Women's British Open

The Women's British Open is a major championship in women's professional golf. It is recognised by both the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour as a major. The reigning champion is Sophia Popov, who won by two strokes at Royal Troon Golf Club in 2020.

Women's British Open
Tournament information
LocationUnited Kingdom
Established1976, 44 years ago
Course(s)varies; Royal Troon Golf Club, Old Course (in 2020)
South Ayrshire, Scotland
Par71 (in 2020)
Length7,175 yards (6,561 m) (in 2020)
Organized byThe R&A
Tour(s)LPGA Tour (1984, 1994–)
LET (1979–)
FormatStroke play
Prize fund$4,500,000
Month playedAugust
Tournament record score
Aggregate269 Karrie Webb (1997)
269 Karen Stupples (2004)
To par−19 Karrie Webb (1997)
−19 Karen Stupples (2004)
Current champion
Germany Sophia Popov
2020 Women's British Open

Since becoming an LPGA major in 2001 it has generally been played in late July or early August. The 2012 edition was scheduled for mid-September, due to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, while the 2014 event was played in mid-July, the week prior to the Open Championship.

In 2019 it was known as the AIG Women's British Open. From 2007 to 2018, it was called the Ricoh Women's British Open while the previous twenty editions (1987–2006) were sponsored by Weetabix, a breakfast cereal.[1] In July 2020, the sponsorship agreement with AIG was extended through to 2025; as part of the deal the championship was rebranded, removing the word "British", as the AIG Women's Open.[2]

HistoryEdit

 
The practice green at Sunningdale Golf Club in 2008.

The Women's British Open was established by the Ladies' Golf Union in 1976 and was intended to serve as the women's equivalent of The Open Championship. At first, it was difficult for the organisers to get the most prestigious courses to agree to host the event, with the exception of Royal Birkdale, which hosted it twice during its early days — in 1982 and 1986. After nearly folding in 1983, the tournament was held at the best of the "second-tier" courses, including Woburn Golf and Country Club for seven straight years, 1990 through 1996, as well as in 1984 and 1999.

As its prestige continued to increase, more of the links courses that are in the rotation for The Open Championship, such as Turnberry (2002) and Royal Lytham & St Annes (1998, 2003, 2006) hosted the tournament, in addition to Royal Birkdale (2000, 2005, 2010). In 2007, the tournament took place at the Old Course at St Andrews for the first time.

In the 2010s, two additional Open Championship venues became first-time hosts for the women's event: Carnoustie (2011) and Royal Liverpool (2012). In 2020, Royal Troon hosted. The tournament has yet to be played at three Open Championship courses: Muirfield in Scotland, Royal St. George's in southeastern England, and Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

Unlike its male counterpart, the Women's British Open has not adopted a links-only policy. This greatly increases the number of potential venues, especially the number close to the major population centres of England. Following the 2017 merger of the Ladies Golf Union with The R&A, the tournament is now organised by the same organisation as the men's tournament.

Through 1993, the tournament was an official stop only on the Ladies European Tour, with the exception of the 1984 edition, which was co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour. Starting in 1994, it became a permanent LPGA Tour event, which increased both the quality of the field and the event's prestige. It has been an official LPGA major since 2001, when it replaced the du Maurier Classic in Canada. In 2005, the starting field size was increased to 150, but only the low 65 (plus ties) survive the cut after the second round. In both 2007 and 2008 the prize fund was £1.05 million. Starting in 2009, the prize fund changed from being fixed in pounds to U.S. dollars, and is now $3.25 million.

Tied for most victories in the Women's British Open with three each are Karrie Webb of Australia and Sherri Steinhauer of the United States. Both won the tournament twice before it became an LPGA major and once after. Yani Tseng of Taiwan and Jiyai Shin of South Korea are the multiple winners as a major championship. The other multiple winner is Debbie Massey of the U.S., with consecutive wins (1980 and 1981) well before it was an LPGA co-sanctioned event.

