Newly crowned World Number One, Cristie Kerr won her second Major title in record-breaking style finishing 12 shots clear of the field at the LPGA Championship Presented by Wegmans.
Having already confirmed her entry in the 35th Ricoh Women’s British Open at The Royal Birkdale Golf Club, 29th July to 1st August, Cristie is now a firm favourite having finished in the top ten four times including a tied fifth in 2005 when the Championship was last played at Birkdale.
Cristie is the first American to top the Rolex Rankings and thoroughly deserving of the top spot having spent amazing 323 weeks ranked within the World’s top 10 and showing her remarkable consistency with 74 consecutive cuts since May 2007. There is no doubt Cristie has her eyes firmly on adding the coveted Ricoh Women’s British Open title to her haul.
Following her final round 66 she explained, “I am delighted to have made it to No.1 but now I want to stay there. It's something that I've wanted and worked for my whole life. It's great but I just got there and I feel you really have to keep proving it so I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. I always wanted to be the No. 1 player in the world and I take great pride in being the top American but you have to perform every week to do that. I'm there now, but I have to prove that I deserve to be there so there is still a lot of work ahead but it feels awfully good right now.”
While Cristie was breaking records across the Atlantic, The Royal Birkdale Golf Club’s own Kelly Tidy, aged 18, triumphed at the 2010 Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship at Ganton Golf Club, beating Scottish Champion Kelsey MacDonald 2 and 1 in the 18-hole final. Kelly, who was a beaten finalist in the Girls’ British Open Amateur Championships of 2007 and 2008 and played for Europe in both the Junior Solheim Cup and the Junior Ryder Cup, was delighted to discover her victory qualified her for direct entry into the Ricoh Women’s British Open, joining fellow Birkdale member, Florentyna Parker, who qualified following her recent win at the AMRO Ladies Open in Holland
Kelly, who has been a member at Royal Birkdale Golf Club since 2008, explained, “I am so looking forward to playing my first Major at my home club in front of my friends and family. I would have tried to come though qualifying of course but this is much better. I hope I will be able to take the confidence I have gained from winning the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship into the Championship and make everyone at Birkdale proud of me.”
Shona Malcolm, the LGU’s CEO, commented, “Cristie’s performance at the weekend was remarkable and we look forward to seeing how she fares at The Royal Birkdale Golf Club this summer. Kelly’s win illustrated the increasingly healthy state of the women’s amateur game in the UK, as she won the first all-British final since Rebecca Hudson beat Emma Duggleby to win the title at Walton Heath in 2000. It will be a fantastic experience for her playing in the Ricoh Women’s British Open and I look forward to watching her make the most of her local Birkdale knowledge as she takes advantage of this fantastic opportunity.”
For the first time this year fans will be able to watch the BBC’s extensive coverage of the Ricoh Women’s British Open in HD (high definition) underlining the significance of the Championship in the BBC’s sports portfolio.
The Ricoh Women’s British Open was founded by the LGU in 1976 and is staged in conjunction with IMG, the world’s largest sports marketing company. The event has been co-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET since 1994 and gained Major status in 2001.
Ricoh, the leading technology provider of Managed Document Services and Production Printing, has been the title sponsor of the Ricoh Women’s British Open since 2007.
photos Janos Schmidt