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Ko plans Wirral golf KO
THE line-up for next week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open championship at Royal Liverpool will include 21 major champions – and a 15-year-old golfing sensation.
Lydia Ko astounded golf observers when she won last month’s CN Canadian Women’s Open against a field of the top ranked players.
Lydia who also won the 2012 US Amateur Championship in August, commented, “I have had an amazing summer and I feel like it can only get better. I can’t wait to get to England to play in my first Ricoh Women’s British Open.
"I played in the Astor Trophy at Lytham last year so I have some experience playing golf in the North West of England but I am already thinking of what shots I will need to play at Hoylake."
Seven-time Major winner Julie Inkster is the field’s oldest competitor after being granted a special exemption as she returns from surgery on her elbow.
With 31 wins in a career spanning nearly 30 years, she has enjoyed more wins in Solheim Cup matches than any American and is a member of the Hall of Fame.
Heading the list of major champions is defending Champion, Yani Tseng, the World Number No. 1 who is looking to win her first major title since winning the Championship at Carnoustie last year.
Home favourites, Laura Davies, Catriona Matthew and Karen Stupples are each looking to win the title for a second time while Ricoh ambassador and 2012 US Open Champion, Paula Creamer, Kraft Nabisco Champion, Stacy Lewis and 2010 LPGA Champion Cristie Kerr will be trying to land the first American women’s major win of the year.
The three major champions of 2012 - Sun Young Yoo, Shan Shan Feng and Na Yeon Choi - will all be hoping to claim their second major title of their careers.
With 20 players still to claim their place, there are already 26 nations represented among the 124 fully exempt players with the biggest challenge coming from the American team with 36 representatives on the entry list.
Korea claims the second biggest contingent with 21 players already confirmed in the field while the home challenge is 13- strong with many more hoping to win through final Qualifying next week.
Japan, the home of Ricoh’s head office, have eight players in the line-up including world number five, Ai Miyazato and World number 11, Mika Miyazato.
Shona Malcolm, Ladies Golf Union chief executive, said: “This is already a wonderfully international field, rich in the world’s top women golfers and so many rising stars.
"We are looking forward to seeing which players will now battle their way through Final Qualifying to complete the field. Along with some experienced campaigners, there are a number of very talented teenagers entered including England’s Charlie Hull and China’s Ying Yan who have every chance of winning through at Caldy Golf Club next Monday to join the likes Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson in making their debut at the 2012 Championship.”