Lowdown:
The RICOH Women’s British Open takes place this week over the Old Course at St Andrews. Jiyai Shin is the defending champion and Inbee Park is at the Home of Golf, looking to win a fourth consecutive Major championship.

Having already won this year’s Kraft Nabisco Championship, LPGA Championship and U.S. Women’s Open, Inbee Park is looking to make history in St Andrews. If she can take the title she will become the first player, male or female, to win four professional Major championships in the same calendar year. The 25-year-old from South Korea is looking forward to the challenge.

“Not many people, not many golfers get that kind of opportunity, winning three majors and going for a calendar grand slam at the British Open on such a historic golf course,” she said.

In last year’s RICOH Women’s British Open, Jiyai Shin dominated at Royal Liverpool to win the title for a second time. She finished nine clear of Inbee Park.

Asian players have dominated women’s Major golf in recent seasons. Players from the continent of Asia have won the last 10 Major titles. Stacy Lewis of the USA was the last non-Asian winner. She took the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

There will be plenty of talented players from the US and Europe looking to end that run this week. In fact, no less than 41 players from the States will tee it up this week. Stacy Lewis and Paula Creamer will lead the American challenge while Suzann Pettersen and Catriona Matthew will be the top ranked European players in the field.

After her victory in the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters last week at the Buckinghamshire, Karrie Webb of Australia will be looking to pick up her second British Women’s Open title. She won in 2002 at Turnberry.

The tournament returns to St Andrews for the first time since 2007. Then World Number 1 Lorena Ochoa was the victor on that occasion. The players are extremely excited about teeing it up in the Home of Golf.

“As a Scot, there’s no place I’d rather win than at the Old Course,” said 2009 champion Catriona Matthew. “My game is in good shape and I will do everything I can to ensure I’m ready for the week.

The Old Course at St Andrews is the world’s most famous and historic golf course. It forges out from the town of St Andrews towards the Eden Estuary, before turning and heading back towards the famous buildings of the “Auld Grey Toon.” The layout should, once again, provide a dramatic and appropriate setting for the world’s best female golfers to do battle.

Venue:
Old Course St Andrews, Fife Scotland
Date: Aug 1 – 4
Course stats: par 72, 6,672 yards
Purse: €1,920,130
Defending Champion: Jiyai Shin (-9)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 1 – BBC 2 from 1pm
Friday 2 – BBC2 from 1pm
Saturday 3 – BBC1 from 2.30pm
Sunday 4 – BBC2 from 1.55pm

Player Watch:
Inbee Park – The South Korean is looking to make history in St Andrews with a fourth consecutive Major title. She was runner-up in this event last year and who would bet against her going one better this time out?

Catriona Matthew – The Scot was a winner of this tournament back in 2009 and she’s on good form this year. She lost out to Park in a playoff for this year’s LPGA Championship.

Paula Creamer – She has only one Major to her name – the 2010 US Women’s Open, but she is a solid performer in the biggest events. She has 14 career top-10 Major finishes. She also has a great record in the British Women’s Open. She was third last year and was tied third in 2009.

Key hole:
17th. The Road Hole at St Andrews is one of the most iconic in the world. The players must drive over the sheds to the side of the Old Course Hotel, finding the narrow fairway that slants to the right. The long approach must be a precise one, avoiding the perilous Road Hole bunker. Coming in with a long club, it will be tough to get the ball to stop on the narrow green before it tumbles down the bank and onto the road behind the putting surface.

Where next?
Preview:
WGC – Bridgestone Invitational