unwavering support in my debut season, and I eagerly anticipate closing out the year at the CME Group Tour Championship.”
The 22-year-old has already earned over $1.5 million this season, securing the 15th spot on the Official Money List for the year.
Successful Transition from Amateur Glory
Before making her mark on the LPGA Tour, Ryu participated in six Tour events, securing top-15 finishes at the 2020 US Women’s Open (T13) and the 2021 BMW Ladies Championship (T7). Her journey to success includes five victories on the KLPGA, where she claimed the Rookie of the Year title in 2020. As an amateur, Ryu won the Korean Women’s Amateur in 2018 and showcased her skills at events like the World Junior Girls Championship in 2016 and 2017, the Asian Games in 2018, and the Patsy Hankins Trophy in 2018.
The climax of Ryu’s rookie season will be marked by the presentation of the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award at the 2023 Rolex LPGA Awards ceremony on Thursday, November 16, at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Florida, during the week of the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.
Since its inception in 1962, the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award has become a harbinger of golfing greatness. Twelve past winners, including legends like Annika Sorenstam, Se Ri Pak, and Lorena Ochoa, have ascended to the hallowed halls of the LPGA Hall of Fame or the World Golf Hall of Fame. Hae Ran Ryu now adds her name to this illustrious list, etching her place in the annals of golf history.
Augusta National Golf Club was founded in 1932 as a men-only club and has hosted the prestigious US Masters tournament since 1934. Augusta National is considered one of the most elite clubs in the world with only about 300 members. Among them are personalities from the world’s wealthiest and most powerful businessmen. Women have only been admitted as members since 2012.
Annika Sorenstam becomes first female professional player to join US Masters venue
Multiple sources reported this week that Annika Sorenstam, a 72-time winner on the LPGA Tour, has been accepted as a member at Augusta National Golf Club. However, a spokesman for Augusta National Golf Club declined to comment, and Mike McGee, Sorenstam’s husband and manager, also declined to comment. Membership in Augusta National Golf Club has traditionally been considered a private matter, and the club has always sought to keep its membership list private.
Twenty years ago, women’s activist Martha Burk of the National Council of Women’s Organizations protested the lack of women members at Augusta National. Nearly a decade passed before Augusta National’s then-chairman Billy Payne added former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to the club in 2012. Other confirmed female members at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia include Heidi Ueberroth, co-chairwoman of Pebble Beach Co; former USGA President Diana Murphy; former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty; and Ana Botin, executive chairwoman of Santander Group. Golf legend Annika Sorenstam is now the first professional player to be inducted as a member of the country’s most prestigious golf club. Sorenstam has been a trailblazer for women’s golf. She has collected a total of 10 Major titles during her unique career. In 2008, she became the first woman to compete in a PGA Tour event since 1945 when she competed in the tournament then known as the Bank of America Colonial. When Augusta National Golf Club introduced the Augusta Women’s National Amateur in 2019, Sorenstam was one of the first starters.
“I wish we had done it sooner”
A decade after the first female members were admitted, Fred Ridley, the current club chairman, reflected on that decision during his pre-tournament press conference at the Masters. “I don’t know about you, but when anything happens or any idea that you had turns out well and you’re pleased about it, initiative, whatever, you might always say, well, why didn’t we do that sooner? And that’s a fair, that’s a fair thought. And so I wish – I wish we had have,” he said.
He added: “Women members are a very important part of our membership, and you will continue to see over the years, if you look, more green jackets that are women. I’m going to make sure of that.
“We have a number of women members who we are delighted are part of our organization. I think you know, certainly, who some of them are. They have been great contributors to our organization, both I would say substantively and things they are doing to help us, both with the Masters and otherwise.”
The Solheim Cup is the female counterpart to the Ryder Cup in professional golf. Since 1990, the best female golfers from Europe have squared off against their American counterparts every two years in teams of twelve players each.
