Alice Hewson and Charley Hull. Pix: Ladies European Tour
Wentworth, UK, Aug 8: Charley Hull did not get a chance to challenge for the individual honours in the Grand Final, which was the final leg of the much-appreciated Rose Ladies Series, but she did emerge as the Order of Merit winner.
Alice Hewson, who led after 36 holes of the 54-hole final which was scheduled to played over three courses, the North Hants, Berkshire and Wentworth, was declared the winner of the shortened final. Hewson led with rounds of 67-70 at 4-under with Hull (73-65) was one behind at 3-under. Two other stars of the series Georgia Hall (73-68) and Liz Young (72-69), whose initial idea matured into the Rose Ladies, were T-3.
Alice Hewson received the £10,000 prize for leading the shortened Grand Final supported by Computacenter, while LET, LPGA and Solheim Cup star, Hull received £20,000 for topping the American Golf Order of Merit of the Rose Ladies Series 2020.
Wildfires force shortening of Grand final
The West Course at the famed Wentworth Club in Surrey was hosting a women’s professional event for the first time in its history, when wildfires in the surrounding area caused the three-day grand finale to be abandoned.
The final was cut in the final round on Friday, as play was suspended and the golf course evacuated when a major wildfire originating from Chobham Common, ravaged across 50 hectares of heathland and spread on to Wentworth’s West Golf Course.
The quick responses from local emergency services, Wentworth Club staff, Excel Sports Management event staff, ensured all remained safe.
The Rose Ladies Series organisers made the decision to suspend play with a view to returning for a shotgun start at 9:30am on Saturday 8th August to conclude the outstanding final round.
The wildfire continued late in to the night of Friday 7th August with emergency services continuing to battle the blaze and evacuate many nearby homes.
Following a meeting of various organisations, it was declared that due to the ongoing fire risk Wentworth Club West Course must remain closed on Saturday 8th August and the final round of the Rose Ladies Series could not be concluded.
Though Excel Sports Management event organisers, together with Kate and Justin Rose, worked through the night to try and find a suitable alternative date for both the venue and players, it could not happen as the Ladies European Tour and LPGA schedule are about to start.
So, the event was reduced to 36 holes and concluded on the basis of the scores after the Round 2 scores at The Berkshire.
Justin Rose wishes the ladies all the best
Justin Rose said: “Our mission was to serve the ladies and provide an opportunity for them to play and sharpen up for their respective seasons. So the last thing we want to do now is create a burden for them having to fit in the final round at a later date. A natural act of god forced us to this point and Kate and I wish the ladies all the best as they prepare for their upcoming events.”
It was an amazing eight week Series of events across 10 golf courses. The Roses were inspired after reading about LET professional Liz Young’s efforts to put on a competition at her home club in the New Forest, which she hoped would enable local players to stay competitive.
The series ultimately grew to include seven one-day events around England and a three-day finale – which was cut to 36 holes. There was TV coverage on Sky Sports and further sponsorship came from American Golf and Computacenter.