On Sunday at famed Dundonald Links, Ayaka Furue carded a course-record 10-under 62 to claim her maiden LPGA Tour victory at the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open.
The Japanese rookie began her final day in Ayrshire, Scotland four off the lead of 54-hole co-leaders Celine Boutier and Lydia Ko. But after reeling off six straight birdies in the middle of her round (Nos. 6-11), Furue was suddenly tied with Boutier, and ahead of Ko, who was struggling to keep pace.
When Boutier bogeyed No. 13 and Furue birdied the 15th, the 22-year-old Japan native was out front and never looked back. She would birdie two more holes to reach 21-under with Boutier playing to level par and settling on 18 under.
“I was four shots back. I thought it would be difficult to catch the top, good players. But I’m very happy I played good golf and I was able to come out as a winner,” said Furue, who hit 13 of 14 fairways and 17 of 18 greens on day four.
“I had the right mindset. I thought I had to go low, and I played very well. I hit good shots. All around my game was good, and the birdie putts I wanted to make and had to make, I was able to make.”
Furue’s 21 under par set a new tournament scoring record in relation to par, and with the win, Furue becomes the 16th Japanese LPGA Tour winner and the second of the 2022 season, joining Nasa Hataoka who congratulated the rookie when things were final.
“I’m very grateful that she congratulated me,” said Furue. “I would like to keep playing and be like her and catch up to her wins.”
Boutier (69) was disappointed with the loss and blown opportunity. She signed for a scorecard featuring four bogeys offset by seven birdies.
“I started making some bogeys and I feel like it’s not easy, playing in the final group. Then obviously when someone just has their day, you just can’t do anything about it really,” said Boutier, who hit 9 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens.
“It was a little bit windy, a little bit of preparation for next week, and I think that’s the main thing is I don’t think I could have expected a better week than how I played.”
Highlighted by an eagle on the No. 2 hole, Korean Hyo Joo Kim posted 66 to finish T3 alongside American Cheyenne Knight (67) on 17 under.
“Played solid and made a lot of birdies this week which is nice,” said Knight. “Some of us made a lot more, but game is feeling good, especially going into next week at Muirfield.”
Ko, who was the overnight co-leader, couldn’t get anything to drop and stayed in neutral much of the day, finishing with a 71 to share fifth on 16 under with Alison Lee (66).
Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Ayaka Furue -21 (-10)
2. Celine Boutier -18 (-3)
3. Hyo Joo Kim -17 (-6)
3. Cheyenne Knight -17 (-5)
5. Alison Lee -16 (-6)
5. Lydia Ko -16 (-1)
7. Nasa Hataoka -15 (-4)
8. Wichanee Meechai -14 (-2)
8. Lilia Vu -1 (-1)
8. Maude-Aimee Leblanc -14 (E)
Credit: LPGA Tour Communications’ Press Releases, Quotes and Stats were used to compile this report.