WinnersEdit

Year Dates Champion Country Venue Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Purse
($)
Winner's
share ($)
Ref
2020 Aug 20–23 Sophia Popov   Germany Royal Troon, Old Course 277 −7 2 strokes   Thidapa Suwannapura 4,500,000 675,000
2019 Aug 1–4 Hinako Shibuno   Japan Woburn, Marquess Course 270 −18 1 stroke   Lizette Salas 4,500,000 675,000
2018 Aug 2–5 Georgia Hall   England Royal Lytham & St Annes 271 −17 2 strokes   Pornanong Phatlum 3,250,000 490,000
2017 Aug 3–6 In-Kyung Kim   South Korea Kingsbarns 270 −18 2 strokes   Jodi Ewart Shadoff 3,250,000 504,821
2016 Jul 28–31 Ariya Jutanugarn   Thailand Woburn, Marquess Course 272 −16 3 strokes   Mirim Lee
  Mo Martin
3,000,000 412,047
2015 Jul 30 – Aug 2 Inbee Park   South Korea Turnberry Ailsa 276 −12 3 strokes   Ko Jin-young 3,000,000 464,817
2014 Jul 10–13 Mo Martin   United States Royal Birkdale 287 −1 1 stroke   Shanshan Feng
  Suzann Pettersen
3,000,000 474,575
2013 Aug 1–4 Stacy Lewis   United States St Andrews 280 −8 2 strokes   Na Yeon Choi
  Hee Young Park
2,750,000 402,583
2012 Sep 13–16 Jiyai Shin   South Korea Royal Liverpool 279 −9 9 strokes   Inbee Park 2,750,000 428,650
2011 Jul 28–31 Yani Tseng   Taiwan Carnoustie 272 −16 4 strokes   Brittany Lang 2,500,000 392,133
2010 Jul 29 – Aug 1 Yani Tseng   Taiwan Royal Birkdale 277 −11 1 stroke   Katherine Hull 2,500,000 408,714
2009 Jul 30 – Aug 2 Catriona Matthew   Scotland Royal Lytham & St Annes 285 −3 3 strokes   Karrie Webb 2,200,000 335,000
2008 Jul 31 – Aug 3 Jiyai Shin   South Korea Sunningdale 270 −18 3 strokes   Yani Tseng 2,100,000 314,464
2007 Aug 2–5 Lorena Ochoa   Mexico St Andrews 287 −5 4 strokes   Maria Hjorth
  Jee Young Lee
2,000,000 320,512
2006 Aug 3–6 Sherri Steinhauer   United States Royal Lytham & St Annes 281 −7 3 strokes   Sophie Gustafson
  Cristie Kerr
1,800,000 305,440
2005 July 28–31 Jeong Jang   South Korea Royal Birkdale 272 −16 4 strokes   Sophie Gustafson 1,800,000 280,208
2004 July 29 – Aug 1 Karen Stupples   England Sunningdale 269 −19 5 strokes   Rachel Hetherington 1,600,000 290,880
2003 July 31 – Aug 3 Annika Sörenstam   Sweden Royal Lytham & St Annes 278 −10 1 stroke   Se Ri Pak 1,600,000 254,880
2002 Aug 8–11 Karrie Webb   Australia Turnberry Ailsa 273 −15 2 strokes   Michelle Ellis
  Paula Martí
1,500,000 236,383
2001 Aug 2–5 Se Ri Pak   South Korea Sunningdale 277 −11 2 strokes   Mi Hyun Kim 1,500,000 221,650
2000 Aug 17–20 Sophie Gustafson   Sweden Royal Birkdale 282 −6 2 strokes   Becky Iverson
  Meg Mallon
  Liselotte Neumann
  Kirsty Taylor
1,250,000 178,000
1999 Aug 12–15 Sherri Steinhauer   United States Woburn, Duke's Course 283 −5 1 stroke   Annika Sörenstam 1,000,000 160,000
1998 Aug 13–16 Sherri Steinhauer   United States Royal Lytham &
St Annes
292 +4 1 stroke   Brandie Burton
  Sophie Gustafson
1,000,000 162,000
1997 Aug 14–17 Karrie Webb   Australia Sunningdale 269 −19 8 strokes   Rosie Jones 900,000 129,938
1996 Aug 15–18 Emilee Klein   United States Woburn, Duke's Course 277 −11 7 strokes   Amy Alcott
  Penny Hammel
850,000 124,000
1995 Aug 17–20 Karrie Webb   Australia Woburn, Duke's Course 278 −10 6 strokes   Annika Sörenstam
  Jill McGill
600,000 92,400
1994 Aug 11–14 Liselotte Neumann   Sweden Woburn, Duke's Course 280 −8 3 strokes   Annika Sörenstam 500,000 80,325
Weetabix Women's British Open
1993 Karen Lunn   Australia Woburn, Duke's Course 275 8 strokes   Brandie Burton £300,000 £50,000
1992 Patty Sheehan   United States Woburn, Duke's Course 207[a] 3 strokes   Corinne Dibnah £300,000 £50,000
1991 Penny Grice-Whittaker   England Woburn, Duke's Course 284 3 strokes   Helen Alfredsson
  Diane Barnard
£150,000 £25,000
1990 Helen Alfredsson   Sweden Woburn, Duke's Course 288 Playoff[b]   Jane Hill £130,000 £20,000
1989 Jane Geddes   United States Ferndown 274 2 strokes   Florence Descampe £120,000 £18,000 [3]
1988 Corinne Dibnah   Australia Lindrick 295 Playoff[c]   Sally Little £100,000 £15,000
1987 Alison Nicholas   England St Mellion 296 1 stroke   Laura Davies
  Muffin Spencer-Devlin
£100,000 £15,000 [4]
Women's British Open
1986 Laura Davies   England Royal Birkdale 283 4 strokes   Peggy Conley
  Marta Figueras-Dotti
£60,000 £9,000 [5]
Burberry Women's British Open
1985 Betsy King   United States Moor Park 300 2 strokes   Marta Figueras-Dotti £60,000 £9,000 [6]
Hitachi Women's British Open
1984 Ayako Okamoto   Japan Woburn, Duke's Course 289 11 strokes   Betsy King
  Dale Reid
£160,000[d] £24,000 [7]
1983 Cancelled [8]
Pretty Polly Women's British Open
1982 Marta Figueras-Dotti (a)   Spain Royal Birkdale 296 1 stroke   Rosie Jones
  Jenny Lee Smith
£23,000 (£6,000) [9]
1981 Debbie Massey   United States Northumberland 295 4 strokes   Belle Robertson (a) £19,000 £5,600 [10]
1980 Debbie Massey   United States Wentworth 294 1 stroke   Marta Figueras-Dotti (a)
  Belle Robertson (a)
£15,000 £4,500 [11]
1979 Alison Sheard   South Africa Southport & Ainsdale 301 3 strokes   Mickey Walker £10,000 £3,000 [12]
1978 Janet Melville (a)   England Foxhills 310 2 strokes   Wilma Aikten (a) (£1,000) [13]
Women's British Open
1977 Vivien Saunders   England Lindrick 306 Countback[e]   Mary Everard (a) £500 £210 [14]
1976 Jenny Lee Smith (a)   England Fulford 299 2 strokes   Mary McKenna (a) (£210) [15]

