European captain Catriona Matthew has joined First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in welcoming the announcement that Aberdeen Standard Investments will host its 5th annual Diversity Summit during the week of the 2019 Solheim Cup.
The announcement was made at a reception in New York to promote the event as part of the annual Scotland Week celebrations where messages of support from US Captain Juli Inkster and European Captain Catriona Matthew were played to a hosted audience alongside a display of the Solheim Cup trophy itself.
Aberdeen Standard Investments is the title sponsor of both the Men’s and Ladies Scottish Opens and this association with The 2019 Solheim Cup further demonstrates their commitment to equality.
The partnership provides the unique opportunity during the week of the 2019 Solheim for the Company to hold its annual Diversity Summit at Gleneagles which, in previous years, has attracted high profile speakers from the worlds of politics, business and sport.
Matthew said: “As a long-standing Aberdeen Standard Investments ambassador I’m delighted they have chosen to host their annual Diversity Summit during the tournament week.
“Over the past four years the event has grown and evolved, with a range of inspirational speakers exploring how we tackle the inequalities that exist across society.
“As captain of the European team for the Solheim Cup, but also as a professional female athlete, I have the utmost respect for ASI’s unwavering support of the women’s game.”
Sturgeon added: “We are delighted at the incredible support we have received to host The 2019 Solheim Cup. I’m particularly pleased that Aberdeen Standard Investments has come on board to host their annual Diversity Summit during The Solheim Cup week.
“They share Scotland’s commitment to raising the international profile of women’s golf and addressing the inequalities that continue to exist across society.”
World No 1 Jennifer Kupcho and 16-year-old Zoe Campos found themselves tied atop the leaderboard with matching 68s after the opening round of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Kupcho, who was accorded the honor of hitting the first shot in the history of the championship, compiled a bogey-free round of four-under-par at Champions Retreat Golf Club. She was later joined at that score by Campos.
Another invitee, South Africa’s Kaleigh Telfer, birdied the ninth hole – her last – from 15 feet to secure solo third place at three-under-par 69.
Spain’s Marta Perez, who made the first eagle in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur – a 2 on the par-4 seventh hole when she drove the green and made a nine-foot putt – is tied for fourth at 70 along with the 2018 ANNIKA Award winner Maria Fassi of Mexico, Alessandra Fanali of Italy and Maja Stark of Sweden.
The top-30 players at the end of second round on Thursday advance to the third and final round, which will be played at Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday. However, all 72 players get the opportunity to play a practice round at the course on Friday.
No fewer than 11 former champions will be vying for repeated success when they tee it up today in golf’s first major of the season, the ANA Inspiration.
Swede Pernilla Lindberg is the most recent to triumph over the par-72, 6834-yard Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills Country Club in Palm Springs, California, coming through an eight-hole play-off in 2018 to claim her debut LPGA title.
She is joined in the elite field by fellow winners So Yeon Ryu, Lydia Ko, Brittany Lincicome – who is pregnant with her first baby – Lexi Thompson, Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Yani Tseng, Morgan Pressel, Karrie Webb and Juli Inkster.
“I have so many good memories, and being here now they all come back kind of at once,” said 32-year-old Lindberg.
“It was almost too big for me to believe, and especially in the fashion I did it. That’s what I reminded myself of yesterday when I was out here playing a practice round.
“This place is so special, and out of all of the events on our tour, this is the one I won? That’s pretty cool.”
Play in the opening round of the qualifier at Macdonald Cardrona for the PGA EuroPro Tour Qualifying School was abandoned due to snow at the Peebles venue.
The event has been cut to 18 holes as players bid to progress to the final at Frilford Heath.