England’s Charley Hull makes the most significant move on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking following victory in the Harder Hall Invitational. The 15-year-old climbs four places to world number six, her highest ranking ever.
Hull returned rounds of 70, 74, 69 and 69 around Harder Hall Country Club in Sebring, Florida for a 6-under-par total of 282. It earned her a two shot victory over Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, the world number 10. Ariya’s elder sister Moriya finished third, three shots behind Hull.
The Harder Hall is the first in a three-tournament trip to the United States for the 15-year-old member of Woburn Golf Club, Ian Poulter’s home course. Hull is playing the Florida Orange Blossom Tour, and looks set to better the results she had on that Tour last year.
The English amateur began her assault on the World Amateur Golf Ranking 12 months ago when she finished 12th in the Harder Hall, runner-up in the South Atlantic Women’s Amateur Championship and then won the Jones-Doherty Match Play Championship.
Hull is hoping to make the Great Britain & Ireland Curtis Cup team to take on the United States at Nairn, Scotland in June. This victory should only enhance her chances.
Moriya Jutanugarn moves closer to her sister on the WAGR table as a result of her third place finish. She improves 14 places to world number 23.
South Africa’s Paula Reto was the other big winner on the women’s amateur golf circuit. Reto won the Dixie Amateur for the second straight year to move 30 places on the world order to number 70.
The 21-year-old returned scores of 69, 67, 70 and 69 at Heron Bay Golf Club in Coral Springs, Florida, for a 13-under-par total of 275 and a five-shot victory on the field.
Garland Green sure knows how to close out a tournament, but maybe that’s to be expected from one of a select few to have recorded a 59.
The recent Virginia Tech graduate saved his best for last to win the 86th New Year’s Invitational at St Petersburg Country Club in Florida. Green birdied the final three holes of regulation play to get into a three-man playoff with Germany’s Stephan Jaegar and Jim Liu, a former United States junior champion.
Rounds of 72, 66, 69 and 71 helped Garland to a 10-under-par total of 278. He left with the trophy after six playoff holes. Liu dropped a shot on the first extra hole and also dropped out of the playoff. Garland took the tile when Jaeger bogeyed the sixth extra hole.
Garland adds his name to a trophy with some distinguished winners, including 1935 PGA Championship winner Johnny Revolta, 1968 Masters champion Bob Goalby, Ryuji Imada, JB Holmes, Brandt Snedeker and Jeff Overton.
Green, who in 2010 set a course record 59 at Fincastle Country Club in Bluefield, Virginia, moves up 110 spots on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking to world number 197. Munich native Jaeger moves inside the world top 50, improving his ranking 13 spots to 40th. The University of Tennessee player also further establishes his status as the world’s highest ranked German male amateur. Liu moves 41 spots to 137th.
Australia’s Cameron Smith is the only player to break into this week’s top 20. The Queensland, Australia native takes his rightful place after a successful 2011 season. Smith won the Victoria Junior Masters, the Australian Junior Championship, the Nomura Cup and the Australian Men’s Stroke Play. He was also fourth in the Asian Amateur Championship.