(a) denotes amateur

Source for later tournaments:[16]
  1. ^ In 1992 the second day was washed-out and the event reduced to 54 holes.
  2. ^ Alfredsson won with a par at the fourth extra hole.
  3. ^ Dibnah won with a birdie at the second extra hole.
  4. ^ Tournament was co-sanctioned by the LET and LPGA Tour. Prize money for this event was in US dollars; £ values here are based on an exchange rate of $1.25–£1.
  5. ^ Saunders won the title because she had a better last round; 76 to Everard's 79.

Champions by nationalityEdit

This table lists the total number of titles won by golfers of each nationality since the Women's Open has been recognised as an LPGA major (2001–present).

Nationality Number
of wins
  South Korea 6
  United States 3
  England 2
  Taiwan 2
  Australia 1
  Japan 1
  Mexico 1
  Scotland 1
  Sweden 1
  Thailand 1
  Germany 1

Host coursesEdit

The Women's Open has been played at the following courses, listed in order of number of times hosted (as of 2020):

Future venuesEdit

Year Edition Course Location Dates Previously hosted
2021[17] 45th Carnoustie Golf Links Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland TBD 2011
2022[17] 46th Muirfield Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland TBD
2023[17] 47th Walton Heath Golf Club Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey, England TBD
2024[17] 48th Old Course at St Andrews St Andrews, Fife, Scotland TBD 2007, 2013
2025[17] 49th Royal Porthcawl Golf Club[a] Porthcawl, Bridgend, Wales TBD
  1. ^ Originally scheduled to host in 2021.[18]

Smyth SalverEdit

The Smyth Salver is awarded to the leading amateur, provided that the player completes all 72 holes, for one year. The winner also receives a silver medal. The salver was donated by Moira Smyth, a past president of the Ladies' Golf Union.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Championship History". Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Women's Open drops 'British' from title in sponsorship rebrand". BBC Sport. 22 July 2020. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Descampe charges but Geddes is champion". The Glasgow Herald. 7 August 1989. p. 18.
  4. ^ "Nicholas breaks through at last". The Glasgow Herald. 3 August 1987. p. 10.
  5. ^ "Laura outscores foreign invaders". The Glasgow Herald. 13 October 1986. p. 10.
  6. ^ "Miss King begins a new reign". The Glasgow Herald. 7 October 1985. p. 8.
  7. ^ "Dale deserves prize for her lone battle". The Glasgow Herald. 8 October 1984. p. 17.
  8. ^ "Hitachi pull the plug". The Guardian. 12 March 1983. p. 13. Retrieved 29 September 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Professional win for a new Spanish graduate". The Glasgow Herald. 2 August 1982. p. 15.
  10. ^ "Debbie pulls away from the field". The Glasgow Herald. 3 August 1981. p. 15.
  11. ^ "Belle second with a 69". The Glasgow Herald. 28 July 1980. p. 13.
  12. ^ "Birdie finish gives Alison British title". The Glasgow Herald. 30 July 1979. p. 15.
  13. ^ "Janet in youngest British champion". The Glasgow Herald. 29 July 1978. p. 15.
  14. ^ "Vivien's title on last 18". The Glasgow Herald. 3 September 1977. p. 16.
  15. ^ "Sandra's hopes dashed". The Glasgow Herald. 4 September 1976. p. 14.
  16. ^ "Ricoh Women's British Open Past Winners". LPGA. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  17. ^ a b c d e Stafford, Ali (19 August 2020). "AIG Women's Open: Muirfield among three new venues for the major". Sky Sports. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  18. ^ "Royal Porthcawl set for AIG Women's British Open debut in 2021". Today's Gofler. 31 July 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  19. ^ https://issuu.com/lgucl/docs/lguyearbook2016 LGU 2016 Yearbook

External linksEdit