World No.1 Lydia Ko will join defending champion Inbee Park along with a star-studded list of past champions including Mo Martin, Stacy Lewis, Yani Tseng, Catriona Matthew and Karrie Webb, at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Woburn, England, 28 to 31 July, 2016.
Lydia Ko, the record-breaking 19-year-old, had back to back wins at the last two Majors, Evian and ANA Inspiration, and is already eyeing the Ricoh Women’s British Open title. Winner of 12 LPGA tour titles, Ko explained, “There is always an extra special feeling about the Ricoh Women’s Open, I think it is because the LGU always hold it on such amazing courses. When I played last year, everyone kept asking me when I would finally win a Major, so it will be kind of nice not to have to answer that question again this year! It is a title everyone wants to win so it will be a tough week but, after finishing in a tie for third last year, I am definitely getting closer. Woburn sounds like it will suit my game really well and I’ve also heard there is an awesome safari park right next door which is definitely on my long list of things I want to do while I’m in the UK.”
World No.2, Inbee Park, who completed her career grand slam with her victory at the 2015 Championship at Turnberry, confirmed last month that she will be defending her title. She explained “Winning the title last year meant so much to me, as I had been dreaming about it for so long. I just wanted to enjoy being the Ricoh Women’s Open Champion before setting new goals. Now I have new goals in mind, which include focussing on successfully defending my title. I can’t wait to get to Woburn.”
American World No.6 Stacy Lewis, who won the Championship in 2013 on the Old Course at St Andrews said, “I am looking forward to playing at Woburn for the first time. Winning the Ricoh Women’s British Open at the home of golf is one my favourite memories and I would love to try and win another one this year.”
Fellow American and popular 2014 winner, Mo Martin, is also excited, explaining, “The Ricoh Women’s British Open is what I prepare for all year. Being the 2014 Champion was every bit of a dream come true and the highlight of my career. I love playing in the UK. British fans truly appreciate the game as well as the creativity and variety of shots needed to play there. I’ve fully recovered from my thumb injury and have had a very steady start to this season. I feel really good about my game and can’t wait to get to London. I’ve already heard so many incredible things about Woburn!”
Matthew, who won the title at Royal Lytham in 2009, remarkably just 11 weeks after the birth of her second daughter, will feature alongside other home favourites; British No.1 Charley Hull and Solheim Cup star Mel Reid.
The 40th Ricoh Women’s British Open will be played on the Marquess Course for the first time and the world’s best women will compete for a prize fund of UK £2,072,253 (US $3 million). The Championship is played at Woburn for the 10th time, having first been played there in 1984 when Ayako Okamoto became the first and only Japanese winner of the event.
The Ricoh Women’s British Open was founded by the LGU in 1976 and has been staged in conjunction with IMG, the world’s largest sports marketing company, since 1984. The event has been co-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET since 1994 and gained Major status in 2001.
Ricoh, a global technology company specialising in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services, has been the title sponsor of the Ricoh Women’s British Open since 2007.