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Teenage dream comes true as Pia Babnik, 17, wins Jabra Ladies Open

Pia Babnik beat Annabel Dimmock (pictured) in a play-off - GETTY IMAGES

Pia Babnik beat Annabel Dimmock (pictured) in a play-off – GETTY IMAGES

Phil Mickelson may not agree, however it more and more appears as if golf is a younger girl’s recreation. For the second successive week, the Ladies European Tour hailed a winner who remains to be of college age, whereas on the US Women’s Open two within the high 4 on the midway level have been additionally youngsters.

At the well-known Evian Resort overlooking Lake Geneva, 17-year-old Pia Babnik beat England’s Annabel Dimmock in a play-off within the Jabra Ladies Open and it says a lot concerning the Slovenian’s immense potential that many consultants imagine this success was overdue and Babnik herself stated: “I’ve been waiting for this for a while.”

Babnik is the youngest participant on the LET, having joined final yr as a 16-year-old. She virtually certified for the main going down this week in San Francisco, however as a substitute took her frustration out on her friends on her dwelling circuit.

Dimmock, the defending champion, is barely 24 however will need to have felt like a veteran within the shootout. She bravely birdied the 18th to drive sudden demise, however Babnik, who birdied the final two holes in regulation for a 70 and a complete 209, prevailed on the first additional gap.

“I feel amazing,” Babnik stated. “I’ve dreamt about this for a long time, I work really hard and I’m really happy it paid off.” Thanks to this victory, Babnik is not going to be lacking the subsequent main. This win – on simply her twelfth LET begin –booked her place at subsequent month’s Evian Championship, on the identical location. “I’ve played the Junior Evian Championship before, so I’ve been at the event and watched it live and I’m really excited,” Babnik stated.

After a dreadful begin throughout which Babnik suffered double-bogeys on the opening two holes she confirmed her maturity by rolling in consecutive birdies on the fourth and fifth. An extra three birdies on the again 9 underlined her class.

It was a tough day for Lucie Malchirand, who shot a 77 to fall out of rivalry. But nonetheless the French 18-year-old can replicate on a exceptional seven days. She received the Italian Ladies Open final weekend as an beginner, turned skilled through the week earlier than capturing a 69 in her first spherical within the paid ranks.

Big issues are inevitably anticipated of each Babnik and Malchirand and occasions throughout the Atlantic will solely give the pair but extra confidence of what’s potential even at such a young age.

In the third spherical of the second feminine main of the yr, Yuka Saso, the 19-year-old from the Philippines, went out with a one-shot lead over 2019 US Women’s Open champion, Jeongeun Lee6.

Her sensible second-round 67 gave her the honour of turning into the primary teenager to steer the US Women’s Open after 36 holes since 2008. Justin Ray, the famend statistician who works for Twenty First Group, revealed a exceptional, if barely eerie truth.

If Saso is to win she can be aged 19 days, 11 months, 17 days. When Inbee Park received in 2008 to change into the youngest ever US Women’s Open winner, she was aged 19 days, 11 months, 17 days.

It was the second day on which a youngster had captured the headlines on the Olympic Club. Amateur Megha Ganne, 17, from New Jersey, shared the first-round lead on four-under and was in a tie for third going into the third spherical.

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