European amateur champion killed on US course

A man has been charged with murder, hours after prominent Spanish golfer Celia Barquín Arozamena was found dead on an Iowa golf course.

Barquín, 22, won the European Ladies’ Amateur championship in July and was a leading student athlete at Iowa State University.

Golfers at the Coldwater Golf Links in Ames discovered an unattended golf bag on the course early on Monday.

Barquín was found dead by police a short distance away.

Police in the Iowa city of Ames said they had determined that Barquín died following an assault.

Collin Daniel Richards, also 22, has been charged with her murder, police say. He has no known address, according to their statement.

Originally from Puente San Miguel in Spain, Barquín was finishing her degree in civil engineering this semester, the university said.

During her time in the US, she rose to prominence as a young golfer, winning the 2018 Big 12 university championship, and was named Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year.

The head of Spain’s Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco, spoke of his deep shock at the tragedy and solidarity with Celia Barquín’s family.

The university said she “was one of the most accomplished players in Cyclone golf history”, referring to the university’s sporting nickname.

“We are all devastated,” said the head women’s golf coach, Christie Martens.

“Celia was a beautiful person who was loved by all her team-mates and friends. She loved Iowa State and was an outstanding representative for our school. We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life.”

The university’s athletics director, Jamie Pollard, said: “Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed.”

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Stanford wins first major as Olson squanders lead on final hole

Angela Stanford

Evian Championship final-round leaderboard
-12 A Stanford (US); -11 A Ernst (US), M Martin (US), Kim SE (Kor); -10 R O’Toole (US), Lee JE (Kor)
Selected others: -6 G Hall (Eng); -5 C Hull (Eng); +6 B Law (Eng)

American Angela Stanford won her first major title with a dramatic victory at the Evian Championship as compatriot Amy Olson double-bogeyed the last.

Olson was a shot clear of clubhouse leader Stanford going down the par-four 18th, but finished with a six.

That meant a three-under-par 68 on the final day brought victory for 40-year-old Stanford, who finished on 12 under.

Olson, 26, finished tied for second in France with Austin Ernst, Mo Martin and Kim Sei-young.

England’s Georgia Hall was tied for 16th after a three-over 74 left the British Open champion six under for the final major of the season.

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Evian Championship: American Amy Olson moves two ahead on day three

Amy Olson in third-round action in Evian

Evian Championship third-round leaderboard
-14 A Olson (US); -12 S Kim (Kor); -10 M Martin (US); -9 I Park (Kor), A Stanford (US), G Hall (Eng)
Selected others: -4 C Hull (Eng); +1 A Jutanugarn (Tha), P Creamer (US); +6 B Law (Eng)

American Amy Olson carded a second successive six-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Evian Championship in France.

The 26-year-old world number 89 had four birdies and an eagle to reach 14 under in the year’s final major.

British Open champion Georgia Hall returned her third successive round of 68 this week and is five shots back.

Fellow Englishwoman Charley Hull is joint 21st at four under after mixing three birdies and two bogeys in a 70.

Hall dropped shots at the 12th and 14th in round three but the 22-year-old from Dorset remained optimistic of consecutive majors.

“I think I’ve had some putts every day that have just missed, like a lot of players, but I think I’m in with a good chance tomorrow and four, five shots isn’t that much around this golf course,” she said.

Olson, still awaiting her first title having turned professional in 2013, was one of four leaders going into round three.

Maria Torres, Puerto Rico’s first LPGA professional, double bogeyed the 12th and dropped shots at the final two holes to slip into a share of 11th, seven strokes adrift.

American Mo Martin posted a 69 and has sole possession of third, while Mi Hyang Lee is a shot further back after opening with a double bogey and racking up five further dropped shots in a mixed 73.

Korea’s world number 19 Sei Young Kim is on her own in second place at the Evian Resort Golf Club after seven birdies in a bogey-free 64.

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Evian Masters: Georgia Hall two shots back as rookie Maria Torres shares lead

Georgia Hall in second-round action at the Evian Masters

Evian Masters second-round leaderboard
-8 M Torres (PR), A Olson (US), M Martin (US), M Hyang Lee (Kor); -7 C Ciganda (Spa); -6 W Ling Hsu (Tpe), G Hall (Eng), S Yeon Ryu (Kor), A Ernst (US), B Henderson (Can), J Shin (Kor), A Stanford (US)
Selected others: -5 I Park (Kor); -3 C Hull (Eng); +1 B Law (Eng); A Jutanugarn (Tha)
Missed cut: +4 L Thompson (US), C Matthew (Sco); +6 J Shadoff (Eng); +8 M Maclaren (Eng) +12 L Davies (Eng)

British Open champion Georgia Hall carded a second successive three-under 68 to sit two shots off the lead at the halfway stage of the Evian Masters.

