Women's British Open

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Women's British Open
Tournament information
Location  United Kingdom
Established 1976, 38 years ago
Course(s) varies - in 2014:
Royal Birkdale Golf Club
Southport, England
Par 72 (in 2014)
Length 6,458 yards (5,905 m)
(in 2014)
Organized by Ladies' Golf Union
Tour(s) LPGA Tour (1984, 1994–)
LET (1979–)
Format Stroke play
Prize fund $3,000,000
2,200,000   (est.)
£1,750,000   (est.)
Month played July
Tournament record score
Aggregate 269 Karrie Webb (1997)
269 Karen Stupples (2004)
To par −19 Karrie Webb (1997)
−19 Karen Stupples (2004)
Current champion
United States Mo Martin
2014 Women's British Open
RoyalBirkdale is located in England
RoyalBirkdale
Royal
Birkdale
Location in 2014, in northwestern England

The Women's British Open is a major championship in women's professional golf. Prior to 2013, it was the only major recognized by both the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour. The reigning champion is American Stacy Lewis, who won by two shots at St Andrews in 2013 to earn her second major title, which ended Inbee Park's attempt at a calendar-year Grand Slam.

Usually played in late July, the 2012 edition was scheduled for mid-September, due to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The 2013 event was played in early August and the 2014 event is scheduled for mid-July, the week prior to the Open Championship.

Since 2007, it has been called the Ricoh Women's British Open, for sponsorship reasons. The previous twenty editions (1987–2006) were sponsored by Weetabix, a breakfast cereal.[1]

History[edit]

The practice green at Sunningdale Golf Club in 2008.

The Women's British Open was established by the Ladies' Golf Union in 1976 and was intended to serve as the women's equivalent of The Open Championship (often called the "British Open" outside the United Kingdom). At first, it was difficult for the organisers to get the most prestigious courses to agree to host the event, with the exception of Royal Birkdale, which hosted it twice during its early days — in 1982 and 1986. After nearly folding in 1983, the tournament was held at the best of the "second-tier" courses, including Woburn Golf and Country Club for ten straight years, 1987 through 1996, as well as in 1984 and 1999.

As its prestige continued to increase, more of the links courses that are in the rotation for The Open Championship, such as Turnberry (2002) and Royal Lytham & St Annes (1998, 2003, 2006) hosted the tournament, in addition to Royal Birkdale (2000, 2005, 2010). In 2007, the tournament took place at the Old Course at St Andrews for the first time. However unlike its male counterpart, the tournament has not adopted a links-only policy. This greatly increases the number of potential venues, especially the number close to the major population centres of England. Two additional Open Championship venues have been added as first-time hosts for the women's event: Carnoustie (2011) and Royal Liverpool (2012). The tournament has yet to be played at three Open Championship courses: Muirfield and Royal Troon in Scotland, and Royal St. George's in southeastern England.

Through 1993, the tournament was an official stop only on the Ladies European Tour, with the exception of the 1984 edition, which was co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour. Starting in 1994, it became a permanent LPGA Tour event, which increased both the quality of the field and the event's prestige. It has been an official LPGA major since 2001, when it replaced the du Maurier Classic in Canada. In 2005, the starting field size was increased to 150, but only the low 65 (plus ties) survive the cut after the second round. In both 2007 and 2008 the prize fund was £1.05 million. Starting in 2009, the prize fund changed from being fixed in pounds to U.S. dollars, and is now $3.0 million.

Tied for most victories in the Women's British Open with three each are Karrie Webb of Australia and Sherri Steinhauer of the United States. Both won the tournament twice before it became an LPGA major and once after. Yani Tseng of Taiwan and Jiyai Shin of South Korea are the multiple winners as a major championship. The other multiple winner is Debbie Massey of the U.S., with consecutive wins (1980 & 1981) well before it was an LPGA co-sanctioned event.

Exemptions and qualifying events[edit]

The field for the tournament is 144, and golfers may gain a place in three ways. The overwhelming majority of the field is made up of leading players who are given exemptions. The rest of the field is made up of players who were successful in "Final Qualifying".

