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Jutanugarn tipped to win British Open


This week's Rico Women's British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England is going to be an all-Asian battle - if the British bookmakers have got their sums right.

At 9-1 their favorite is the Thai star Ariya Jutanugarn, winner last week of the Women's Scottish Open, with Korean or Korean-born golfers and Jutanugarns's eldest sister, Moriya (at 28/1), making up the rest of the bookies top five picks.

Along with the Jutanugarns, the other three are South Koreans Ko Jin-Yeon at 16/1 and former World No 1 Park In-bee and the Korean-born Australian Minjee Lee, both listed at 18/1. 

The top 20 bookie picks include only six full-blown Westerners with Spain's Carlota Ciganda top of the pile in 6th place at 25/1 and Canada's Brook Henderson just behind her at 28/1.

US star Lexi Thompson has withdrawn from the championship, stating on Instagram that she needed a break to recharge her mental batteries after a difficult year on and off the golf course and it has left only veteran Christie Kerr at 30/1, Jessica Korda at 40/1 and Lizette Salas at 45/1 flying the American flag among the bookies top 20 picks.

If you add her excellent victory in some really fierce winds at the Gullane Links last week to the fact that she has already won the British Open (in 2016), World No 1 Ariya Jutanugarn is a no-brainer as the favorite to win at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

Teeing off at Gullane last week, Ariya had been apprehensive about playing links golf, especially when the wind gets up, but came away with the title and her confidence boosted sky high having combatted both the wind and the peculiarities of links golf better than her rivals.  

The wind will blow some more this week, but not as strongly as it did at Gullane. On-shore breezes growing stronger throughout each day are forecast to get up to around 19 mph on all but Sunday when sees it staying below 12 mph. 

There could also be some lingering light rain on Thursday and a spot of it on Friday, but skill, temperament and the ability to stay cool under pressure should count for much more than the weather this week and in the circumstances there can be no argument that Jutanugarn is going to be the one to beat.

On the other hand, a victory for the Thai young gun is no foregone conclusion. Not in a major field contain as much talent as this one. 

To be sure, she is going to have to work hard and wisely to hold of the likes of Minjee Lee, who finished second to her at Gullane, Ko Jin-Yeon who was third and even Ciganda who made it into the top five after being the only golfer in the field to break par in all four rounds.

(Tuesday, a.m. July 31, 2018)

Ariya Jutanugarn (Tha)9/1
Ko Jin-yeon (KOR) 16/1            
Minjee Lee (AUS) 18/1    
Park In-bee (KOR) 18/1                 
Moriya Jutanugarn (THA) 28/1            
Carlota Ciganda (ESP) 25/1
Brooke M Henderson (CAN) 28/1                
Kim In-kyung (KOR) 28/1        
Kim Sei-young (KOR) 30/1                
Shanshan Feng (CHN) 33/1            
Park Sung-hyun (KOR) 28/1                
Cristie Kerr (USA) 30/1                
Amy Yang (KOR) 35/1                
Jessica Korda (USA)40/1        
Lydia Ko (NZL)40/1                
Nasa Hataoka (JAP)33/1    
Anna Nordqvist (SWE) 35/1                
Chun  In-gee (KOR) 45/1                    
Lizette Salas (USA) 45/1. 

To place a bet on the upcoming tournament visit, BetWay

Neville Leck

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