(Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, 29 July 2003) The women’s world number one Annika Sorenstam leads 144 of the finest female players in the world at this week’s Weetabix Women’s British Open, starting on Thursday at Royal Lytham and St Annes GC near Blackpool.

Webb – defending champion

However, Sorenstam will have to be at her best to create history around this venerable course. And after last weeks Evian Masters, many of the world’s best are in peak form. None more so than defending Women’s British Open champion Karrie Webb, closing in fifth place behind runaway winner Juli Inkster.

But the 28-year-old from Queensland is without a victory since her triumph at Turnberry last year, where she became the first person to win all five of the women’s major championships, a ‘Super Career Grand Slam’.

“Last week was the first time I have strung four rounds together for a while,” said Webb, winner of this title in 1995, 1997 and 2002 and who was given the trophy to keep by the chairman of Weetabix, Sir Richard George.

“I’ve tended to have one blowout this year which has not really put me in contention.

“But it’s great to be back at the British Open, I look forward to this event every year and obviously we played in 1998 and with the wind the way it was today, it brought back a lot of memories of four long days!

Inkster’s CV makes impressive reading with seven majors including the du Maurier championship, which is no longer a women’s event due to the ban on tobacco advertising in Canada.