The Ricoh Women’s British Open will take place at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in 2018, it was announced today.
The exciting news is a massive boost for sport in Lancashire as the greatest players in the world will assemble at the iconic Links Gate venue.
The Championship was last played there in 2009 when Catriona Matthew famously became the first Scottish woman to clinch a major title, remarkably only 11 weeks after giving birth to her second daughter.
Matthew, who was a member of this summer’s UK Olympic team and was recently announced as a vice-captain for the 2017 Solheim Cup, commented, “I am absolutely delighted to hear the 2018 Ricoh Women’s British Open will be played at Royal Lytham. Winning there so soon after Sophie’s birth was undoubtedly the best achievement in my career and I think it is wonderful news that we will be returning there in a couple of years.”
Sherri Steinhauer won the first Championship held at the venue back in 1998. Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam followed the American into the winner’s circle when the Championship was held there in 2003 and then Steinhauer emerged victorious for a third time – the American also won at Woburn Golf & Country Club in 1999 – when she closed with a level par 72 to defeat compatriot, Christie Kerr, in 2006.
Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club is one of the most challenging of the Open and Ricoh Women’s British Open venues with 169 bunkers to challenge the players.
The club has hosted eleven Open Championships, the most recent in 2012, won by South Africa’s Ernie Els.
Charles Grimley, secretary at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, said, “Our membership is very excited to welcome back another Ricoh Women’s British Open.
“It is a tournament with a very special feel to it which I suspect is largely thanks to the wonderfully engaging personalities on the women’s tours. This will be very popular news in the area and we will all look forward to 2018 very much.”
Trish Wilson, chairman of the Ladies’ Golf Union’s, added, “Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club is a very popular venue among the players and we are very happy to be returning there for a fifth time in 2018.
“Our commitment is to ensure the Championship is held at Britain’s best courses and there is no doubt that Royal Lytham lives up to this criteria.”