What a breath of fresh air! Hinako Shibuno is the “smiling Cinderella”
We tuned into the coverage of the Women’s British Open for Ashleigh (Simon) Buhai as she was on form to be our first major winner since Sally Little. She led the Women’s British open after 36 holes with outstanding scores of 65 and 67, Playing the final round with Hinako, Ashleigh fought to within a shot of the lead on 15-under before Hinako closed the door for good with a birdie on the last. But even with her best effort and best-ever major finish, it wasn’t to be her day.
What we all witnessed, as golf fans, was the sheer pleasure and joy on the face of Hinako Shibuno as she played flawlessly to victory in the Women’s British Open. How does someone playing in her first event outside of her home country, Japan, shake off a 4-putt on the 3rd hole and 1-over par 37 on the front nine to fire on all cylinders on the back nine for 31? In the process, she made fans of all of us; even Ashleigh raised her arms in delight as her fellow-competitor took the back of the cup out for birdie on the last and a one-shot victory.
From Twitter to Instagram to the media stories, the most common words used were “a breath of fresh air” as she smiled her way to her first major. Ashleigh may now have the confidence to go from strength to strength and build on her strong finish.
I love watching women’s golf – they get everything out of their swings!
from the LPGA…
Women’s British OPEN
Woburn Golf Club (Marquess Course) | Milton Keynes, England | Aug. 1-4, 2019
Hometown/Resides: Okayama Prefecture, Japan
Birthdate: Nov. 15, 1998; currently 20 years, 8 months and 20 days
LPGA: First career victory
JLPGA: Two victories
ROLEX ANNIKA MAJOR AWARD
With her win, Shibuno earns 60 points and becomes eligible to win the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award (Jin Young Ko clinched the award with her third-place finish)
With her win, Shibuno earns $675,000
With her win, Shibuno is eligible for LPGA Tour Membership; she can accept immediate Membership, which would count 2019 as her rookie season, or take Membership for the 2020 season
Shibuno is the second Japanese player to win a women’s major championship, joining Chako Higuchi, who won the 1977 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship; no male player has won a professional major championship
She is playing in her first LPGA Tour event and for the first time ever outside of Japan
She is the 26th non-LPGA Member to win an LPGA Tour event and the first since Jin Young Ko won the 2017 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship
She is the second player this decade to win in her major debut, joining Hyo Koo Kim (2014 Evian Championship)
Shibuno is in her rookie year on the JLPGA Tour after spending 2018 on the tour’s developmental Step Up Tour
In May, she won the World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup, a major on the JLPGA Tour, and added a second victory in July at the Shiseido Anessa Ladies Open
More than four years ago, Thinus Keller arrived on the scene as our head professional. Pedantic, by definition, he was my perfect right-hand man giving me the confidence that he was paying close attention to the detail and the consistent running of the day to day operation. Normally, my procedure is to watch my professionals grow and then, when they have their skillsets in place, offer them to the golfing world bringing sound business acumen and leadership to the job (in our case, passion). Thinus has really grown to a point where that would be possible, but I have changed my tune. His knowledge makes him an ongoing asset here, leading a golf team who provide the best golf experience in SA and beyond.
TK with our team and National Boy’s Champion, Jordan Duminy
His peers agree with me by selecting him as the Southern and Eastern Cape PGA Professional of the Year. He is now eligible for the National award. He is a hard worker, loyal and dedicated to St Francis Links, our members and all who come here. He leads by example – if anything, struggling to delegate tasks that he knows he will do best himself. A good husband and father of two great kids, Thinus and Hayley, TK spends his spare time with them.
He will be a great PGA Professional wherever he goes, but, for now, he is going nowhere!
For more than 25 years, I have a group of friends who hail from NORN IRON (Northern Ireland). For more than 15 years, I have looked after another group from there. And for the last 1o years or so, we have friends here where he, Keith, came from there as well. So, when it was announced back in about 2015 that The OPEN was going to Royal Portrush and Norn Iron, we were in if we could make it happen. The event became so popular that with all of our combined resources, tickets were scarce. Hail to my friend, Maura Nolan who secured some tickets for us – week-long passes for Liezl and me! Maura and I go back to my Fancourt days and she gave me what she didn’t even secure for herself. Fortunately, she was there in the end. So were my friends, Bruno and his family, who hosted Liezl and me across the street from the 1st hole, Monday to Thursday. So, too, were my friends Roy and Rab who put us up in their homes the rest of the time. The Irish hospitality was beyond description! I ate too much because I was over-served; I drank too much with these Irish also because they over-served me! But we were not over-served when it came to great golf – we couldn’t get enough! Gracie was kind enough to invite us inside the ropes during his practice round with Justin Harding. Ernie had his daughter on the bag for his practice and it was great seeing them. Louis jumped off a transport cart to share hugs with us. Dylan Frittelli, fresh off his win in America, and Shaun Norris were pleased to see the home support. The weather was beautiful when we arrived and hot enough for sunburns as we walked the course on Monday. Tuesday, with Gracie, we donned the rain gear and umbrellas, Wednesday, we walked it all again. Then, when the tournament began and the crowd quadrupled in size. we parked off on a par-3 to watch swings and the 18th to watch them finish. Friday, we were treated to the hospitality of the highest degree in the Claret Jug Suite on the 1st. It must be said that, once the tournament was underway, the best seat was in front of a TV!
Royal Portrush was presented as good, if not, better than any major course I’ve seen. The areas around the greens were tight and required prices shot-making, exactly what led Shane Lowry (and his partner-caddie, Bo Martin) did. Links golf required the knowledge to use the gound often choosing a line and length that get the ball running and using the natural contours. Those who had the shots featured.
Friends and fun!
Do it…practice rounds on foot and the tournament on TV!
The St Francis Links HOTEL by Mantis – SHOW UNITS are under construction
The proposed St Francis Links Hotel by Mantis is being sold as a sectional title scheme. Now, three units are being built as show units to promote sales.
The show unit, comprised of one, two bedroom unit and two, one-bedroom units will be complete for the season.
The Hotel will consist of 60 1 and 2-bedroom suites, modelled after the successful hotel development at Pearl Valley, where the 2nd phase was launched recently. The Clubhouse will be home to reception manned 24/7, the Food and Beverage services, AquaSpa and of course, the home of the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course! Pam Golding Properties are handling the sales for the Hotel. Neil Fox is the lead person. Neil Fox firstname.lastname@example.org Saria Blaauw is assisting and they are dividing their time at The Links
Ernie and Linda Müller and their Team from Selective Lighting are making Fridays extra special at St Francis Links. Once a month, they host the Selective Lighting/The Fireworks Friday Competition. We shotgun start the players for 9 holes. Starting times are based on the season, 14h30 in the “Cool Season” and 15h30 in the summer months. Be a part of growing the Club and join us for nine and some good times after golf! Please enter in advance for numbers.
ITEC are our sponsors for OPEN Wednesday (2nd Wednesday) with meat and added prizes. Invite your friends to enjoy SA’s best with special rates for golf, snacks after the game and great prizes – Hey, sometimes Curry Night follows – stay or take away!
Monday Roll-up! Pitch up and play (9 holes or 18 Par-3 from 2pm) let’s add you to the What’s app group
All day Saturdays: Morning and afternoon fields – the afternoon field will be booked from 12 noon backwards with emphasis on “ready golf”
Monday Men’s Book Club – 5pm in Jack’s Bar (no reading required)
Ladies’ Tea (and Coffee) – Every Tuesday at 10am on the Veranda
Every Great shot starts (and ends) with a SMILE!
Santa and the Links TEAM