World No.1 Lydia Ko will look to defend the ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open at The Grange in Adelaide this week, fresh off a successful title defence at the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Women’s Open in Christchurch on Sunday.
Ko held off a final round charge from Amy Yang at Royal Melbourne last year, which marked the start of an amazing season in which she won six times, including the Evian Championship, to become the youngest female Major champion in history at 18 years, four months and 20 days and the youngest since Young Tom Morris at the 1868 Open Championship aged 17 years, five months and eight days.
The West Course at The Grange will be new to most of the players, which may open up the field and give an advantage to the home contingent. There are 19 Australians among the list of 143 competitors, including the 2014 Women’s Australian Open Karrie Webb (Victoria Golf Club) and Minjee Lee, who as of today would represent Australia on the 2016 Olympic Team.
The in-form players in the field include England’s Felicity Johnson and Nanna Koerstz Madsen from Denmark, who tied for second at the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Women’s Open and Georgia Hall, who won the recent Victorian Open on the ALPG.
Those in the field who won on the Ladies European Tour in 2015 include Melissa Reid (Turkish Airlines Ladies Open), Gwladys Nocera (Lalla Meryem Cup), Emily Kristine Pedersen (Hero Women’s Indian Open), Celine Herbin (Lacoste Ladies Open de France), Nicole Broch Larsen (Helsingborg Open), Hannah Burke (Tipsport Golf Masters) and Beth Allen (ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters). They are joined by 2015 European Solheim Cup team members Charley Hull, Catriona Matthew, Karine Icher, Caroline Masson and Caroline Hedwall as well as multiple Ladies European Tour champions Trish Johnson, Becky Brewerton, Marianne Skarpnord, Florentyna Parker and Kylie Walker, former winners Ssu-Chia Cheng, Connie Chen, Camilla Lennarth and Valentine Derrey as well as the 2014 LET Rookie of the Year Amy Boulden.