Pedersen claims grand slam with dual honors in Saudi Ladies Team International

Team Pedersen with the champion trophy during the awards ceremony in the Saudi Ladies Team International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club. (Supplied)
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Updated 20 November 2020

Pedersen claims grand slam with dual honors in Saudi Ladies Team International

KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY: A historic week for women’s golf in Saudi Arabia reached its climax when Danish star Emily Kristine Pedersen swept the team and individual honors on Thursday in the Saudi Ladies Team  International golf tournament.

The double triumph allowed Pedersen to complete a grand slam following her victory last week in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund.

The 24-year-old Dane and her team of Michele Thomson (Scotland), Cassandra Hall (RSA) and amateur Matt Selby, competing under the corporate banner Golf Saudi 1, finished on 40-under total of 392 to win the three-day, 54-hole team competition at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.

Enjoying a rich vein of form all week, Pedersen overcame a new women’s course record of 9-under 63 from Australia’s Stephanie Kyriacou in Thursday’s third round to clinch the individual title on 14-under 202 total by two shots after closing with a 5-under 67 in a clean five-birdie card.

Kyriacou carded five birdies in nines of 31-32 in a final-day charge that fell short as she ended up in a three-way tie for second with Dutchwoman Anne van Dam and Spain’s Luna Sobron Galmes on 12-under 200 total.

The Australian’s 63 bettered the previous record of 65 shared earlier in the tournament by England’s Georgia Hall, Caroline Hedwall of  Sweden and Galmes.

The awards ceremony took place near the 18th green of the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club amid shimmering lights as the sun set on a superb day’s play.

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chair of Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, said: “We could not be more proud. Congratulations to Emily Pedersen. Congratulations again to Team Pedersen. These were some great performances on tough conditions. I would like to thank the Ladies European Tour and all the members for being great partners.

“Our Saudi Ladies International has been a great success. I’m confident that it won’t be the last exciting event. We are committed to the game of golf in Saudi Arabia and to creating opportunities for women in the sport,” he said.

“As such I would like to announce we have confirmed our 2021 dates for the next Saudi Ladies International, which will be Nov. 10-13. I hope that people are getting as much joy from the game as I have. We look forward to seeing you next year.”

England’s Charley Hull closed with a 68 to sit alone at fifth place on -9, while fellow countrywomen Hall and Eleanor Givens, with matching cards of 68s, were tied sixth on -8.

Team Kyriacou (Emirates Golf) and team De Roey (UMA) tied for second a stroke back on the champion team on -39 (393), while Team Mehmet were alone on fifth at -36 (396).

Beijing Guaon pounce on rusty Melbourne in 3-1 victory

Updated 25 November 2020

Beijing Guaon pounce on rusty Melbourne in 3-1 victory

  • The Chinese side have one foot in the last-16 of the Asian Champions League

DOHA: Beijing Guoan have one foot in the last-16 of the Asian Champions League after a convincing 3-1 win against a rusty Melbourne Victory side on Tuesday extended their perfect record in Group E to three from three.

Another Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua also improved their chances of qualification from Group F with their second win in three matches, edging past FC Tokyo 1-0, courtesy of a late penalty.

But it was Bruno Genesio’s Beijing outfit who sent out a strong warning to their rivals in the tournament by following up on their win over FC Seoul last week with another impressive performance in Doha where the tournament’s eastern zone matches are being played after a nine-month break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Beijing clearly looked a class above Melbourne Victory who were largely lackluster both in attack and defense, with even the Australian side’s consolation goal late in the second half coming through a huge deflection from Kim Min-Jae after substitute Gianluca Ianucci’s powerful shot from nearly 25 yards appeared heading straight into the goalkeeper’s arms.

Beijing allowed their Australian rivals only 40 percent ball possession and that worked hugely in their favor as they created chances galore at the Al-Sadd Sports Club.

But once again, it was their Brazilian presence which played a pivotal role, with Renato Augusto and A Lan on target in the 22nd and 34th minutes before Wang Zimin’s brilliant goal in the 74th minute to put the match out of Victory’s reach.

Frenchman Genesio, who has been in charge at Beijing Guoan for almost 16 months, was not in a very celebratory mood despite his team’s 100 percent win record so far.

“In the first half we played really well as we tried high pressing as we trained before the game and were successful in keeping control,” said Genesio.

“The only thing I am disappointed about is that we conceded one goal towards the end. We need to be more serious and cautious towards the end of the game.”

Melbourne Victory, for whom this was their second defeat in three matches — their only win came in February against Chiangrai United — are now third in the standings and would need a herculean comeback to qualify for the knockout phase.

“For us, It’s not the result we wanted,” said Victory’s Steve Kean, whose side had no match practice for several months before heading to Doha. “This was our very first match of any type, we did not even play any friendlies and came against a Beijing side that have played a full season.

2We wanted to win and take points but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves.”

Meanwhile, Shanghai Shenhua were celebrating their success over Tokyo FC after Yu Hanchao’s successful penalty in the 74th minute proved the decisive moment in the match.

“FC Tokyo is a great team but today we really wanted to limit their opportunities,” said Shenhua coach Choi Kang-hee.

“Our players really overcame their difficulties of fitness and fatigue. They persisted from the first minute until the end and I thank them for that.

“They showed great mental power and spirit and I believe they will get better from here,” he added.

Tokyo FC’s Kenta Hasegawa was clearly upset, although he was not losing hope yet despite his team being in third place in the standings with four points from three matches

“The result is disappointing. This was the first game in the AFC Champions League for many of our young players,” Hasegawa said.

“They were not ready for this game, but I am sure the will be ready for the next.”