Pros advice

Hull and Matthew to lead European charge at Women’s British Open

Britain’s Charley Hull and former champion Catriona Matthew are set to lead the European charge at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, beginning on Thursday at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club.

All the world’s top ten ranked players are in the field but Scottish veteran Matthew can expect to tee it up as the local favourite as she bids to repeat her 2009 triumph at Lytham.

The 48-year-old clinched her first and only major title just 11 weeks after giving birth but believes her win would grab more headlines today than it did nine years ago.

“At the time it felt as though it was widely recognised but that’s nine years ago now,” Matthew told the Guardian. “I think women’s sport has really come on leaps and bounds. I’d include golf in that. If it happened now, there would have been even more attention.

“You can see that with Serena Williams playing at Wimbledon. It felt like I got a lot of exposure but, if it was now, I think there would be more. It would be a much bigger thing, even nine years later, which I think is a good thing; it shows how sport has evolved.”

Charley Hull is the top ranked British player in the field at No.23 in the world. Her Major form in 2018 will lead to high hopes for spectators looking for a home player to follow in Matthew’s footsteps at Lytham having finished in the top 10 in all three of the Majors this year.

“I think Majors suit my game and I always really look forward to them,” said Hull. “I like the pressure of a Major week and the way the courses are set up tougher which I think suits me. I feel my game is in great shape and I can’t wait for my next Major opportunity at Lytham.”

World No. 1 and 2015 Ricoh Women’s British Open Champion, Inbee Park, heads the field of the world’s best women golfers for the 42nd edition of the Championship along with all the year’s Major winners.

Pernilla Lindberg the 2018 ANA Inspiration champion, Ariya Jutanugarn the 2018 US Open Champion and World No.3 and Sung Hyun Park the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Champion and World No.2, are joined by defending Champion, I.K. Kim and a host of former champions including Mo Martin, Yani Tseng and Karrie Webb.

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