The top 15 ranked women on the Rolex World Rankings have entered the 2011 Ricoh Women's British Open, all eager to take on the new challenge offered by the famous Carnoustie course, Angus, Scotland, 28th to 31st July, 2011.
Joining Yani Tseng, defending champion and No.1 on the Rolex World Rankings and Stacy Lewis, winner of the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship and world ranked No.15, are former Champions World No.4, Jiyai Shin, and the resurgent World No.9, Karrie Webb, who will be looking to claim back the only Major played outside the USA.
Jiyai explained, "Winning the Ricoh Women's British Open at Sunningdale in 2008 changed my life and for that reason it will always be very special to me. Each year I learn a little more about playing links courses and with Carnoustie being new for everyone, I think I have a great chance. I really enjoy visiting and playing in the UK and am looking forward to ordering fish and chips again!"
Rolex World Rankings No.2 Cristie Kerr and No.3 Suzann Pettersen and are both aiming to win their first Ricoh Women's British Open title. Suzann is eager to add another Major title to her 2007 McDonald's LPGA Championship explaining, "I'd love to win the Ricoh Women's British Open - my best finish there is a disappointing 14th - as I know I have the game to do well there. I love the different challenges presented by links golf and I think we are all very excited about playing at Carnoustie for the first time having seen so many amazing men's Championships there."
2005 amateur medal winner World No.10, Michelle Wie, who is hoping that the 34th Ricoh Women's British Open will be a Major breakthrough for her, added, "I can't wait to play at Carnoustie and there is no doubt I would love to win there. It is a very special course and I think the LGU has made a great decision to take the Ricoh Women's British Open there. I know how much it would also mean to my coach, David Leadbetter, who has shared many of his links golf secrets with me.I can't wait to come over in July."
Na Yeon Choi, (No.5) Sun Ju Ahn, (No.6), I.K.Kim (No.7) Ai Miyazato, (No.8) Paula Creamer,(No.11) Inbee Park, (No.12) Song Hee Kim (No.13) and Brittany Lincicome (No.14) complete the world's top 15 and this week are joined by the qualifiers from Japan. Ai Miyatato heads up the Japanese challenge having finished in the top 10 the last two years, with the following players qualifying via the JLPGA money list; Sun-Ju Ahn, (KOR) Miki Saiki, (JPN), Sakura Yokomine, (JPN) Ji-Hee Lee, (KOR) Yuri Fudoh. (JPN)
Shona Malcolm, the Ladies' Golf Union's CEO added, "It is great to hear we have the leading 15 women playing at Carnoustie. There is a real buzz about this year's tournament as the only Major to be held in Scotland and the field is shaping up to once again be the most international of all the Major Championships. Preparations are going well at Carnoustie as it looks forward to hosting this great Championship for the first time."
Last year was the first time fans were 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