A talented field featuring Major champions, Solheim Cup stars and home favourites will tee it up at this week’s AIG Women’s Open at Royal Troon in Scotland.
Contested over the famous Ayrshire links from 20-23 August, 144 players representing 32 countries have assembled for the first women’s Major Championship of the year.
Played without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TV coverage will be broadcast globally to more than 11 million viewers as the international field seek to emulate last year’s champion, Hinako Shibuno.
The Japanese player, who enjoyed a fairy-tale win at Woburn, having never previously played a tournament outside of her homeland, will look to quickly bounce back from her missed cut at last week’s Ladies Scottish Open at The Renaissance.
It was there where Stacy Lewis emerged victorious on Sunday after a four-way play-off, with the 2013 Women’s Open champion among 40 Americans chasing more success on the west coast this week, including world no.2 Danielle Kang and world no.3 Nelly Korda. Inbee Park from Korea is a past winner – triumphing further down the coast at Turnberry in 2015 – and will be aiming to add to her haul of seven Major titles.
With the forecast for strong winds and rain forecast this week, home players will hope to use that to their advantage. The 2018 champion, Georgia Hall, will seek to rekindle her love for the event, with the 24-year-old one of 13 English players in the field.
In the absence of a qualifying tournament, 22 qualifiers representing 12 countries secured their place at The Renaissance last week for the AIG Women’s Open, including Scottish hopefuls Kylie Henry and Michele Thomson.
David Rickman, The R&A’s Executive Director – Governance and Chief Referee at the AIG Women’s Open, said: “It is a very impressive international field and we are delighted so many players have travelled so far to join us. Royal Troon is one of our classic links courses, presented in wonderful condition. Certainly, the forecast looks as though it is going to give a real links challenge where the elements are likely to play a significant part in proceedings.”
Dame Laura Davies has the honour of striking the opening tee shot on Thursday morning at 6.30am, with the 1986 Women’s Open champion paired with Northern Irish amateur Olivia Mehaffey and Canadian Alena Sharp.
Shibuno starts her defence at 12.49pm, in the company of world number seven Brooke Henderson (Canada) and South African Ashleigh Buhai. Hall is also in a standout group, joined by Nelly Korda and Nasa Hataoka (Japan) at 8.09am for their opening round.
Round 1 & 2 Tee Times