Solheim Cup 2023
Solheim Cup 2023
22.09. – 24.09.2023
Finca Cortesin Golf Club, Spain
Team USA vs. Team Europe
Matchplay (Fourball / Foursome / Single Matches)
Solheim Cup 2023: Rules and format
In 1996, the Solheim Cup adopted the exact same format as the Ryder Cup. Over the course of three days, the tournament is played in a “woman-to-woman” format, comprising a total of 28 matches over 18 holes. Three different game formats are played over these three tournament days. On the first and second tournament days, there are a total of eight classic foursomes (alternate shot) and eight four-ball best-ball matches (fourballs). In these matches, two players from one team, appointed by the captain, compete against two players from the opposing team. On the final day, the competition culminates in singles matches, where it’s one-on-one.
On Friday and Saturday, four foursome matches are played. Here, the same ball is alternately played within a team of two until it’s holed. If one team takes fewer strokes than the opponent on a hole, they go “1 up.” If a team is ahead by more holes than there are remaining, the match ends before the 18th hole, and the winning team gets a point. If both teams have won an equal number of holes, the match is halved, and each team receives half a point.
On Friday and Saturday, four fourball matches are also played. In these matches, two European golfers face off against two American golfers in a foursome flight. However, unlike foursomes, all four players use their own balls. Only the best score per team is counted for each hole. Otherwise, the same rules as other match-play formats apply. Whether the days start with foursomes or fourballs is determined by the event organizer.
On Sunday, the Solheim Cup concludes with twelve singles matches. The order in which players from each team face representatives of the opposing team is determined by the respective captain. However, captains do not know in advance which players will face each other. The matchups are randomized by the captains’ selections, a process that also applies to foursomes and fourballs.
How the Solheim Cup is decided
For every victory in a match, the team earns a point, which contributes to the team’s overall score. If a match ends in a tie, both teams receive half a point. With a total of 28 matches, there are 28 points up for grabs. A team needs 14.5 points to win the Solheim Cup. In the event of a tie, the defending champions are declared the winners.
Golf’s first Major to be staged in continental Europe, The Amundi Evian Championship is a reference point in the women’s game. Nestled between the pristine shores of Lake Geneva and the majestic summits of the Alps, the Evian Resort Golf Club in France offers a venue befitting this Major championship and the talent of its field. Each year, the world’s finest players take on the Champions Course to showcase their exceptional skills, with this year’s edition held from 27–30 July.
The Success Story of the Amundi Evian Championship”
First played in 1994, the tournament has grown in stature year-on-year, constructing its own history. Rolex has been a Main Partner and Official Timekeeper at The Amundi Evian Championship since 2000, as part of a broad and enduring commitment to women’s golf that dates back to 1980, when the Swiss watchmaker became a partner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).
The Amundi Evian Championship has been the stage of many triumphs for Rolex Testimonees, including two-time champion Annika Sörenstam (2000, 2002). Widely regarded as one of the best golfers in the history of the women’s game, she set a benchmark of excellence to which the modern generation can aspire.
Reflecting on her experiences there, Annika Sörenstam said: “It was one of my favourite tournaments on the LPGA Tour. The championship showcases the incredibly beautiful landscapes of Evian-les-Bains and the quality of the services surrounding the golf is first class. The course requires great technical skill and control over your game. It is less about power and more about accuracy as the fairways are quite undulating.”
Seeking to emulate the Swede and win a second crown at Évian-les-Bains will be fellow Testimonee Brooke Henderson. The Canadian returns as defending champion, having captured the second Major title of her career last year, and in the process, becoming the first LPGA player to begin any Major with successive rounds of 64.
Speaking ahead of this year’s tournament, Brooke Henderson said: “Competing at any Major championship is always difficult – both physically and mentally. At The Amundi Evian Championship, the conditions are different to any other golf course due to the differing size of slopes which makes it a very challenging week. Despite this, I had a great strategy in 2022 which allowed me to go really far under par in the first two rounds which was really exciting. It was a dream come true to be able to push on and win the trophy on the Sunday afternoon. Winning my second Major championship was a really special moment and one that I will always remember. I am really looking forward to returning this year.”
