Lauren Taylor will get the chance to promote the women’s amateur game on a very public platform on 22 December when she shares a stage with the best in British sport. The 16-year-old from Rugby is one of 10 young athletes short-listed for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award.
Taylor is well deserving of her spot under the bright lights alongside Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Darren Clarke, who have been nominated for the main BBC Sports Personality of the Year honour. After all, Taylor made history this year by becoming the youngest winner of the Ladies’ British Amateur Championship. Taylor entered the history books in June with victory at Royal Portrush.
She will be up against stiff opposition to become Britain’s outstanding young sports personality of 2011. She faces rising stars from tennis, athletics, diving, cycling, boxing, swimming and rugby.
Taylor has further news for celebration this week. She moves to 20th on this week’s WAGR table, an improvement of five spots.
Taylor has signed to join Baylor University in Texas next year, and is sure to impress in the college ranks. She might just begin her college career as Britain’s young sports personality of the year.
South Africa’s Henriette Frylinck is the only other player to move inside this week’s top 20. She moves 10 places on this week’s ranking to 12th, and is now the world’s fourth highest ranked South African.
Nicole Becker further helps South Africa’s position in world golf by moving inside the top 50. She moves 21 places to world number 45. Australia’s Whitney Hillier also becomes one of the world’s top 50 players, improving her ranking by 11 spots to 50th.
Lee Park of Australia makes the most dramatic move on this week’s ranking following victory in the Dunes Medal in Victoria. She jumps 882 spots to world number 1321.
Shun Yat Hak makes the most impressive movement on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking thanks to an excellent display in the UBS Hong Kong Open. Hak looked like a veteran professional amongst Europe’s elite with a 46th place finish.
Rounds of 69, 72, 73 and 69 for a 3-over-par total of 283 helped the Hong Kong player thrill his home crowds.
It marks the third time the precocious teenager has made the cut in his home Open. He also played all four rounds in 2009 and 2008. However, he recorded his best finish this year, bettering the 60th he posted in 2009 by 14 places.
The teenager got the chance to measure himself against some pretty impressive European players. He counted former amateur stars Nick Dougherty and Pablo Martin as his partners in the first two rounds. They missed the cut while Hak earned himself tee times for the weekend. He had Ryder Cup player Soren Hansen as company in the final round, and scored 69 to Hansen’s 76.
Besides pride in holding his own against Europe’s elite, Hak improves his WAGR ranking 71 places this week to move to 29th in the world order.
Amateur Champion Bryden Macpherson is the only other player to move inside this week’s top 50. Macpherson, who defeated Scotland’s Michael Stewart at Hillside Golf Club this year to take golf’s ultimate amateur prize, moves 18 places to world number 44. He is currently the world’s third highest ranked Australian behind Jake Higginbottom and Matthew Stieger, who are ranked 21st and 25th respectively.
Todd Sinnott moved up the Australian pecking order with victory in the Dunes Medal at the Dunes Golf Club in Victoria. Sinnott won by two shots over Geoff Drakeford, and moves 69 places to world number 311.