Summer is almost with us! That means the golf season is already in full swing, with twelve consecutive weeks of action beginning at the start of May for the ladies. Four of the five LPGA major championships take place over the summer, making it by far the busiest period of the year for the sport. Golf is also enjoying increased popularity among ladies, particularly in the younger generation, due to a combination of reasons. The sport’s Olympic Games return at Rio 2016 after a 112-year absence is said to have had an impact, while the raft of youthful players taking over at the top of the world rankings are giving golf more appeal. It’s becoming cool! So, if you’re intending switching on over the coming months, we’ve picked five players to watch out for.
The achievements New Zealand’s Lydia Ko has accomplished in her young career are too numerous to list. However, chief among them is probably her rise to world No.1 at the tender age of 17 years 9 months and 8 days in February 2015, making her the youngest player of either gender to ever earn that ranking. She has struggled a little in 2017 but remains the player to beat and she’ll be eager to go one better than her runner-up finish from last year’s Women’s PGA Championship when the players tee off at the end of June.
So Yeon Ryu
At 26 years of age, Ryu is something of an elder stateswoman among the others in this list. Nevertheless, she’s Ko’s closest challenger for the No.1 ranking and has started 2017 well. Her victory at the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California was her first major triumph since 2011 and confirmed her resurgence following a coach change at the end of 2015. With Ko stuttering a little of late, Ryu certainly looks ready to pounce should the Kiwi slip up.
A controversial rules breach cost Thompson the ANA Inspiration title in April, but that runner-up finish coupled with victory at the LPGA Kingsmill Championship a month later show that she’s heading into the summer in fine fettle. Her win in Virginia also included a tournament record 20-under-par score! The 22-year-old hasn’t won a major since 2014, but her recent form and current ranking of fourth make her a real contender this summer.
Canada’s sole representative in the top 50, Henderson was ranked as high as second after winning the 2016 Women’s PGA Championship. She has since slipped to 14th, but at the tender age of 19, she’s still got plenty of time left! The Ontario native hasn’t been able to replicate her form from early 2016 this year just yet, only breaking the top 10 in two of her first 10 events. However, she showed what she’s capable of when winning the PGA Championship and the confident teenager will relish defending her crown.
Great Britain’s highest-ranked player at No.18 in the world, Hull looks destined to have a bright future. She became the Solheim Cup’s youngest player ever during the 2013 edition and tied for second at the ANA Inspiration in 2016. She’s yet to finish higher than 12th in any other major, but her 10-place climb in the rankings over the last year proves she’s found her groove and might just spring a surprise or two this summer.
Nothing stokes your inner golfing desires quite like watching two brilliant players go head-to-head for a major championship. But, let’s be honest, they make it look way easier than it actually is! You’ve got every chance of slicing your first tee shot over the golf course’s outer perimeter and smashing someone’s window! The Insurance Emporium’s Portrush cover level offers up to £5,000 of Accidental Property Damage, potentially letting you tee off on the course without worrying about paying for repairs to a disgruntled local’s greenhouse.
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