A strong European contingent will be looking to make their mark at the final Major of the year, the Ricoh Women’s British Open, as they also hope to secure their place in the 2011 European Solheim Cup team.
Laura Davies, having played in 30 consecutive Championships, is currently leading the Solheim Cup rankings and is very much looking forward to the challenges offered by the Carnoustie links in Angus, Scotland, 28th to 31st July, 2011.
Davies, a winner of 79 tournaments worldwide, said “I think we are all excited to play at Carnoustie for the first time. It is a very famous course and the LGU has definitely kept its promise to rotate the Ricoh Women’s British Open around the very best courses and I am looking forward to the week very much. It is the time of year I really enjoy so I hope that will bring out my best golf.”
Melissa Reid is currently lying second on the Solheim Cup standings and, with two professional wins already in her fledgling career, she is now looking to make an impact on the Majors.
Reid explained, “It is going to be a very important week for everyone. Of course the UK and European players want to win their ‘home’ Major but, as well as that, there will be lots of points on offer to players trying to ensure their place on the European Solheim Cup team – it is a fantastic part in the LET season with all the American players over for a couple of weeks and it is definitely the time you want to shine.”
Christel Boeljon of Holland is currently third on the Henderson Money list and well-placed to make her Solheim Cup debut, lying in third place on the European Solheim Cup rankings. She enjoyed her first professional win at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open and has finished in the top 10 in six of her last seven tournaments.
As a Ricoh Ambassador, Boeljon is really looking forward to making her mark at this year’s Championship. She added, “I missed the cut last year and am absolutely determined to do a whole lot better this year. I am very grateful for Ricoh’s support of my career and I would really like to make them proud by playing my best golf in this prestigious event.”
There is any number of European contenders, including last year’s amateur medal winner, Caroline Hedwall, already a winner in her rookie season, and Becky Brewerton, winner of the 2011 Tenerife Ladies Match Play Championship earlier this month. The more experienced European players cannot be discounted with the likes of Maria Hjorth, currently in 6th position on the Solheim Cup rankings, Karen Stupples, a former champion who has been featuring on the leader boards this year, and of course 2009 Champion Catriona Matthew and Janice Moodie, returning to action having had her second child in March. Both Catriona and Janice will be available to speak to you on a special Ricoh Women’s British Open conference call on 28th June 2011 at 1pm East US/6pm UK.
Illustrating the international representation at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, the current top nine ranked players on the Henderson Money List are each from a different country; Italy’s Diana Luna, (1) England’s Melissa Reid, (2) Holland’s Christel Boeljon, (3) Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall, (4) Australia’s Kristie Smith, (5), South Africa’s Lee-Ann Pace, (6), Germany’s Caroline Masson (7) Wales’ Becky Brewerton (8) and France’s Virginie Lagoutte-Clement. (9)
Shona Malcolm, the Ladies’ Golf Union’s CEO added, “The Ricoh Women’s British Open will be the final major of the year and the one everyone wants to win. Players from both sides of the Atlantic will be hoping to impress their respective Solheim Cup Captains and if possible seal their place in this year’s match in Ireland. It is great to have such a large number of European contenders for the title this year and very exciting for all the spectators.”
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.