The Men

Drakeford

Rick Lamb of the United States makes the most impressive move on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking after victory in the Gifford Collegiate-CordeValle on the US college circuit.

The University of Tennessee student was the only player in the field to better par each round at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California. Rounds of 69, 68 and 70 gave the final year student a 6-under-par total of 207, good enough for a two shot victory over David Fink of Oregon State and Stanford’s Cameron Wilson.

Lamb’s second college victory moves him 52 places on this week’s ranking to 122nd. Wilson improves 68 spots to 195th, while Fink climbs 179 places to 513th spot.

Albin Choi maintains his position as the top Canadian on the WAGR table after winning the Warrior Wave Invitational at the Makai Golf Club in Princeville, Hawaii. The North Carolina State student compiled rounds of 69, 68 and 69 for a 10-under-par total of 206 and a one shot victory over Filippo Zucchetti of Baylor University.

Choi moves five places this week to world number 27, 13 spots higher than nearest Canadian rival Corey Conners. Zucchetti’s runner-up spot earns him 84 places on this week’s ranking to 374th.

Geoffrey Drakeford (pictured) of Australia won the Copa Juan Carlos Tailhade in Argentina and climbs 61 places this week to 124th. Compatriot Daniel Bringolf won the Federal Cup Down Under and improves 35 places to 112th.

No movers into the top 20 this week, but two players move inside the world top 50. Kevin Marsh of the United States moves up two places to 49th, while Australia’s Cameron Smith takes 50th spot after an improvement of four places.


The Women

Anyone who doubts the diversity of women’s amateur golf need only look at this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking. New Zealander Lydia Ko may maintain a vice-like grip on the world number one spot, but the array of nations behind her is a tribute to golf’s growing popularity around the world.

Six nations are represented in the world top 10, some of which are not traditional golf powerhouses. Who’d have though just a few years ago that a player from Swaziland, Nobuhle Dlamini, would occupy the world number three spot? Or that two teenagers from Thailand, the Jutanugarn sisters Ariya and Moriya, would be second and seventh in the world respectively.

Throw in three English players, two Australians and an American and the cosmopolitan nature of the world top 10 is there for all to see. That cosmopolitan make-up becomes more diverse into the top 20. Another five nations join the six in the top 10 to make it 11 different counties represented in the top 20.

The growth of women’s golf was obvious at this year’s World Amateur Team Championship in Turkey. South Korea surprised no one by repeating as champions, but the list of entries did.

A record 53 teams participated for the right to lift the Espirito Santo Trophy, one more than competed two years ago in Argentina. Indeed, seven nations took part for the first time. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, India, Poland, Serbia, Tunisia and Ukraine all made first appearances in the tournament.

While players from the above seven did not trouble South Korea for the team title, or Ko for low individual honours, the fact they competed only proves the women’s amateur game is growing ever more vibrant.


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