The final women's major of 2019 is here, with the AIG Women's British Open set to be played this week at Woburn Golf Club in England.
Woburn has been the most frequent host of the Women's British Open, hosting this week for the 11th time and first since 2016, when Ariya Jutanugarn claimed the title. This is also the second time Woburn's more prestigious Marquess Course hosts, as it did in 2016.
Even further, the R&A has agreed to bump the 2019 AIG Women's British Open purse to $4.5 million for at least the next three years, marking a commitment to the women's game and a first step toward closing the wage gap between women's golf and major championships.
This week's Women's British Open is also the second major in as many weeks on the LPGA calendar, with Jin Young Ko winning her second major of the 2019 season last week in France at The Evian Championship. It was a warm affair in France, with record heat descending on the country, leading to some spotty conditions before rain soaked the course and the players in a gritty final round. Ko ended a skid of 12 consecutive women's majors with a different winner.
Once again No. 1 in the world, Ko has a chance to become the first player since Pat Bradley in 1986 to win three majors in a single season. Of course, when Bradley won her three in a row to close out 1986, there were only four LPGA majors on the calendar, and neither The Evian Championship nor the Women's British Open were considered majors at that time. Now that there are five LPGA majors on the schedule, including two in Europe, there are more opportunities for the global tour to produce major champions.
So, who should fans betting on golf like this week to potentially claim the title at Woburn?
Of course, Ko heads the list. She's at 9-to-1 (+900) to win this week, and she has a game built for the major championships. Her ballstriking is fantastic and puts her miles ahead of plenty of players in the major fields. When the putts fall, she wins. It's that simple for the Korean star.
Carlota Ciganda is a fascinating case this week at 33-to-1. She's been wonderful throughout the year, including in several majors, but she's been unable to win a big one. Given the Solheim Cup is coming quickly, the Spaniard could make a statement before the Europeans host on home soil that the Americans should not take them lightly.
Speaking of the Americans, few are coming into this week playing hot golf, particularly those likely to be on Juli Inkster's Solheim Cup team. Danielle Kang might be the best pick. The American is a 51-to-1 shot this week, and she ended a streak of top-10 individual finishes at The Evian Championship, including a T-5 finish at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship in Minnesota. Her demeanor could be perfect for another major title.
Finally, don't sleep on Jennifer Kupcho. The rookie American finished T-2 last week at The Evian, including a furious final-round comeback to secure her 2020 LPGA Tour card. With that in hand, Kupcho can go for a breakthrough win on a huge stage. She's expected to rake in her share of majors in her career, and Woburn could be a great introduction to the Women's British Open rotation.