Rolex’s Enduring Commitment to Women’s Golf
Other Testimonees to have triumphed at this visually stunning venue include Lydia Ko (2015), Suzann Pettersen (2013) and Anna Nordqvist (2017). Lydia Ko said: “The Amundi Evian Championship will always remain special to me as it is where I won my first Major championship. When I play at the event, I almost feel like I am playing in front of my family as the crowds are extremely supportive. It would be extremely special to join fellow Rolex Testimonee Annika Sörenstam as having won the tournament more than once. This is definitely a big motivation and I will try to achieve the feat at this year’s edition. I was proud of the way I played at the 2022 tournament but fellow Rolex Testimonee Brooke Henderson truly excelled and deserved the win.”
Rolex has been a committed partner of women’s golf for more than 40 years as part of one of the most successful relationships between a brand and sport. This enduring partnership contributes to the game’s development around the world. The Swiss watchmaker is part of the very fabric of golf and supports the game at all levels, including elite and legends of the game, Major championships – including all five women’s Majors – the foremost professional tours and the world’s leading team competitions, among them the Solheim Cup.
Built on a strong sense of integrity, respect for tradition that promotes the continuity of expertise and transfer of knowledge, and an appreciation of the importance to invest in the sport’s development for future generations, Rolex’s support also extends to amateur tournaments, international federations and organizations representing golfers of all ages.
Following her tie for 20th at the 2023 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Jin Young Ko remains at No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings for the 159th week in her career. Ko has now outlasted Lorena Ochoa’s record of 158 weeks at Rolex Rankings No. 1, which Ochoa held consecutively from April 2007 to May 2010.
Ko has held the No. 1 position five different times since April 2019. With her sixth consecutive week since May 2023, she now sits on top of the record list ahead of notable names including Lydia Ko (125 weeks), Yani Tseng (109 weeks), Inbee Park (106 weeks) and Annika Sorenstam (61 weeks).
Weeks at No. 1
Jin Young Ko
Sung Hyun Park
So Yeon Ryu
Jin Young Ko only one of five Koreans at the top of the world rankings
At 27 years old, Ko has the most career weeks at Rolex Rankings No. 1 by a player from the Republic of Korea. She is one of five Korean players to hold the No. 1 position, alongside Inbee Park (106 weeks), Jiyai Shin (25 weeks), Sung Hyun Park (20 weeks) and So Yeon Ryu (19 weeks).
“It’s an honor people saying with Lorena and me in the same sentence. It makes me happy, but also it makes me humble,” said Ko, who has had Ochoa’s long-time caddie Dave Brooker on her bag for most of her time at Rolex Rankings No. 1. “It’s great to honor, to stand with Lorena.”
In 2023, Ko has claimed victories at the HSBC Women’s World Championship and the Cognizant Founders Cup. In addition, she has four top-15 finishes this year, most recently at the inaugural Mizuho Americas Open, and represented the Republic of Korea in this year’s Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown.
She currently ranks third in greens in regulation (75%), fifth in scoring average (69.34) and sixth in birdies (140) on the LPGA Tour for the 2023 season. In addition to being the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings No. 1, she also sits on top of the leaderboard in the Race to the CME Globe, an honor she previously won in 2020 and 2021.
Jin Young Ko’s achievements
A 15-time champion on the LPGA Tour, Ko has captured major titles at The Chevron Championship and Amundi Evian Championship in 2019. Just a year prior, she became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the 2018 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in her first event as an LPGA Tour member. Before her career on the LPGA Tour, she won 10 times on the KLPGA Tour and won the LPGA Tour’s 2017 LPGA KEB-Hana Bank Championship as a non-member.
Ko won Rolex Player of the Year in honors in 2019 and 2021 and was the 2018 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year. In 2019, she won the Vare Trophy, which is given to the player with the season’s lowest scoring average. That same year, she also won the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award, which is given to the player with the season’s best overall performance in major championships.
The enthusiasm of the title sponsor and the local community is bringing the Chevron Championship to a brand-new venue, The Club Carlton Woods, in The Woodlands, Texas. Just a few weeks before the start of this first major of the year, the excitement of Chevron and its employees, the members and staff of Carlton Woods, and the residents of The Woodlands is setting the stage for a memorable LPGA event.
