Just a couple of days before the 2008 Women’s British Open tees off at Sunningdale, Luke Norman travels to Berkshire to find out how preparations are going for our very own 2006 champion Karen Stuples and former Kraft Nabisco champion Grace Park.
2006 Open Champion Karen Stuples
“It’s brilliant to be back. It’s such a special place and I can so clearly remember waiting under the big tree by the 18th for the ceremony to start – what a feeling that was.
It’s a very familiar place for me obviously and to be honest it’s the start of the golf course that really gets me going [Karen eagled the par 5 1st in the final round in 2006 on her way to a 65].
However, this year there is something a little different with a little one causing havoc on the putting green! My son Logan travels everywhere with me and I am doing it all for him now. He has brought about a change of perception – golf is important but it’s not the main thing in my life anymore, I’ve got him to think about, which is great.
I certainly don’t get as much rest as I used to though! My husband, Logan and I have just been in the States for a while actually and that is very tiring because there are no grand parents around to dump him on! So I play and then get back and have a little boy to look after.
It’s fantastic but last week I was pretty rundown and I think my body was telling me I needed a rest when I contracted Tonsillitis. It was a real shame to pull out of the Evian Masters but I clearly needed a rest and perhaps it will be a blessing in disguise, as I feel pretty fresh now. I have caught up on lots of sleep and the grand parents have been on over-time.
I feel like I am playing pretty well at the moment, hitting it consistently and getting some top-10s and top-5s. So it’s just a question of putting it all together. And for me to play well here I must stick with my plan and be disciplined. Then it’s just a question of quality iron shots because the scoring is going to be low!”
2004 Kraft Nabisco Champion Grace Park
“I am feeling good, my preparation has been great and I really want to win here! It’s been a tough year with a slow start after my injuries but I feel it’s all coming together now.
It’s crucial I play smart here and put the ball in the right spot off the tee. It’s vital to drive well and the start is obviously crucial with getting under-par on the opening par 5s.
The British Open is one of the top-3 events of our year and the biggest event in Europe so I’m desperate to do well. It was such an honour to play at St Andrews Old Course last year, so prestigious for us all.
Now I want to go on and win a British Open – I have got a good record, having finished T3rd, it’s just a case of getting better.”
Don’t miss our exclusive interview tomorrow with world number one and defending champion Lorena Ochoa.