The final women’s major of the year gets underway today as the world’s best head to Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake for the RICOH Women’s British Open.
The 144-player event – staged for the first time at Hoylake – features a field consisting of 48 of the top 50 players on the LPGA Tour Order of Merit, who will all be vying for a share of the $2,750,000 prize pool.
Yani Tseng will defend the title she won in 2010 and last year at Carnoustie, but she hasn’t recorded a victory since late March, an uncharacteristically barren run for the world number one.
The British contingent looks strong this year, with four-time major winner Laura Davies and 2009 RICOH Women’s British Open champion Catriona Matthew joined in the field by Carly Booth, the current LET Order or Merit leader, who is making her first start in the tournament.
Davies has 81 professional titles to her name – including four majors – and has played in every Solheim Cup since its inauguration in 1990, but she needs to win a fifth major or two more regular tour events to qualify for the Hall of Fame.
“I’ve had about eight goes of winning this tournament to get into the Hall of Fame,” she said.
“Who knows? This year might be the one – it would be the perfect place to do it.
“I’ve been playing well all year. Putting has been the biggest problem, but I putted nicely last week.
“It would be nice if one of the home girls could win it and hopefully I’ll be in the mix – it would just end such a great summer of sport for Great Britain,” she added.
Twenty-year-old Booth, whose mother comes from Liverpool, said: “It’s a perfect first British Open for me and it’s going to be a very special week,” she said.
“I am very excited for the week ahead but I plan to just go out there, enjoy it, have fun and do my best. I’m pretty happy with my game right now and can’t wait to get started.”
RICOH British Open television times:
Thursday 13th: 13:00 – 17: 15 – BBC Two
Friday 14th: 13:00 – 17:15 – BBC Two
Saturday 15th: 14:30 – 17:00 – BBC One and Two
Sunday 16th: 14:30 – 17: 00 – BBC Two