The Chevron Championship and the Woodlands seek to raise the bar for women’s golf
“It was really a natural fit as we looked at our portfolio of external engagements in the sports area. This is a real opportunity for us to raise the bar with women’s tournaments,” said Josetta Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Chevron, which became the new title sponsor of the former ANA Inspiration through a six-year relationship with the LPGA that began in 2022.
Jones, born and raised in the Houston area –and moving back to Texas after a period in California– will join a large Chevron employee base in the area, eager to volunteer and attend the tournament with their families and children.
“As a large Fortune 500 company we support women; we supportwomen athletics.Given the gravitas of this event and what it has done for women’s golf, we want to show that we are equally as committed to being the next chapter for this major,” added Jones about the history of a tournament with 14 champions inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame.
Hosting a major tournament is an extreme honor for the Club at Carlton Woods and the Woodlands
According to Stacy Lewis, another Houston native and winner of the Chevron Championship in 2011 (then Kraft Nabisco), “the members and the club management at Carlton Woods are thrilled to have been chosen to host a Major Championship. Having the support of both the club and The Woodlands community will be crucial to establishing this as a wonderful major venue for the new era ahead.”
For Lewis, captain of the 2023 and 2024 U.S. Solheim Cup Teams, who will be participating in her sixteenth Chevron Championship from April 20-23, “being able to compete in a major in front of my friends, family and community is pretty special.”
Hosting a major championship is no small feat, but The Club at Carlton Woods seems to be the perfect stage for the next chapter of the LPGA’s first major of the season.
“We are just excited to hopefully bring more women out to watch the tournament and kind of grow their interest in the game. Since we heard that the tournament was coming officially here, we have been bragging because we are proud to have it at this location,” said Marissa Brandsburg, a LPGA Class A Professional at Carlton Woods.
Dr. Ann K. Snyder, The Woodlands Township Chairman, echoes the pride and anticipation among the community.
“We appreciate the confidence in The Woodlands with this world-renowned tournament and the highly supportive activities of women’s and girl’s golf associated with the tournament. Our residents and businesses are looking forward to making our township the most favorite place on tour,” said Dr. Snyder.
Cindy Bryson, Coordinator for Volunteers and Player Housing for IMG, one of the three tournament organizers –along with the LPGA and Chevron— celebrates how the residents are putting that excitement into action.
“The enthusiasm from the community to get involved and support The Chevron Championship has made my work a wonderful experience.As a 37-year resident, I am so proud to see the huge appetite to embrace this women’s major,” said Bryson.
“The Woodlands is a great location for all types of sporting events, and it is really exciting for us to have something of this caliber,” said Elizabeth Eddins, Executive Director of Visit The Woodlands, highlighting some of the main local attractions: 220 miles of pathways, Market Street high-end shopping, and dining along the waterway.
“We have a lot of women in leadership in The Woodlands and I think it is just kind of the right time to have this type of event,” added Eddins about The Chevron Championship, which will coincide with the Ironman Americas Championship on April 22 nd.
If there’s one thing that can be said about this new major championship location, it’s that The Woodlands will fully embrace and celebrate the best women golfers in the world with its streets and trails full of sports fans, visitors and athletes golfing, cycling, running, walking the trails, and riding the free trolley to their favorite store and restaurant along the waterways. (text: LPGA Women’s Network)
Lydia Ko will probably have to put up a new wardrobe at home in Orlando – with all the trophies she brings home from the CME Group Tour Championship: the glass globe for winning the LPGA final tournament, the silver bowl of the Vare Trophy, the “Player of the Year” awards and everything else the 25-year-old was presented with at the Tiburon Golf Club in Naples. “The winner takes it all,” ABBA once warbled. But despite the record check for two million dollars and a total of 4,364,403 dollars for three victories and a total of seven top-five finishes since the Amundi Evian Championship in July, the most successful prize money season of all time didn’t work out. Lorena Ochoa was “better” by $591 in 2007.
