As the only Major to be played outside of the US, all of the World's Top 15 players and an astonishing 47 of the World's Top 50 players on the Official Rolex Rankings are in the line-up to play on this famous and historic links golf course. In what is the most international Major field of the year, there are already 23 nationalities represented with the qualifying events still to come to fill the 144 player field.
Along with the last 10 Major winners in the line-up for the final Major of 2009, the field is awash with fascinating stories; teenage sensation, Michelle Wie returning to seek her first LPGA victory having missed last year's Championship, world number one, Lorena Ochoa, looking for her first major win since the April 2008 when she won the Kraft Nabisco and world number four, Paula Creamer aiming to break her Major duck at Royal Lytham using some top links tips from her experienced British coach, Dave Whelan.
Scotland's Catriona Matthew provides perhaps the most interesting story at this year's tournament. She celebrated the birth of her second daughter, Sophie, less than 2 months ago and will return to competitive play only the week before the Ricoh Women's British Open as she attempts to secure her place in the 2009 European Solheim Cup team which will be announced on the Sunday of the Championship.
Catriona secured her place in this year's tournament with a superb win at the 2009 HSBC LPGA Brazil Cup in January when four months pregnant and she explained how much she is looking forward to returning to Royal Lytham; "The Ricoh Women's British Open Championship is really giving me something to aim for - I would hate to have missed my home Major and I have already started light practice in preparation. I am loving being the mother of two such gorgeous daughters and Graeme and I feel so lucky. It would be the icing on the cake of a fantastic year if I could put in a good performance at this year's Championship and make it into the Solheim Cup."
This year's Championship will take place at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in the North West of England. Its credentials as a Championship venue are impressive. As well as holding three Women's British Opens - in 1998, 2003 and 2006 - Royal Lytham has hosted an impressive 10 men's Open Championships and two Ryder Cups. Millions tuned into the 2008 Championship coverage as it was televised around the world, including on the BBC in the UK, ABC network television in the USA and on TV Asahi in Japan.
The Ricoh Women's British Open was founded by the Ladies' Golf Union in 1976 and is staged in conjunction with IMG, the world's largest sports marketing company. The event has been co-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET since 1994 and gained Major status in 2001.
For more information, including the latest news and advance ticket offers, please visit www.ricohwomensbritishopen.com or call our ticket line on +448719459421.