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Altomare hoping for first LPGA win

USA star Brittany Altomare has confirmed she will play the 2020 Women's Australian Open at Royal Adelaide Golf Club after her career-best season on the LPGA.

The 29-year-old had her best-ever scoring average of 70.36 in 2019 ranking her 19th in this statistic for the season.

During her last 15 LPGA events in 2019, Altomare recorded 5 top-10 finishes and finished outside the top-29, just once.

Through those last 15 events, Altomare had a scoring average of 69.15 and World-number 1 Jin Young Ko playing the same events had an average of 68.55.

Why the comparison to Ko?

Well, Altomare and Ko were the only two players inside the Top-60 on the Rolex World Rankings that made every cut for the season!

Ko also withdrew from an event late in 2019, on the Rolex Rankings website this event was recorded as 'made cut' for Ko, whereas the LPGA player guide has it down as Ko not making the cut, so if that is the case, then Altomare was the only player to have made every cut in 2019!

Ko's season was that impressive, she recorded the fourth highest scoring average (69.05) of all-time on the LPGA Tour. The only other player in the history to have a lower average is Annika Sorenstam, who holds first, second and third place in the top-3 averages of all time.

Altomare could very well have had multiple wins in 2019, her two runner-up finishes along with a third, fifth and tie for ninth, indicate that elusive debut LPGA win is close.

Climbing to 28th in the world, Altomare puts her consistent streak of making 32 consecutive cuts down to less mistakes and a good amount of birdies.

"I think what I did best that helped me be so consistent this year was I eliminated mistakes," Altomare told Our Sporting Life SA.

"I found a way to minimize my bogies and continued to make a good amount of birdies which helped me play consistently throughout the season.

"I think if I can keep getting in contention and keep getting more and more comfortable being in those positions it (winning an event) will eventually happen!

She also improved her average driving distance by 10 yards from 240 (2018) to 250 (2019) through some adjustments to her driver shaft and Altomare credits Diesel Fitness in Florida as catalyst for the results too.

"I gained some length off the tee which I think helped with making birdies," she said.

"I could reach more par 5's this year and felt like I had shorter clubs into greens which gave me more opportunities.

"I made no real changes to my swing, I just continued working out with Diesel Fitness in the off season and trying to honestly just swing faster.

"My coach and I also worked a lot getting the correct shaft in my driver to lower my spin rate so I could have more of a tumble effect when the ball hits the ground.

Altomare like always is looking forward to visiting Adelaide again for the Women's Australian Open at Royal Adelaide Golf Club from February 13-16.

"I've always loved going to Adelaide, I love the people, fans and food," Altomare said.

"We always seem to find some really good spots to eat for breakfast and dinner. The courses we play too are really great, they are always in great shape and are a good test of golf.

The Tampa, Florida local is confident of a strong performance at Royal Adelaide to kick-start her season, where she hopes to gain enough points to earn her spot on the Solheim Cup team again.

"I always feel like I can win every event I tee it up in, so I'm hoping to win, but a back end goal would be to finish inside the top ten," she said.

"I would also like to keep getting points to get back on the 2021 Solheim Cup team.

"Being part of that team was a highlight of my year last year and I would love nothing else then to be on that team again."

Image- Andrew Frackowski