There were fourteen "exemption" categories as of 2011. Among the more significant are:

  • The top 15 (and ties) from the previous year's Women's British Open.
  • The top 10 Ladies European Tour members in the Women's World Golf Rankings who did not finish in the top 15 of the previous year's event.
  • The top 30 LPGA members in the Women's World Golf Rankings who did not finish in the top 15 of the previous year's event.
  • The top 25 on the current year's LET money list not already exempt from the previous year's event or the world rankings. (Before the world rankings were incorporated into qualifying, this category consisted of the top 35 on the money list.)
  • The top 40 on the current year's LPGA Tour money list not already exempt from the previous year's event or the world rankings. (Before the world rankings were incorporated into qualifying, this category consisted of the top 70 on the money list.)
  • The top 5 on the current year's LPGA of Japan Tour money list not already exempt from the previous year's event, or through the world rankings if they are also members of the LET or U.S. LPGA. (Note that these six categories have accounted for approximately 125 entries — or 5/6ths of the players in the final field.)
  • Winners of any recognised LET or LPGA events in the current calendar year.
  • The champions from the last 10 editions of the Women's British Open.
  • The champions of the last 5 editions of one of the other three LPGA majors.

"Final Qualifying" is the traditional way for non-exempt players to win a place at the Women's British Open, although it has become much less meaningful since the tournament became an official LPGA event in 1994. In 2011, an 18-hole pre-qualifying competition was held two weeks before the Open, followed by an 18-hole final qualifying competition the Monday before the Open.

In addition, to permit overseas qualifying, five spots have been awarded to the top five entrants not otherwise qualified who won the highest places at the LPGA's Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic in the Toledo suburb of Sylvania, Ohio. However, this qualifying method is subject to change in 2011, as that tournament will go on a one-year hiatus. Three spots are also awarded to the three LET members who finish highest in the Finnair Masters and not otherwise qualified.

The Women's World Golf Rankings have only recently[when?] begun to play a significant role in qualifying. See full list of exempt categories and qualifying rules for the 2011 tournament.

Winners[edit]

LPGA major championship[edit]

Winners of the championship as an LPGA major (2001–present):[2]

Year Dates Venue Champion Country Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Purse
($)
Winner's
share ($)
2014 Jul 10–13 England Royal Birkdale Golf Club Mo Martin United States United States 287 −1 1 stroke China Shanshan Feng
Norway Suzann Pettersen
3,000,000 474,575
2013 Aug 1–4 Scotland Old Course at St Andrews Stacy Lewis United States United States 280 −8 2 strokes South Korea Na Yeon Choi
South Korea Hee Young Park
2,750,000 402,583
2012 Sep 13–16 England Royal Liverpool Golf Club Jiyai Shin South Korea South Korea 279 −9 9 strokes South Korea Inbee Park 2,750,000 428,650
2011 Jul 28–31 Scotland Carnoustie Golf Links Yani Tseng  Taiwan 272 −16 4 strokes United States Brittany Lang 2,500,000 392,133
2010 Jul 29 – Aug 1 England Royal Birkdale Golf Club Yani Tseng  Taiwan 277 −11 1 stroke Australia Katherine Hull 2,500,000 408,714
2009 Jul 30 – Aug 2 England Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Catriona Matthew  Scotland 285 −3 3 strokes Australia Karrie Webb 2,200,000 335,000
2008 Jul 31 – Aug 3 England Sunningdale Golf Club Jiyai Shin  South Korea 270 −18 3 strokes Taiwan Yani Tseng 2,100,000 314,464
2007 Aug 2–5 Scotland Old Course at St Andrews Lorena Ochoa  Mexico 287 −5 4 strokes Sweden Maria Hjorth
South Korea Jee Young Lee
2,000,000 320,512
2006 Aug 3–6 England Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Sherri Steinhauer  United States 281 −7 3 strokes Sweden Sophie Gustafson
United States Cristie Kerr
1,800,000 305,440
2005 July 28–31 England Royal Birkdale Golf Club Jeong Jang  South Korea 272 −16 4 strokes Sweden Sophie Gustafson 1,800,000 280,208
2004 July 29 – Aug 1 England Sunningdale Golf Club Karen Stupples  England 269 −19 5 strokes Australia Rachel Hetherington 1,600,000 290,880
2003 July 31 – Aug 3 England Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Annika Sörenstam  Sweden 278 −10 1 stroke South Korea Se Ri Pak 1,600,000 254,880
2002 Aug 8–11 Scotland Turnberry - Ailsa Course Karrie Webb  Australia 273 −15 2 strokes Australia Michelle Ellis
Spain Paula Martí
1,500,000 236,383
2001 Aug 2–5 England Sunningdale Golf Club Se Ri Pak  South Korea 277 −11 2 strokes South Korea Mi Hyun Kim 1,500,000 221,650

