MI JUNG Hur fired a five-under par 66 – the joint lowest round of the day – to earn a four-stroke victory in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, at The Renaissance Club.
The 29-year-old South Korean, who led by two at the halfway stage of the tournament after a nine-under par 62, came from a stroke back entering the final round to win with a 20-under total in wet conditions at North Berwick.
Despite having set the tournament scoring record after two rounds, and having earned a runner-up finish in the event at Dundonald two years ago, Hur revealed she had never previously been a fan of links golf.
“Actually, I don’t like links courses, but after this week, I love them,” said Hur, whose neon yellow waterproofs were decorated with the slogan “Win at all costs.”
Hur claimed her first LPGA Tour victory as a rookie in 2009 and then another five years ago in 2014.
Five years had passed since her last title and it was her first victory after getting married last year.
Mi Jung thanked her Scottish caddie Gary Marshall for helping to keep her clubs and balls dry – and for encouragement throughout the severe and changeable conditions over the four days.
Hur revealed: “On the first day, I made a birdie and then two bogeys. Then Gary told me on the fourth hole, come on MJ, you can win this.
“He said that again today – again on the fourth tee after I’d just made a three-putt – so that helped a lot.”
Hur began her final round with a bogey on the third hole and trailed after eight holes.
But she made her first birdie of the day on the par-three ninth, sinking a putt from six feet, to enter a four-way tie for the lead.
After making her fourth straight birdie putt, from just inside 30 feet, on the par-five 12th hole, the Texas-based professional felt she could win the tournament.
She made another great putt from five feet on the 16th to grab a three-stroke advantage – and then polished off the round with her sixth birdie of the day on the 18th.
US Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6, who shot a final round of 70, and third-round leader Moriya Jutanugarn (71) tied for second position on 16-under, with 2017 Scottish Open champion Mi Hyang Lee a stroke back in fourth place.
Thailand’s defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn was two shots further adrift in fifth.
With a tie for sixth, alongside Minjee Lee and Elizabeth Szokol, Holland’s Anne Van Dam moved up to second on the LET Solheim Cup points list.
The host nation’s hopes had rested on Carly Booth, who was tied for ninth and won the Douglas Lowe Memorial Trophy as the top performing Scot in the tournament, after a final round 71.
Open raises £9k for Dementia UK
DEMENTIA UK, who provide specialist dementia support for families through its Admiral Nurse service, benefited to the tune of £9,050 as the Official Charity of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club this week.
Part of that figure came from a ‘birdie pledge’ initiative, backed by the title sponsors whereby every birdie and eagle made by the professionals resulted in £5 and £10 being contributed to the fundraising tally
The scheme raised £7,566, with 1,339 birdies and 43 eagles being made across the four tournament days.
An additional three-hole-in-ones – by Laura Davies, Cajsa Persson and Jacqui Concolino – contributed an additional £441 with £1 being donated for every yard of the tee shot holed.
The birdie pledge contribution combined with the sale of daily prize draw raffle tickets and donations for official draw sheets, contributed close to £1,500 to the total amount.
The remainder was raised through kind gestures made at Dementia UK’s exhibition stand in the tournament village.
Dementia UK’s director of fundraising Martin Bishop said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone at Aberdeen Standard Investments and everyone involved in the Ladies Scottish Open and the staff at The Renaissance Club for supporting Dementia UK and raising this great amount.
“The Ladies Scottish Open is a fantastic event with some spectacular golf on a superb course and the money raised through everyone’s passion and dedication is simply amazing.
“The funds raised will go a long way in helping families facing dementia through our specialist Admiral Nurse service and our national Dementia Helpline.”