GOLF

AIG Women’s Open Field highlights the breadth of talent in women’s golf | LPGA

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July 25, 2022, Muirfield, Scotland: The AIG Women’s Open, the final major tournament on the 2022 world golf calendar, will host the world’s best female golfers at Muirfield from August 4-7, where a cast of past and potential champions will grace the fairways.

Defending champion Anna Nordqvist is one of the most successful players of her generation with 13 professional wins, her most recent addition to the Ladies European Tour this month. Nordqvist also has three major victories and in the Solheim Cup is one of Europe’s all-time leading points scorers.

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The Swede’s amateur career has been equally successful and, alongside England’s Georgia Hall, she is one of only two golfers to have won the R&A Girls’ Amateur Championship, Women’s Amateur Championship and AIG Women’s Open.

Looking back on her victory last year, Nordqvist said: “As a European, the AIG Women’s Open is a major event that means a lot to me. It was also an extremely special victory because it was so close to my home and my friends, so I really felt at home. The support I had from the crowd was incredible and I hope it will be just as hot this year at Muirfield when I try to defend my title.

Nordqvist is one of 11 former AIG Women’s Open champions at Muirfield, including:

  • 2021 – Anna Nordqvist (SWE, Age: 35, WWGR: 22)
  • 2020 – Sophia Popov (GER, 29, 81)
  • 2019 – Hinako Shibuno (JPN, 23, 40)
  • 2018 – Georgia Hall (ENG, 26, 28)
  • 2017 – In-Kyung Kim (KOR, 34, 273)
  • 2016 – Ariya Jutanugarn (THA, 26, 48)
  • 2015 – Inbee Park (KOR, 34, 13)
  • 2014 – Mo Martin (US, 39, 459)
  • 2013 – Stacy Lewis (US, 37, 75)
  • 2009 – Catriona Matthew (SCO, 52, 557)
  • 1986 – Laura Davies (ENG, 58, 524)

These champions have inspired generations of female golfers, including the prodigious talent that now dominates the world rankings of women’s golf. Of the 18 players in the top 20 who play at Muirfield, 14 are already great champions.

Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand was the championship amateur player in 2018 and 2019.

The 19-year-old’s rise in the professional rankings continues an exemplary amateur career which saw Thitikul make headlines in 2017 as the youngest player to win a professional golf tournament at the age of 14, four months and 19 days. She went on to reach world number one on the World Amateur Golf Rankings®.

Thitikul credits her compatriots, sisters Jutanugarn, Moriya and Ariya – the 2016 champion – with inspiring her during her prolific teenage years.

Thitikul said, “They [Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn] were already established on the LPGA Tour when I started the sport and when Ariya won the AIG Women’s Open it was a huge moment because it showed that it is possible for a girl like me to reach the top of the sport.

While Thitikul’s own rise in the rankings over the past 12 months has been impressive, few can match that of Sweden’s Linn Grant, 23, who was 444th in the world when the AIG Women’s Open was played at Carnoustie. in 2021. Six wins since then. the LET Access, Sunshine Ladies Tour and LET – including a sensational DP World Tour co-sanctioned win where she beat the women’s and men’s field by nine strokes – now sees her ranked 102nd.

Only the United States (eight) and England (eight) have produced more individual Championship winners than Sweden (five) and South Korea (five), and Grant is hoping to join his predecessors, including: Helen Alfredsson, Sophie Gustafson, Liselotte Neumann, defending champion Nordqvist and women’s golf legend Annika Sörenstam.

Through the organization of the R&A and the support of the World Amateur Championships, pathways to elite play are forged to help amateur champions gain valuable experience of professional play, seven AIG Women’s Open qualification spots are reserved for the following people:

  • 2021 Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Champion – Mizuki Hashimoto (JPN)
  • 2021 Latin American Amateur Champion – Valery Plata (COL)
  • 2021 McCormack Medal – Rose Zhang (USA)
  • 2022 Women’s Amateur Champion – Jess Baker (ENG)
  • European Amateur Ladies Champion 2022 – Savannah De Bock (BEL)
  • 2022 Augusta Women’s National Amateur Champion – Anna Davis (USA)
  • 2022 WAGR® Highest Ranked GB&I Player – Caley McGinty (ENG)

Nordqvist highlighted the strength and diversity of talent within the women’s game saying, “As a competitor, I always seek to measure myself against the best players, and the AIG Women’s Open is one of the greatest challenges in golf. . The terrain is so impressive. We have legends of the game that we all looked up to and aspired to follow in their footsteps, plus a long list of fantastic players on tour, not to mention some of the young players who step up and tear.

“It’s really great to see the strength of our sport and it’s through championships like the AIG Women’s Open that we’re able to show the pace at which it is developing and building. It’s definitely a period exciting for women’s sport and with this stage, the history and the players, I don’t think it gets much more exciting than the AIG Women’s Open.

The AIG Women’s Open will take place August 4-7, 2022 at Muirfield, and tickets are on sale now at aigwomensopen.com.

Adult tickets will start from £35 with children under 16 admitted free. Spectators aged 16-24 will be able to purchase youth tickets from £17.50. Mastercard discount of £5 is available once per person.

Hospitality options are now on sale with further information available at www.aigwomensopen.com/championsclub.

The AIG Women’s Open is proudly supported by VisitScotland.

For more information on the AIG Women’s Open or to purchase tickets, visit www.aigwomensopen.com.

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