“She’s made peace with herself”
But money, as we all know, isn’t everything. Especially when the “main prize” is standing on the edge of the 18th green: Ko’s fiancé Jun Chung. “He makes me smile, motivates and inspires me to become a better person and a better player,” says the New Zealander. “Since she met him, she has made peace with herself,” confirms her sister Sura.
Lydia Ko and Jun Chung have been a couple for almost two years, writing letters to each other for six months until the Corona pandemic allowed the first real date. Meanwhile, Chung, who lives in San Francisco, is the son of a Hyundai manager, works in the finance department of the Korean car company and first had to Google his new pen pal’s golf career, had taken up golf himself. On December 30, the two will marry in Kos and Chung’s native Seoul.
But after that, not much will change, says Chung, who likes to stay out of the camera’s focus: “She’ll keep playing. I don’t want to get involved in that. I want ‘Lyds’ to give all she can in the time she has ahead of her at this top level.” In turn, she says, “Since I’ve been with him, I want to make better use of the time I have to work on my game. To then be able to really enjoy the time off. I feel like that helps me train better and focus more.”
Three “meager” years already count as a crisis there
Time is the key word in every sense of the word for change, for the development of exceptional golfer Lydia Ko, who began as a teenage sensation, won her first professional tournament at 14, became the youngest tour winner in LPGA history at 15 years, four months and two days at the Canadian Open in August 2012, was number one in the world amateur rankings for 130 weeks and won her first professional tournament at the age of 18. Before the age of 20, she had already won two majors and the silver medal in golf’s Olympic comeback, and now has 19 LPGA victories to her name.
With such a golfing career, three years, the period between July 2016 and April 2021, with only one tournament title and a drop to 46th in the world rankings, can seem like a sporting crisis: “When you’re not playing so well, you have these weaker moments that feel so long. All too often, she has linked her existence exclusively to the numbers on the scorecard, identifying herself by her results on the golf course, Ko admits self-critically and unapologetically.
Interviewer rendered speechless
As bluntly as she spoke in June about her menstrual cramps and their effects on her back muscles (“It’s that times of the month”) after asking for medical help during the round – which literally left the interviewer from the “Golf Channel” speechless.
Equally candid, she says Jun Chung has given her “a new outlook on golf and life”: “How he perceives me doesn’t depend on my performance on the course.” And that’s precisely why “above all, I really wanted to win the BMW Ladies Championship last month in both our motherland, South Korea, with him by my side.” Mission accomplished. If Rosamunde Pilcher had written this plot, the whole world would have called it kitsch.
“You played better when you were 15”
So be it. From Ko’s point of view, the balance in her life has never been better. Without the period of the so-called form crisis, “I probably wouldn’t have the attitude I have today,” she says after her first season of multiple wins since 2016. “I feel like I matured a lot during that time.” And then isn’t fazed by a “You played better when you were 15” comment from her mother Tina: “What am I supposed to do with that information?” After nine years on the tour, you act differently, you’re simply more experienced, more familiar with the processes and conditions.
“Experience is the reason why some players play successfully on the tour for 15, 20 years. They hit their balls and know what’s going to happen. That comes naturally over time. Experience is like having a 15th club in the bag.”
On and off the court – starting with training on “more different types of grass than you can name in the same breath,” grins the new world number two behind Nelly Korda. “I used to play up liberated because I was young and clueless. Today I’m freer because I’ve learned to take things as they come and deal with them.”
Soon to be youngest Hall of Fame member
No question, the former child prodigy has grown up. And will probably soon become even the youngest member “ever” in the LPGA Hall of Fame. Until now, or since 2016, this privilege has gone to Inbee Park, who had to turn 27 to become a member. Ko, meanwhile, is only two points short.
In a breakthrough moment in the history of women’s sports, the athletes of the LPGA Tour, the world’s leading destination for female professional golfers, will compete for more than $101 million in official purses in 2023. The LPGA today announced that the 2023 schedule will comprise 33 official events, with a total official prize fund of $101.4 million, along with the biennial playings of the Solheim Cup and the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown.
