With the Open Championship at Royal Lytham been and gone, all eyes have focused to the next golfing major on these shores as 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.
The fact that the rota for the women’s Open now includes the same venues as the men shows how far the event has come since the days when it was not even considered one of the most significant on the world calendar.
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,” she 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 McEwans Wirr