>> Don t miss our exclusive interviews live from Sunningdale over the next few days with: World number one and defending champion Lorena Ochoa 2006 British Open champion at Sunningdale Karen Stuples Major winner Grace Park
From one of England s finest links courses to one of its very best heathland tracks it s been a fantastic 10 days for golf in this country.
It was a huge pleasure to travel down to Berkshire today, just a week after getting back from the men s Open, to take a preview peek at the women s version.
I was principally at Sunningdale for an interview with Annika Sorenstam ahead of her final Major which you can read all about in an upcoming issue of Golf Monthly. I won t spoil the surprise but I can say that she is a fascinating woman and has plenty of forthright views and strong opinions both on her own career and the women s game in general. Don t miss it!
Back to the action and I can confidently report that we can expect a real cracker jack of a tournament. Sunningdale is looking resplendent and garnering rave reviews from no lesser figures than Lorena Ochoa and Karen Stuples (see above for more on those two).
With the Old Course opening with two par 5s, both eminently reachable, the talk around the locker-room is on the importance of taking advantage of a fast start and ensuring that you take advantage of all birdie opportunities because the scoring is liable to be low. The last Briton to win a Major, Karen Stuples, was certainly adamant that whoever wins this week will have had to have holed a lot of putts and will be well under-par. So the stage is set for some seriously exciting golf.
As a final aside, it was really interesting to compare the scale of last week s jamboree at Southport with that about to tee off at Sunningdale. Every piece of the jigsaw is in place but it s just that much smaller, which of course has the advantage of bringing a sense of intimacy to the whole event.
Annika Sorenstam was quick to point out that things have changed beyond recognition since her first Open at Woburn 16 years ago. And with the talent, determination and indeed looks on show this week, it s clear that things will only get bigger for the Women s British Open.
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