AS WORK gets underway at Royal Lytham to dismantle the trappings of an Open Championship, preparations are already well in hand for the next golfing major on these shores.
This time it will be the turn of the world’s best women golfers to contest their own Open at the home of one of the sport’s most historic venues, here on Merseyside.
Royal Liverpool, on the banks of the Dee Estuary at Hoylake, has played an integral role in the history of the sport. But this will be the first time the women have taken on the famous links with so much at stake.
Today’s event is one of the most highly-prized on the circuit and will attract the vast majority of the world’s best women golfers.
And the higher profile brings with it the very welcome attention of the TV cameras – a factor that England’s most successful player believes is a crucial component in the on-going campaign to attract the next generation of players.
Laura Davies, who has won more than 80 tournaments worldwide, is delighted the Ricoh Women’s British Open will be in the limelight and hopes it can win over new fans – and potential players – for the women’s game.
“This is a chance to watch women's golf on live TV – hopefully young girls will see women playing golf and think it is something they would like to try rather than thinking it is just a game for young boys,” the 49-year-old star said.
“The women's Open is a great chance to put the sport in the public eye.”
Davies’s career is the most decorated in English women’s golf, dating back to turning professional in 1985 and highlights include topping the Ladies European Tour order of merit a record seven times, being the first non-American to head the LPGA rankings and a CBE.
In only her second year as a pro she won the McEwan’s Wirral Classic and the Ladies British Open, before it had become a major.
“The Wirral Classic was played at Caldy and I remember that being a mixture of links as it went towards the sea and heathland,” she said. “I have fond memories of that win in front of my aunt.”
THE Ricoh Women’s British Open takes place at Royal Liverpool Golf Club from September 13-16. Tickets can be purchased at the gates, under-16s get in free with an adult. A 15% discount will be given on all tickets bought before September 7 and groups of 20 or more will receive a 25% discount. For further details please visit the official website www.ricohwomensbritishopen.com