“Because of our athletes, partners, volunteers and incredible fans, 2023 will be a banner year for the LPGA Tour,” said LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan. “The schedule features new events, elevated purses, unique formats and world-class golf courses. Our athletes are playing for more total prize money than any time in history, and we have over 500 hours of broadcast television. All those things combine to make the LPGA the leading women’s professional sports property in the world. The LPGA Tour has never had better or more committed partners who see the commercial value in investing in women’s sports and who understand how their partnerships elevate women and girls on and off the golf course. As the home to the world’s best female golfers, the LPGA provides a platform to inspire young girls and women to dream big.”
The 2023 global schedule will take the LPGA Tour to 11 states across the United States and 12 countries and regions. Starting with the annual season kickoff at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, the Tour will visit Asia before heading to Superstition Mountain Golf Club in Gold Canyon, Ariz., for the fifth playing of the LPGA Drive On Championship. Superstition Mountain, the home club for numerous LPGA Tour stars, hosted the 2004-2008 Safeway International, with a Hall-of-Fame list of winners in Annika Sorenstam (2004, 2005), Juli Inkster (2006) and Lorena Ochoa (2007, 2008).
The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas, will make its debut as host of The Chevron Championship, the first women’s major of the season, with a newly elevated purse of $5.1 million. The following week, the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro will join the Tour schedule at Wilshire Golf Club in Los Angeles, boasting a $3 million purse.
New Jersey will host four events in 2023, starting with the Cognizant Founders Cup at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, the LPGA Tour’s annual celebration of the past, present and future of the women’s game. The Mizuho Americas Open at Jersey City’s Liberty National Golf Club will include 24 elite female amateurs competing in a concurrent AJGA Invitational, playing alongside their professional heroes. The Bay Course at Seaview in Atlantic City will host the 35th playing of the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer, and the swing through the Garden State will end with a minimum $9 million purse at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, just the second elite women’s competition to be held on the Lower Course at the famed Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield.
Two weeks later, the U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica will bring female professional golfers to Pebble Beach for the first time, adding a new page to a history book that includes seven men’s majors. Players will compete for at least $10 million at one of the country’s most popular venues.
In July and August, the Tour will make its usual swing through Europe, opening in France with the Amundi Evian Championship and its $6.5 million purse. The AIG Women’s Open, which will be contested with a purse of at least $7.3 million, will take place at Walton Heath, host venue for the 1981 Ryder Cup. The LPGA Tour will then compete across the United States and Canada before heading back to Asia for the month of October.
2023’s competitive schedule will culminate with back-to-back events along the Southwestern Florida coast. THE ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican, featuring a purse of $3.25 million, will welcome 72-time LPGA Tour winner Annika Sorenstam as the official tournament host. Finally, the season will end at Tiburon Golf Club for the CME Group Tour Championship, with the winner receiving $2 million, the largest single prize in the history of women’s golf.
The 2023 season will also feature two exhilarating team competitions. The Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown, a team match-play competition that showcases the best female golfers from the top eight countries across the globe, will return to the LPGA Tour calendar for the first time since 2018
and will be held at San Francisco’s famed TPC Harding Park on May 4-7. And on Sept. 22-24, the Solheim Cup, featuring the 12 best U.S. players versus the 12 best European players, will be held at Finca Cortesin in Spain.
The AIG Women’s Open will visit the Surrey venue for the first time in 2023 with the renowned layout having previously hosted the Ryder Cup, British Masters and The Senior Open presented by Rolex.
Taking place just outside London, a number of new ticket offers have been launched to entice fans in to enjoying the most international major in women’s golf.
Fans will now be able to watch the players practising on Wednesday 9 August with Practice Day tickets available to purchase along with Thursday to Sunday Championship Day tickets.
Ticket prices will start at £30 for an adult on Championship Days and from £10 on Practice Days, with this launch offer available for a limited time only.
“Delighted to play at Walton Heath”
Zoe Ridgway, Championship Director – AIG Women’s Open at The R&A said, “We are delighted to be playing the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath in 2023. As we return to the South-East for the first time in four years our goal is to make the Championship as accessible as possible for everyone.
“We are anticipating rising levels of interest and demand to attend the AIG Women’s Open and we have introduced Wednesday Practice Day tickets to offer fans even more opportunities to watch their favourite players in this world-class major championship.”
