Everyone loves a fairy tale, I always wanted to be Princess Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty) – be able to sing to all the woodland animals, be rescued by a handsome Prince and ultimately live happily ever after! The problem is, life isn’t necessarily a fairy tale, for a start my singing voice is somewhat pitchy!

Luckily we don’t have to always rely on Disney for the fairy tales. This Sunday brought one of the best finishes we have seen in recent Majors as Hinako Shibuno won the AIG Women’s British Open. At the start of the week, I was hoping for a similar fairy tale ending to last year where an Englishwoman would win and truly cement women’s golf on the British map. It wasn’t to be but somehow, Shibuno may have been the winner that women’s golf has been waiting for.

We started the (women’s) Major year with the ANA Inspiration. When you stage a women’s Major the week before The Masters, you’re already up against it. But to have it the same week as the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur and, with a massive time difference, you’re really up against it! If Jin Young Ko hadn’t won two Majors this year, then most people would be hard pressed to remember who won the ANA Inspiration. The abiding memory of this Major wasn’t the ceremonial jumping into Poppie’s Pond but China’s Xiyu Lin hitting a fantastic up and down off the bridge on the 18th on the final day. Unfortunately, I can’t be sure anyone even remembers that because we were too caught up in Augusta fever.

Next came the U.S. Women’s Open where 23 year old Rookie, Jeongeun Lee6 claimed her first Major title. This event will be better remembered for the comments from one of the top American golf instructors that hit the headlines on the Monday morning. It was such a shame that her victory was over shadowed in this way, but thankfully due to her professionalism and strength of character Lee6 didn’t let it take away from her Major moment, she rose above it saying she hadn’t listened to his comments, taking much of the fuel from the fire.

Australian Hannah Green had a fantastic victory at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, with a wire to wire victory in only her second year on tour and at just 22 years old. Comparisons could have been made to Brooks Koepka’s wire to wire victory at the men’s equivalent PGA Championship the month before, but it seemed that it was the lack of expectation that went against her. With such big guns lurking behind her on the final day, it wasn’t surprising that the majority of people didn’t believe that she would be able to get the job done, I mean she didn’t even have a Wikipedia page before her victory!

Fast forward a month and we were in France at the Evian Championship, where Ko shone again, still fresh in the memory – an amazing achievement to secure two Major wins in one season! But the week will belong to Lexi and her Instagram post which meant that the course conditions became the major talking point going into the final day. She continued to make headlines with her passport woes as she headed to the UK for the final Major of the year – the AIG Women’s British Open.

The week started with stories of Lexi’s passport and Georgia Hall’s stolen replica trophy, but the buzz around the 2019 AIG Women’s British Open itself was clear from the numbers of journalists in the Media Centre. This was definitely helped by such a strong showing from British golfers, including the reigning Champ herself. Finally, by the last Major, it seemed that we would get our happy ending. And we did, maybe not the heroine that we had initially hoped for but the “Smiling Cinderella” captured everybody’s hearts. The future is really bright for Japan’s Hinako Shibuno who has a winning personality and drive. I’m excited for the coming days as stories will appear about golf’s potential new superstar – coverage she deserves for her play, her story and her future impact on women’s golf.

Emma Ballard
Marketing Manager & Head of Digital