The 22-year-old world number eight has dropped only one shot over the first 36 holes of the year’s final major.

Maria Torres, who was in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria hit last year, is one of four leaders at eight under.

World number one Park Sung-hyun and USA’s Lexi Thompson were among those to miss the cut, which came at three over.

Torres had shared the overnight lead with Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, who sits in fifth place after a round of 70.

Hall, starting on the back nine, bogeyed the 12th hole but recovered with two birdies on each nine to earn a share of sixth place.

“My long game was really good today,” she said. “I just couldn’t really hole that many putts so that was a little bit frustrating. But I holed some good ones as well so I’m happy.”

Torres, who came through the qualifying school to become the first woman from Puerto Rico to hold an LPGA Tour card, recorded consecutive bogeys from the 10th but had four birdies to add to her six and an eagle on the opening day.

American Amy Olson, the world number 89, set the pace for the day with a round of 65, recording seven birdies and one bogey.

Compatriot Mo Martin and Korean Mi Hyang Lee returned rounds of 66 at the Evian Resort Golf Club and are the other players at eight under.

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Evian Championship: England’s Georgia Hall three shots off lead

Georgia Hall

Evian Championship first-round leaderboard
-6 C Ciganda (Spa), M Torres (PR); -5 A Ernst (US); -4 SY Ryu (Kor), B Henderson (Can), N Hataoka (Jpn)
Selected others: -3 G Hall (Eng); -2 B Law (Eng); +1 C Hull (Eng); +6 SH Park (Kor)

England’s Georgia Hall is three strokes off the lead after the first round of the Evian Championship, the final women’s major of the season.

The British Open champion, 22, shot a bogey-free three-under-par 71 at Evian Resort Golf Club in France on Thursday.

Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Puerto Rico’s Maria Torres share the lead at six under par, with American Austin Ernst a shot further back.

“I had a good round and three behind is nothing really,” said Hall.

“I had it in my head as well that I wanted to be bogey-free, and that’s quite a special thing round this golf course.

“I’ll take that as my first round. I’m quite happy with that.”

Hall’s compatriot Bronte Law looked to be in contention heading into the 18th, before carding a double bogey to drop back to two under.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s world number one Sung Hyun Park shot four bogeys in her opening five holes as she finished the opening round on six over par.

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Rules of Golf: Slightly more relaxed approach to help players

Jon Rahm makes a penalty drop at The Open Championship at Carnoustie

Golfers around the world are getting their first glimpse of the new rulebook which will govern the game from the start of next year.

A raft of changes aimed at making golf quicker and more enjoyable will be introduced from 1 January, 2019. The R&A and the United States Golf Association, the joint rules-making bodies, have also taken steps to make them easier to understand.

For the first time a ‘player’s edition’ of the Rules of Golf has been launched and it includes diagrams and illustrations as well as more direct language to explain the complexities of the game.

“This is a pretty exciting day for us, it has been six and-a-half years in the making,” David Rickman, the R&A’s director of governance told BBC Sport.

“We have millions of people around the world who love this sport and want to play by the rules. We needed to step up and give them the best opportunity to do that.”

Changes that come in next year were first launched for public consultation in March 2017. The authorities received more than 30,000 pieces of feedback before refining the proposals which were published on 12 March this year.

Among the alterations coming into force

  • Free and penalty drops being made from knee rather than shoulder height
  • The flag no longer needing to be removed from the hole for putts on the green
  • Caddies not allowed to line up players before they hit shots
  • No penalty for an accidental double hit

“The general tenor of these changes has been the removal of penalties, the removal of restrictions, creating a slightly more relaxed approach,” Rickman said.

“There are one or two areas, and caddie lining up is perhaps the primary example, where there is a new restriction coming in 2019.”

Players will also be able to access the new rulebook online and through a smartphone app. The R&A admit that previous rulebooks were difficult to understand.

“The rules were cleverly written but they were quite sophisticated and you had to know your way round them so we did spend a lot of time looking at layout and structure,” Rickman added.

“This is all now very real and now the new rules are out there. The new players’ edition, something we have not done before, concentrates on the most commonly occurring rules and allows us to focus on those.

“We can present them in different ways, more direct language, a lot of diagrams and illustrations which are particularly useful around relief options.