A number of offers are also available, including a £10 discount when booking a weekend bundle and a saving of £30 when booking the new five-day ticket offering.
Mastercard holders are also eligible for £10 off their ticket purchase when booking between 21-29 November 2022 as part of The R&A’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers.
To encourage children and young people to attend the AIG Women’s Open, The R&A will continue the successful ‘Kids go Free’ programme, which provides children under-16-years-old free entry to the Championship when accompanied by a paying adult. Half-price youth tickets are also available for 16-24-year-olds.
Hospitality packages are also on general sale, offering an unrivalled way to experience the Championship in which guests can enjoy over 10 hours of world-class action and fully inclusive hospitality. Visit www.aigwomensopen.com/hospitality/heathlandsuite for further information.
The LPGA Tour announced today that Atthaya Thitikul has earned the 2022 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award. Thitikul, who has two victories this season – the JTBC Classic presented by Barbasol and the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G – has clinched the honor after finishing in a tie for 10th at last week’s TOTO Japan Classic. Thitikul has earned 1,537 points and holds an insurmountable 250-point lead over Hye-Jin Choi, who withdrew from the Pelican Women’s Championship, with two events remaining in the 2022 season.
Thitikul is the second consecutive player from Thailand to earn Rookie of the Year honors and third overall, joining Patty Tavatanakit (2021) and Moriya Jutanugarn (2013).
LPGA Tour: Rookie of the Year
“It is such an honor to win the Rookie of the Year award, especially being the second consecutive player from Thailand to win this honor,” said Thitikul. “I’m happy to have made my home country proud. My rookie year has been really fun and memorable, but we still have a long way to go.”
The 19-year-old first earned LPGA Tour Membership after she finished third at LPGA Q-Series in 2021. In March, Thitikul became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the JTBC Classic when she defeated Nanna Koerstz Madsen in a playoff at Aviara Golf Club. She earned her second Tour title in September, beating Danielle Kang with birdie on the second playoff hole to win the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Along with her two victories, Thitikul has 13 additional top-10 finishes this season, including a solo fourth at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, a tie for eighth at the Amundi Evian Championship and a tie for seventh at the AIG Women’s Open.
In a rookie year to the world’s best
Thitikul recently ascended to No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings on Oct. 31, becoming just the second Thai player to ever do so alongside Ariya Jutanugarn. With two events left, she is currently second in the Race to CME Globe standings (2,690.127 points), third in scoring average (69.435) and tied for third in the Rolex Player of the Year standings (130 points), 20 points behind leader Lydia Ko. Thitikul is leading the LPGA Tour in both birdies (392) and top-10 finishes (15), is fifth on the season’s Official Money List ($2,110,142) and is tied for third in strokes gained total (1.950). She is also tied for fourth in eagles made this season (11).
Thitikul turned professional in 2020 after a stellar amateur career that saw her become the youngest person ever to win a professional tournament at the 2017 Ladies European Thailand Championship at 14 years, 4 months and 19 days. She also won the 2019 Ladies European Thailand Championship as an amateur.
Prior to joining the LPGA Tour, Thitikul won the Race to Costa del Sol, Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year honors in 2021 on the Ladies European Tour, joining Dame Laura Davies, Carlota Ciganda and Esther Henseleit as the only players to win the Race to Costa del Sol and Rookie of the Year in the same season. She is the youngest-ever winner of the Race to Costa del Sol at 18 years, 9 months and 8 days.
Thitikul will receive the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award at the 2022 Rolex LPGA Awards ceremony, to be held Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Fla. during the week of the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.
Since its inception in 1962, 12 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year winners have become members of either the LPGA Hall of Fame or World Golf Hall of Fame: Susie Maxwell Berning (1964), Joanne Carner (1970), Jan Stephenson (1974), Amy Alcott (1975), Nancy Lopez (1978), Beth Daniel (1979), Patty Sheehan (1981), Juli Inkster (1984), Annika Sorenstam (1994), Karrie Webb (1996), Se Ri Pak (1998) and Lorena Ochoa (2003).