A look at some of the top player picks for the Ricoh Women’s British Open, the fourth major championship of 2013. The tournament is scheduled to begin Thursday at The Old Course at St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland:
- Inbee Park: No one in golf is under more scrutiny than Park this week as she seeks to win a fourth consecutive major championship, an unprecedented feat in a calendar year for any professional golfer. Playing at such a historic venue as St. Andrews may be to Park’s benefit as the course, played by the women for only the second time, shares some of the spotlight. Also, Park has displayed the ability to go low on links golf courses. In finishes of T9, T7 and second the last three years, Park has shot rounds of 64, 66 and 68. At The Old Course in her tournament debut in 2007, Park opened with a 69 and finished T11.
- Stacy Lewis: This is Lewis’ Old Course debut but she has played at St. Andrews in competition. At the 2008 Curtis Cup, she led the United States to a victory with a 5-0 record that included a clinching Singles victory. Lewis hasn’t won on the LPGA since taking two consecutive events in May. Since then, Inbee Park has dominated as the No. 1 player. However, Lewis has top-seven finishes in three of her last four starts and finished with 64s in each of her last two tournaments. She usually thrives on being an underdog.
- Catriona Matthew: This is a home game for Matthew, one of only two Scots (the other is Carly Booth) in the field this week. Matthew won the title at Royal Lytham in 2009 and has three other top-five finishes in her career. Matthew is coming off a T3 at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic and has played well in the majors this season – T7 at Kraft Nabisco, second at the Wegmans LPGA (playoff loss to Inbee Park) and T15 at the U.S. Women’s Open.
- Paula Creamer: Creamer has been hot, shooting no worse than 68 in her last five rounds. She has four career top-10s, including a T7 at The Old Course in 2007, in the Ricoh Women’s British Open. So this could be prime spot to break a victory drought that goes back to the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open at Oakmont, a historic site. Plus, she turns 27 on Monday, the day after the final round.