World Number One Inbee Park and World Number 12 Catriona Matthew, who finished first and second respectively at the Wegmans LPGA Championship on Sunday, will headline the 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open at St Andrews, Scotland, from 1st to 4th August.
This year’s Championship offers no end of intrigue as Park aims for a career grand slam having already won the 2013 Kraft Nabisco Championship, Wegmans LPGA Championship and the 2008 US Open. Meanwhile home favourite and 2009 Champion, Catriona Matthew, will arrive at the 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open in top form, looking to claim her second Major title.
Park has now spent nine weeks at the top of the Rolex Rankings and at 24 years old, has won seven LPGA titles including three Majors and already has four wins under her belt this season. She is the first player since Annika Sorenstam in 2005 to win the first two Majors of the year and arrives at St Andrews with a chance to make history.
Park explained, “After I won the Kraft I thought about how much I would like to achieve a career grand slam. I wasn’t thinking about achieving it this year as I know I have time on my hands. I have had the best possible start to my year and all I can do from here is try my best and see what happens.”
Park added, “I loved playing in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at St Andrews in 2007. It was amazing to play the most famous course in the world in such an important tournament so I can’t wait to return. I remember I felt really comfortable playing the Old Course and finished just outside the top ten. I have had a lot more experience playing links golf since then so I am very excited to see what happens in August.”
Matthew, who remarkably won the 2009 Ricoh Women’s Open only 11 weeks after the birth of her second child, is hitting top form at just the right time. She commented, “Having come so close last weekend, I am now looking forward to St Andrews more than ever as I know my game is in good shape. As a proud Scot there is no place I would rather win than at the Old Course playing in front of my home fans and I will be doing everything I can to ensure I am ready for the week.”
Last year the Championship was hosted at Royal Liverpool Golf Club for the first time and, with the field including 27 nationalities and 20 Major Champions boasting 41 Major Championships between them, South Korea’s Jiyai Shin won her second Ricoh Women’s British Open title. Her first victory came at Sunningdale in 2008.
The return to St Andrews has been much anticipated by players and spectators alike and defending Champion, Jiyai Shin has already confirmed she will be in Scotland, looking to claim her third Championship. In 2007 the Ricoh Women’s British Open made history as the first ladies professional tournament to be played on the Old Course and was won by crowd favourite and then World No.1, Lorena Ochoa.
Shona Malcolm, the LGU’s CEO said, “It was fantastic to see Catriona’s performance in America at the weekend and Scottish fans will be willing her on to go one better at St Andrews. Inbee Park achievements this year have been awe-inspiring and we are delighted to welcome these two great champions to our field.”
This year fans will again be able to watch the BBC’s extensive live coverage of the Ricoh Women’s British Open in HD (high definition) on all fours days of the Championship, underlining the significance of the event 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.