Jae Bowers becomes second player to secure her first professional win at the Rose Ladies Series

A beautiful blue sky greeted us in Southport for the second Rose Ladies Series event at the historic Royal Birkdale. You can't help feel nostalgic driving towards the clubhouse, the iconic clock tower sat upon the impressive art deco clubhouse.

Conditions seemed very similar to the previous day at Hillside. A warm wind and little cloud. There was a slightly larger field but the majority of entrants had played at Hillside. Expectations, as per the previous day, were that there would not be too many low scores.

The course was superb, nestled in the sand dunes south of Southport on England's golf coast, and a stern test awaited with the course set up for a par of 74.

Across the day it seemed the first nine proved more of a challenge than the second nine and Jae Bowers from Prestbury Golf Club made the turn in three under, closely followed by Chanettee Wannasaen on two under. Chanettee, only 16 years old, is another up and coming player from Thailand who recently qualified for the 2021 Honda LPGA and made a name for herself at the Bt3-million Thailand Mixed in February. Seeing her play some of the holes you can understand why she is one to watch. Fearless on the tee and fairways she also has an eye for a putt.

Post round chat with Jae Bowers

How was your round today?

"It was good. Helps when you hit it straight. I putted well and I drove well. So that made it a lot easier"

And no long grass to contend with?

"I was in a pot bunker on 18 off the tee that was the only bad drive of the day really. Other than that I kept it in the fairway."

And you played yesterday at Hillside?

"I played a practice round, 9 holes on Sunday evening, and played Hillside yesterday and came 7th."

So, it all came together today?

"Yesterday I just didnt hit it close enough. But today I felt my game has been trending in the right direction for a while so I thought, yes."

And where do you play your golf normally?

"Prestbury Golf Club in Cheshire"

And are you playing in all the Rose Ladies Series events?

"Yes, all four this week. It's just nice to have events where you don't have to catch a flight to. You can't not take advantage of [this] opportunity."

And finally, will we see you at Carnoustie?

"Depends if I get a spot into it. It will depend on JCB. I need a final qualifying spot. So all to play for."

Jae Bowers, Royal Birkdale 3rd August 2021

Jae sat as clubhouse leader on 4 under for over an hour, before Chanette birdied 14 and 15 to go 5 under. Unfortunately, a bogey at 17 and par at 18 meant she joined Jae as joint clubhouse leader with half the field still out on the course. Just when everyone thought it was a 2-way play-off, Lauren Horsford from Surrey, runner up at Hillside the previous day, had a storming back nine with four birdies and joined them on four under.

No-one else could catch them, so once the final group was finishing the 18th, the three playoff contenders were driven down to the 18th for a playoff hole.

After a nervy 18th by all three players, all shot a par 5. They hurried back down the 18th to play again. With Lauren in trouble in the rough on the right and Chanettee off the back of the green, Jae chipped on to six feet. Neither Lauren nor Chanette could hole out, leaving Jae a six foot putt for birdie.

The winning putt

Jae Bowers makes the winning putt on the second play-off hole

Jae made no mistake with the putt and claimed her first title.

Presentation in front of iconic clubhouse

Royal Birkdale holds many special memories for Kate Rose's husband Justin and even though not there in person he was in spirit. Kate made the trophy presentation to Jae supported by Royal Birkdale Golf Club's Lady Captain Sally Hadden.

Kate delighted that the Rose Ladies Series had provided another memorable event.

The Rose Ladies Series now moves south to Staffordshire to the JCB Golf & Country Club - an important event as this makes up part of pre-qualifying for the AIG Women's Open at Carnoustie 19-22 August. If you want to go and watch tickets can still be purchased from: http://bit.ly/3wH53cI

You can watch highlights of the Rose Ladies Series on Sky Sports Golf and the Sky Sports Golf YouTube channel.

Long History of Women's Golf at Royal Birkdale

If you ever have a chance to visit or play at Royal Birkdale have a look at the memorabilia in the long corridor opposite the Pro Shop. Some delightful memories including Women's Open Champions, an International Match between British Isles vs United States of America and the Ladies Course Record of 66 held by Beverley New since 1986.

2014 Mo Martin
2010 Yani Tseng
2005 Jeong Jang
2000 Sophie Gustafson