English golfer Justin Rose returned to the World #1 ranking, defending his Turkish Airlines Open title after winning a playoff over Li Haotong on Sunday. Justin had briefly held the top spot in September this year as well as claiming the season-long FedEx Cup Playoffs and the $US10million prize. He was also runner-up at the Open Championship at Scotland’s Carnoustie Golf Links and was part of Europe’s Ryder Cup winning team in Paris a week later to round off a very successful month.
Justin won his maiden major – the US Open – at the Merioneth’s Golf Club in Pennsylvania in 2013 and has finished second twice at the Masters in 2015 and 2017 and was T3 at the 2012 PGA Championship. At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiroo he won the gold medal.
I sent this drawing to Justin while he was competing in the Scottish Open at the Gullane Golf Club in July this year, where he kindly signed and dedicated it for me.
Dusseldorf-born professional golfer Sandra Gal began playing the sport at the age of six and competed in her first competitive round at 14. The 6′ tall 33 year-old German turned professional in 2008 after a stellar amateur career and qualified for the LPGA tour on the first attempt. In 2011 she won the Kia Classic and was a member of the successful European Solheim Cup team that same year. Sandra resides in Florida and annually hosts the Sandra Gal Charity Challenge benefiting Volunteers of America. Away from golf she models, paints and plays the violin.
I sent this sketch to Sandra during the 2017 British Women’s Golf Open at the Kingsbarnes Links in Fife, Scotland, which she signed and dedicated for me.
British golfer Charley Hull is one of the rising stars on the women’s International golf scene. Introduced to the game at the age of two, the twenty-one year old turned professional in 2013, becoming the youngest player to compete in the Solheim Cup. She was part of the first European squad to win on US soil and was named Rookie of the Year She was also voted Best Newcomer by the Sports Journalists Association. In 2014 Charley became a champion on the European circuit before the age of 18 and was named the European Ladies Player of the Year. Last year she won the prestigious season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. Charley signed this sketch for me while competing at the Scottish Open at the Dundonald Links in Ayr in July.
Twenty-two year old American professional golfer Lexi Thompson is currently ranked Number 3 in the world. When she was 12 she was the youngest golfer ever to qualify for the US Women’s Open and in 2011 she become the youngest winner of an LPGA Tournament collecting the Navistar LPGA Classic title at sixteen years of age. Four years later Lexi won her first Major at the Nabisco Championships. She also finished in the top three at two other majors in 2015 with a second at the Evian and a third at the PGA. I sent this drawing to Lexi at this year’s British Women’s Open at the Kingsbarnes Golf Links in Fife, Scotland and it came back signed.
Champion golfer In Gee Chun, who is also known as Chun In-gee is South Korean, as are most of the planet’s champion women’s golfers. The 22 year-old, who turned professional in 2012, won the US Open at the Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania in 2015, coming from behind to post four birdies on the last seven holes to win by one stroke over fellow Korean Amy Yang. She was also tied for 2nd place at this year’s ANA Inspiration major tournament in Rancho Mirage, California. For a nice bit of symmetry, she is currently ranked number 8 in the world, with an eight place finish, scoring eight under par at the British Open in Milton Keynes a couple of weeks ago, where she signed this sketch.
Last time I posted a sketch of Korean-born New Zealand golf sensation Lydia Ko was in July 2014, which she signed for me during the Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale. At that time, it was her first year as a professional and she was already ranked number two, without winning a major title. She also wore her distinctive glasses.
Now Lydia is number one, a position she reached last February at the age of 17, becoming the youngest golfer, male or female to attain that distinction in the professional game. She has also won two majors, The Evian Championship in France with a record closing round of 63, which is the the lowest score in final round to win a major and this year’s ANA Inspiration at the Mission Hills Country Club in California. She nearly made it three in a row, being piped in a play-off by Brooke Henderson at the Women’s PGA in April.
Not surprisingly she is also the youngest player to win both a major and two majors.
Last week Lydia returned to the UK for the British Open at the Woburn Golf Club prior to representing NZ at the Rio Olympics and signed this updated drawing – minus her distinctive specs – for me.
Current world number three, eighteen year-old Brooke Henderson became the youngest player to win the Women’s PGA golf championship in June this year when she beat fellow teenage sensation and top-ranked Lydia Ko in a sudden death play-off at Washington’s Sahalee Country Club. The ‘Canadian phenom’ as her local newspaper describes her, was 18 years, 9 months and 2 days, which makes her the second-youngest ever to win one of the LPGA’s five major tournaments, behind Lydia, who won the Evian Championship last year aged 18 years, 4 months and 20 days.
She played the British Open last week at the Woburn Golf Club, just outside London, where she signed this drawing for me.
Continuing my sketches of South Korean outstanding women golfers is Na Yeon Choi.
The 28 year old is currently ranked 18th in the world and won the 2012 US Open – her first major championship. She was also runner up in the British Open the following year. She signed my sketch at this year’s event at Turnery in Scotland.
Ryu So-Yeon is also known as So Yeon Ryu and is also known as one of the many, many top women’s golfers from South Korea dominating the LPGA at the moment.
Currently ranked 5th in the world, she won the US Open in 2011 and finished third at this year’s British Open at the Trump Turnberry Course in Scotland, where she signed my sketch for me.
Golf clubs to golfers are kind of like pens to graphers…reasonably essential. Former World Number 1 and two-time major winner, American golfer Stacy Lewis arrived in Scotland in July for this years British Women’s Open Championship minus her clubs. British Airways had misplaced them…then told her it would take 24 hours to find…then she and her caddie had to make the 300-plus mile trek to London to collect them….then they got a flat tyre. In all of this however the 30 year-old star of the LPGA and currently third in the rankings, still had the good-nature and more importantly a pen to sign this sketch for me.