Stats and Stuff: 2012 Ricoh Women’s British Open debuts at Hoylake

Caroline Masson of Germany tees off
Photo Credit: Warren Little/Getty Images

Caroline Masson of Germany tees off during the final round of the 2011 Ricoh Women's British Open at Carnoustie Golf Links.

September 12 2012, Ward Clayton

Near longest playoff and the longest hole

Last week’s nine-hole playoff at the Kingsmill Championship was close to the longest in LPGA history and in all of golf. But it surely was the longest to encompass one hole.

Creamer and Shin played the 382-yard par-4 18th hole eight times in sudden death late Sunday afternoon – making par every time – before darkness stopped play. They stayed on that hole because of the distance and time required for the gallery to walk to the other nearby holes. When the playoff resumed on Monday morning, they started at the par-4 16th hole where Creamer three-putted for bogey and Shin two-putted for the win. In total, Creamer and Shin played the 18th hole 12 times during the tournament with all pars except for Creamer’s three-putt bogey on the 72nd hole that forced the playoff.

In the 1972 Corpus Christi Open, which lasted a record 10 holes, three holes were played before darkness postponed play to the next day. JoAnn Prentice won with a birdie putt on the 10th extra hole to beat Sandra Palmer as Kathy Whitworth was eliminated the previous day. It was Prentice’s first win in more than five years, a similar scenario to last week when Creamer and Shin were searching for their first victories in more than two years.

Professional golf’s longest sudden-death playoff, over 11 holes, didn’t have a final result. At the PGA Tour’s 1949 Motor City Open, Cary Middlecoff and Lloyd Mangrum were declared co-winners by mutual agreement due to darkness.

2012 Ricoh Women’s British Open debuts at Hoylake

Just like St. Andrews in 2007, the Ricoh Women’s British Open will be played at a new, historic venue this week.

The Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake has played host to 11 British Opens, including victories by Bobby Jones and Tiger Woods. The British Open returns to Hoylake in 2014.       

The Women’s British Open will return to its normal July date next year after taking a later spot on the schedule this year due to the Summer Olympic Games in London. The tournament has been co-sanctioned by the LPGA and Ladies European Tour since 1994 and gained major status in 2001.

“I remember that golf course,” two-time defending champion Yani Tseng said of Hoylake. “Tiger always hitting irons there, and I try the same strategy as him, because he won there. It actually feels pretty good.  Because to have a good season or you want to have a great season, you have to win in a major tournament. So I'm really looking forward to that.  I really like the links golf course.”

Royal Liverpool is the second-oldest seaside links golf course in England. Built on a race course in 1869, it has played host to some of golf’s most historical moments, including holding the inaugural men’s amateur championship in 1885, the first international match in 1902 between Scotland and England and in 1921, the first international match between Great Britain and the United States, later known as the Walker Cup.

St. Andrew will be the site again next year and Royal Birkdale in 2014.

Here are the years and winners of the British Open at Hoylake:

Year Winner  Score
2006 Tiger Woods 270
1967 Roberto de Vicenzo 278
1956 Peter Thomson 286
1947  Fred Daly 293
1936 Alfred Pedgham 287
1930 Bobby Jones 291
1924 Walter Hagen 301
1913 JH Taylor 304
1907 Arnaud Massy 312
1902 Alex Herd 307
1897 Harold Hilton  314

Setup for Hoylake

Royal Liverpool will play to par 72 and measure approximately 6,600 yards, including a short par 5-long par 4-medium par 5 finish. The existing first hole will be played as the third hole with the current 17th and the 18th being transformed into the first and second holes and the par-5 16th becoming the finishing hole.

Driving accuracy will be a key as there are 10 out of bounds and 83 bunkers, most requiring a sand wedge to escape.

The 457-yard 17th hole is a narrow par 4 with the wind usually in the players’ faces. The 18th plays 540 yards with out of bounds on the right, but with the wind at their back, many players can get home in two if they test the dangerous right-hand side.

The conditions will differ from 2006 when Tiger Woods hit irons off most tees on the baked-out course. A wet summer has left the course softer for this week’s tournament.

Nations of the Ricoh Women’s British Open

This week’s field includes players from 27 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Paraguay, Phillippines, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Wales. The U.S. has the most participants with 36, followed by South Korea with 20.

One of the most unusual qualifiers was Amy Yang of Taiwan. She missed the cut at the Kingsmill Championship last week in Williamsburg, Va., then decided to fly to England and was the medalist in qualifying on Monday.

The last American to win the Ricoh British Women’s Open was Sherri Steinhauer in 2006. It was Steinhauer’s third victory in the event with the first two coming in 1998 and 1999 when the tournament was not yet classified as a major. Other American winners include Debbie Massey (1980-81), Betsy King (1985), Jane Geddes (1989), Patty Sheehan (1992) and Emilee Klein (1996).

Rolex Player of Year points

Stacy Lewis has steadily increased her lead in the Rolex Player of the Year standings this summer, growing the difference between her No. 1 ranking and No. 2 Yani Tseng to 28 points (Lewis has 148, Tseng 120). This week at the Ricoh Women’s British Open could be a decisive week with double points awarded in major championships. Points are awarded based on top-10 finishes in LPGA events: 30 for first, 12 for second, nine for third, seven for fourth, six for fifth, five for sixth, four for seventh, three for eighth, two for ninth and one point for 10th. So, first place will receive 60 points this week.

The last American to win the Rolex Player of the Year honor was Beth Daniel in 1994.

Youngest and oldest

The field for the Ricoh Women’s British Open includes two players from each end of the spectrum – 15-year amateur Lydia Ko, who won the CN Canadian Women’s Open three weeks ago, and 51-year-old Juli Inskter. They are the youngest and oldest players in the field, respectively, and received Special Exemptions. But they also share a first – Ko playing in her first Women’s British Open and Inkster searching for her first Women’s British Open title, the only major title missing from her resume.

 Etc.

Stacy Lewis (No. 2) and Suzann Pettersen (No. 6) are the only non-Asian players in the top 10 of this week’s Rolex Women’s World Rankings. … The LPGA and the Ricoh Women’s British Open will have the American golf airways virtually to themselves this week. ESPN is scheduled to broadcast the tournament from Hoylake, England, from 9 a.m.-noon daily. The Pacific Links Hawaii Championship, a first-year Champions Tour event, will be aired live in the evening on Golf Channel. The PGA Tour is off this week. … Paula Creamer should feel good about her chances in the Ricoh Women’s British Open this week. She is coming off a nine-hole playoff loss at the Kingsmill Championship last week and spent a mid-July weekend at this week’s site preparing for the final major of the year. She flew to England on Monday evening following the Monday morning playoff.

 

Topics: Stats and Stuff, Ricoh Women's British Open

Andrews Sports MedicineArpin Van LinesFloridas NaturalMedjet AssistMichelob ULTRAPrudentialSmuckers