LPGA event[edit]

Winners as a co-sanctioned LPGA tournament, but not an LPGA major (1994–2000):[2]

Year Date Venue Champion Country Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Purse
($)
Winner's
share ($)
2000 Aug 17–20 England Royal Birkdale Golf Club Sophie Gustafson  Sweden 282 −6 2 strokes United States Becky Iverson
United States Meg Mallon
Sweden Liselotte Neumann
England Kirsty Taylor
1,250,000 178,000
1999 Aug 12–15 England Woburn Golf and Country Club Sherri Steinhauer  United States 283 −5 1 stroke Sweden Annika Sörenstam 1,000,000 160,000
1998 Aug 13–16 England Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Sherri Steinhauer  United States 292 +4 1 stroke United States Brandie Burton
Sweden Sophie Gustafson
1,000,000 162,000
1997 Aug 14–17 England Sunningdale Golf Club Karrie Webb  Australia 269 −19 8 strokes United States Rosie Jones 900,000 129,938
1996 Aug 15–18 England Woburn Golf and Country Club Emilee Klein  United States 277 −11 7 strokes United States Amy Alcott
United States Penny Hammel
850,000 124,000
1995 Aug 17–20 England Woburn Golf and Country Club Karrie Webb  Australia 278 −10 6 strokes Sweden Annika Sörenstam
United States Jill McGill
600,000 92,400
1994 Aug 11–14 England Woburn Golf and Country Club Liselotte Neumann  Sweden 280 −8 3 strokes Sweden Annika Sörenstam 500,000 80,325

LET major[edit]

Winners before the tournament became an LPGA tournament (1976–93):
(The 1984 tournament was co-sanctioned by the LET and LPGA Tour)

Year Venue Champion Country Score
1993 Woburn Golf and Country Club Karen Lunn  Australia 275
1992 Woburn Golf and Country Club Patty Sheehan  United States 207*
1991 Woburn Golf and Country Club Penny Grice-Whittaker  England 284
1990 Woburn Golf and Country Club Helen Alfredsson  Sweden 288
1989 Ferndown Golf Club Jane Geddes  United States 274
1988 Lindrick Golf Club Corinne Dibnah  Australia 295
1987 St Mellion Golf and Country Club Alison Nicholas  England 296
1986 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Laura Davies  England 283
1985 Moor Park Golf Club Betsy King  United States 300
1984 Woburn Golf and Country Club Ayako Okamoto  Japan 289
1983 No tournament
1982 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Marta Figueras-Dotti (a)  Spain 296
1981 Northumberland Golf Club Debbie Massey  United States 295
1980 Wentworth Club Debbie Massey  United States 294
1979 Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Alison Sheard  South Africa 301
1978 Foxhills Golf & Country Club Janet Melville (a)  England 310
1977 Lindrick Golf Club Vivien Saunders  England 306
1976 Fulford Golf Club Jenny Lee Smith (a)  England 299

(a) denotes amateur

Major champions by nationality[edit]

This table lists the total number of titles won by golfers of each nationality as an LPGA major (2001–present).

Nationality Number
of wins
 South Korea 4
 United States 3
 Taiwan 2
 Australia 1
 England 1
 Mexico 1
 Scotland 1
 Sweden 1

Future sites[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Championship History". Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Ricoh Women's British Open Past Winners". LPGA. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Turnberry to host the 2015 Ricoh Women's British Open". LPGA. July 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 

External links[edit]