Aramco Team Series Day 3

Team Cowan triumphs, Marianne Skarpnord wins playoff in the individuals’ race

Aramco Team 2021 R3
July 08-10
Centurion Club, St Albans, England
$1,000,000
Day 1, Day 2

Aramco Team 2021 R3 - Team Cowan triumphs, Marianne Skarpnord wins playoff in the individuals’ race
(L to R) Amateur Andy Kelsey, Olivia Cowan, Sarina Schmidt & Diksha Dagar. Credit: Tristan Jones/LET

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes


Olivia Cowan captained her side to a thrilling victory today in the $1 million Aramco Team Series at the Centurion Club. 

Cowan, along with fellow German Sarina Schmidt, Indian Diksha Dagar and amateur Andy Kelsey proved an irresistible force when it mattered most through the closing holes as they pulled off a series of superb shots.


Aramco Team 2021 R3

The captain set the tone with a magnificent hole-out from 78 yards for eagle at the par–5 13th. She fizzed a 56 degree wedge to the back of the green from where it spun back fully 20 feet before ending up in the cup.

Cowan celebrated by dancing on the spot and the feel-good factor continued as Schmidt followed her in for birdie – ideal in a format where the best two scores from all 54 holes count for each team.

The German duo’s efforts lifted the quartet into a share of the lead and then Dagar hit a hot streak with three birdies in the last four holes. Cowan would also contribute with another gain at the par-3 17th.


Aramco Team 2021 R3

Team Cowan played the last hole in the knowledge that the $150,000 first prize was all but theirs and in the end they closed out at 41-under-par – three clear of Team Skarpnord.

Cowan, 25, said: “Coming in, we were just amazing. The nerves were definitely there, but we all pulled through. I’m just extremely proud.

“To be honest, we all just complemented each other. We were all so great out there – we’re a proper team. We weren’t looking out to win the individual; we were going out there as a team to win the team event and that’s paid off.”


Aramco Team 2021 R3

Cowan also reserved special praise for Kelsey, a human resources director from Epping. He played off an adjusted handicap of 9 for the unique 54-hole event, which gives amateurs the chance to compete with three women professionals.

Cowan said: “He contributed a lot and was out there to have a good time. I think he kept us all calm as well, so that was good. He definitely played a big part in the team and we were lucky to have him.”

Kelsey, 50, said: “I only found out about the opportunity three weeks ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and am overwhelmed to be part of the winning team. Olivia, as our captain was brilliant, and kept encouraging me to try and enjoy it.”


Aramco Team 2021 R3

Skarprnord wasn’t part of the quartet pipped for the lion’s share of the money on offer this week, but she gained a significant consolation with a tense triumph in the individuals’ tournament running parallel.

In regulation play, the Norwegian holed a long-range par putt to tie at 13-under-par with Atthaya Thitikul and force a play-off.

The pair returned to the tee at the 523-yard 18th and couldn’t be split at the first extra hole with both making par.

But at the second time of asking, the Thai teenager Thitikul saw her 14-foot putt lip out before Skarpnord drained a 12-footer to trigger an emotional celebration. It was her fifth Ladies European Tour title and one that she’ll always treasure.


Aramco Team 2021 R3 - Team Cowan triumphs, Marianne Skarpnord wins playoff in the individuals’ race
Marianne Skarpnord. Credit: Tristan Jones/LET

Aramco Team 2021 R3

Skarpnord, 35, said: “To win this event is very special. It’s the first Aramco Team Series. I think this concept is so, so good. And we’ve had so much fun this week. It has been the best week on Tour for a long time, maybe ever.

“The atmosphere here. How good is this…you can’t get any better. The format is really good. I love that. It’s so much fun when you’re a team and you have to do well for someone else as well. Not just yourself.”

The Scandinavian, who picked up $30,000 for her victory, admitted that there was a lot of nerves in the closing stages – especially over the short putts. But she gave herself a lot of chances over the three days with some stunning approach play.

Skarpnord added: “I’ve been striking the ball really good the whole week. I’ve been working with my coach for the last couple of weeks to try and get and get a bit more pressure down on the ball and it’s really working now.”


Aramco Team 2021 R3

This event was the first in a series of four $1million dollar events under the Aramco banner. The next one takes place from August 5-7 at La Reserva Club de Sotogrande in Spain.

Majed Al Sorour, CEO Golf Saudi, said:  “By playing our part in supporting the growth and development of women’s golf both in Saudi Arabia and around the world, we see this as an investment in the next generation of sportspeople and in opportunities available to all women. The Aramco Team Series is a perfect example, with the action of the last few days proof of golf’s ability to inspire and push for something greater.

“It’s been a fantastic week and I wish to extend all my thanks and those of Golf Saudi to every player who competed this week, all our partners, and to those who enjoyed watching the action unfold from around the world. This is only the start, but what a start we’ve had!”

Aramco Team 2021 R3

Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
R2
R3
Total
1
Team Cowan 
-41
-14
-15
-12
397
2
Team Skarpnord 
-38
-7
-15
-16
400
3
Team Nuutinen 
-37
-12
-10
-15
401
4
Team De Roey 
-36
-10
-12
-14
402
5
Team Wolf 
-35
-10
-11
-14
403
6
Team G. Hall 
-34
-8
-10
-16
404
Team Gustavsson 
-34
-10
-12
-12
404
Team Simmermacher
-34
-15
-12
-7
404
9
Team Malik
-33
-6
-13
-14
405
10
Team Johnson 
-32
-12
-12
-8
406
Team Williams
-32
-14
-11
-7
406
Team Hewson 
-32
-7
-14
-11
406
13
Team Lee
-31
-9
-13
-9
407
Team Young 
-31
-12
-12
-7
407
Team L. Hall 
-31
-13
-7
-11
407
16
Team Nordqvist
-29
-6
-12
-11
409
Team Thitikul
-29
-7
-11
-11
409
18
Team Malchirand
-28
-6
-10
-12
410
19
Team Morgan 
-27
-6
-9
-12
411
Team Hull
-27
-7
-11
-9
411
21
Team Booth
-26
-4
-12
-10
412
Team Thompson
-26
-7
-7
-12
412
Team Van Dam
-26
-11
-8
-7
412
24
Team Dimmock
-24
-4
-13
-7
414
25
Team Harm 
-23
-14
-2
-7
415
Team Kyriacou 
-23
-10
-6
-7
415
Team Wikstrom 
-23
-6
-11
-6
415
Team Pedersen 
-23
-6
-11
-6
415
Team Pace 
-23
-16
-2
-5
415
30
Team Fuenfstueck 
-22
-8
-6
-8
416
31
Team Macdonald 
-20
-11
-4
-5
418
Team Metraux 
-20
-9
-3
-8
418
33
Team Henry 
-18
-6
-5
-7
420
34
Team Givens 
-16
-6
-7
-3
422
Team Boulden 
-16
-5
-5
-6
422
36
Team Lampert 
-12
-3
-4
-5
426