“It is also worth noting modified rules for players with disabilities. We’ve had these modifications in place for the best part of 20 years but we haven’t promoted them as much as we perhaps should.

“We’ve been delighted to work with individual players and group organisations to modernise these as well and launch them at the same time.”

The launch of the new rulebook comes on the same day as the R&A revealed what it calls a “playbook” outlining the governing body’s “vision, purpose and values”.

They aim to make golf more accessible, appealing and inclusive while upholding the sport’s traditions and breaking down barriers to progress.

Investment totalling £200m is being promised to develop golf over the next decade.

“Our new brand brings together everything we have done over the last three years on ways to modernise golf and take the sport forward,” said R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers.

“We have a global role to play in leading the sport, while working collaboratively with our partners and international affiliated organisations to grow and nurture golf to ensure that it continues to thrive in 50 years’ time.”

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England’s Hall hopes to emulate world’s best Rose

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Women’s British Open champion Georgia Hall says Justin Rose is a great role model and she hopes to emulate him by climbing to world number one.

Rose finished second at Sunday’s BMW Championship to top the men’s rankings.

Hall, 22, is ranked eighth in the world and is looking to win her second successive major at this week’s Evian Championship.

“It would be amazing if England’s men and women were world number one. That would be incredible,” said Hall.

“I congratulated him. I think it’s incredible. He’s a great role model to look up to in England.”

Rose, who has won a US Open and an Olympic gold medal, reached the top of the rankings for the first time at the age of 38, having turned professional 20 years ago.

Hall, meanwhile, earned her first major win four years into her professional career at Royal Lytham & St Annes last month.

“When I won the British [Open], I came down quite a lot in the world rankings – I think I am the first woman from England to be in the top 10,” she said.

“I would like obviously to become world number one. I’m not miles away from that.

“Winning this week or winning LPGA events has only got to get me closer. I look forward to the steps before that and if I do them, then I should get there.”

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BMW Championship: Justin Rose set to become new world number one

Breaking news

England’s Justin Rose will become the new world number one after guaranteeing at least second place at the BMW Championship in Philadelphia.

The 38-year-old will climb from fourth after reaching a sudden-death play-off with American Keegan Bradley.

Rose, reigning Olympic champion and 2013 US Open winner, could have sealed victory with a par putt on his final hole but his effort skimmed the hole.

He and Bradley finished on 20 under par after the delayed final round.

More to follow

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England’s Fitzpatrick defends Omega Masters title

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Omega European Masters final-round leaderboard
-17 M Fitzpatrick (Eng)*, L Bjerregaard (Den); -15 M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra); -12 N Elvira (Spa); -11 D Brooks (Eng).
Selected others: -7 L Westwood (Eng); -6 L Canter (Eng), R McEvoy (Eng), C Shinkwin (Eng).
*won at first play-off hole
Full leaderboard

England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick claimed a fifth European Tour win after edging out Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard in a play-off to defend the Omega European Masters title in Switzerland.

Fitzpatrick birdied the first play-off hole after finishing level with Bjerregaard at 17 under after 72 holes.

Bjerregaard carded a final round seven-under 63, with Fitzpatrick making a birdie at the last for a 67.

France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera (67) finished third, two shots off the pace.

Fitzpatrick, 24, became the first player since Seve Ballesteros in 1978 to successfully defend the title at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club.

The world number 44 had entered the final round with a two-shot lead over Lorenzo-Vera after carding a bogey-free third round of seven-under 63.

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Ladies French Open: Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall wins by two after final round 62

Caroline Hedwall

Ladies French Open final-round leaderboard
-12 C Hedwell (Swe); -10 SL Bregman (Rsa); -9 L Sobron (Spa), S Kemp (Aus), L Carlsson (Swe), NK Madsen (Den).
Selected others: -7 C Booth (Sco); -4 F Parker (Eng); -3 L Young (Eng); -1 L Hall (Wal), H Burke (Eng).
Full leaderboard (external)

Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall carded a bogey-free final round of nine-under par 62 to win the Ladies French Open by two shots.

The lowest round of the week handed Hedwall a sixth Ladies European Tour win and first since 2012.

South Africa’s Stacy Lee Bregman shot a five-under 66 in her final round to finish second.

Scotland’s Carly Booth finished tied for 11th, five shots off the pace, after a final round of level-par 71.

Spain’s Luna Sobron (67), Australia’s Sarah Kemp (69), Sweden’s Lynn Carlsson (70) and Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen (72) tied for third, three shots behind Hedwall.

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