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Women's British Open

Women's British Open
Tournament information
Location  United Kingdom
Established 1976, 40 years ago
Course(s) varies - in 2015:
Turnberry, Ailsa Course
South Ayrshire, Scotland
Par 72 (in 2015)
Length 6,921 yards (6,329 m)
(in 2015)
Organized by Ladies' Golf Union
Tour(s) LPGA Tour (1984, 1994–)
LET (1979–)
Format Stroke play
Prize fund $3,000,000
2,200,000   (est.)
£1,750,000   (est.)
Month played July, August
Tournament record score
Aggregate 269 Karrie Webb (1997)
269 Karen Stupples (2004)
To par −19 Karrie Webb (1997)
−19 Karen Stupples (2004)
Current champion
Inbee Park
2015 Women's British Open
Trump Turnberry is located in Scotland
Trump Turnberry
Location in 2015, in Scotland

The Women's British Open is a major championship in women's professional golf. Prior to 2013, it was the only major recognized by both the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour. The reigning champion is Inbee Park, who won by three shots at Trump Turnberry in 2015 to earn her seventh major title.

Usually played in late July, the 2012 edition was scheduled for mid-September, due to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The 2013 event was played in early August and the 2014 event in mid-July, the week prior to the Open Championship.

Since 2007, it has been called the Ricoh Women's British Open, for sponsorship reasons. The previous twenty editions (1987–2006) were sponsored by Weetabix, a breakfast cereal.[1]


  • History 1
  • Exemptions and qualifying events 2
  • Winners 3
    • LPGA major championship 3.1
    • LPGA event 3.2
    • LET major 3.3
  • Major champions by nationality 4
  • Future sites 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The practice green at Sunningdale Golf Club in 2008.

The Women's British Open was established by the 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 ten straight years, 1987 through 1996, as well as in 1984 and 1999.

As its prestige continued to increase, more of 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 $3.0 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 & 1981) well before it was an LPGA co-sanctioned event.

Exemptions and qualifying events

The field for the tournament is 144, and golfers may gain a place in three ways. The overwhelming majority of the field is made up of leading players who are given exemptions. The rest of the field is made up of players who were successful in "Final Qualifying".

There were fourteen "exemption" categories as of 2011. Among the more significant are:

  • The top 15 (and ties) from the previous year's Women's British Open.
  • The top 10 Ladies European Tour members in the Women's World Golf Rankings who did not finish in the top 15 of the previous year's event.
  • The top 30 LPGA members in the Women's World Golf Rankings who did not finish in the top 15 of the previous year's event.
  • The top 25 on the current year's LET money list not already exempt from the previous year's event or the world rankings. (Before the world rankings were incorporated into qualifying, this category consisted of the top 35 on the money list.)
  • The top 40 on the current year's LPGA Tour money list not already exempt from the previous year's event or the world rankings. (Before the world rankings were incorporated into qualifying, this category consisted of the top 70 on the money list.)
  • The top 5 on the current year's LPGA of Japan Tour money list not already exempt from the previous year's event, or through the world rankings if they are also members of the LET or U.S. LPGA. (Note that these six categories have accounted for approximately 125 entries — or 5/6ths of the players in the final field.)
  • Winners of any recognised LET or LPGA events in the current calendar year.
  • The champions from the last 10 editions of the Women's British Open.
  • The champions of the last 5 editions of one of the other three LPGA majors.

"Final Qualifying" is the traditional way for non-exempt players to win a place at the Women's British Open, although it has become much less meaningful since the tournament became an official LPGA event in 1994. In 2011, an 18-hole pre-qualifying competition was held two weeks before the Open, followed by an 18-hole final qualifying competition the Monday before the Open.

In addition, to permit overseas qualifying, five spots have been awarded to the top five entrants not otherwise qualified who won the highest places at the LPGA's Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic in the Toledo suburb of Sylvania, Ohio. However, this qualifying method is subject to change in 2011, as that tournament will go on a one-year hiatus. Three spots are also awarded to the three LET members who finish highest in the Finnair Masters and not otherwise qualified.

The Women's World Golf Rankings have only recently begun to play a significant role in qualifying. See full list of exempt categories and qualifying rules for the 2011 tournament.


LPGA major championship

Winners of the championship as an LPGA major (2001–present):[2]

Year Dates Venue Champion Country Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Purse
share ($)
2015 Jul 30 – Aug 2 Trump Turnberry - Ailsa Course Inbee Park South Korea 276 −12 3 strokes Ko Jin-young 3,000,000 464,817
2014 Jul 10–13 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Mo Martin United States 287 −1 1 stroke Shanshan Feng
Suzann Pettersen
3,000,000 474,575
2013 Aug 1–4 Old Course at St Andrews Stacy Lewis United States 280 −8 2 strokes Na Yeon Choi
Hee Young Park
2,750,000 402,583
2012 Sep 13–16 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Jiyai Shin South Korea 279 −9 9 strokes Inbee Park 2,750,000 428,650
2011 Jul 28–31 Carnoustie Golf Links Yani Tseng  Taiwan 272 −16 4 strokes Brittany Lang 2,500,000 392,133
2010 Jul 29 – Aug 1 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Yani Tseng  Taiwan 277 −11 1 stroke Katherine Hull 2,500,000 408,714
2009 Jul 30 – Aug 2 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Catriona Matthew  Scotland 285 −3 3 strokes Karrie Webb 2,200,000 335,000
2008 Jul 31 – Aug 3 Sunningdale Golf Club Jiyai Shin  South Korea 270 −18 3 strokes Yani Tseng 2,100,000 314,464
2007 Aug 2–5 Old Course at St Andrews Lorena Ochoa  Mexico 287 −5 4 strokes Maria Hjorth
Jee Young Lee
2,000,000 320,512
2006 Aug 3–6 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Sherri Steinhauer  United States 281 −7 3 strokes Sophie Gustafson
Cristie Kerr
1,800,000 305,440
2005 July 28–31 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Jeong Jang  South Korea 272 −16 4 strokes Sophie Gustafson 1,800,000 280,208
2004 July 29 – Aug 1 Sunningdale Golf Club Karen Stupples  England 269 −19 5 strokes Rachel Hetherington 1,600,000 290,880
2003 July 31 – Aug 3 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Annika Sörenstam  Sweden 278 −10 1 stroke Se Ri Pak 1,600,000 254,880
2002 Aug 8–11 Turnberry - Ailsa Course Karrie Webb  Australia 273 −15 2 strokes Michelle Ellis
Paula Martí
1,500,000 236,383
2001 Aug 2–5 Sunningdale Golf Club Se Ri Pak  South Korea 277 −11 2 strokes Mi Hyun Kim 1,500,000 221,650

LPGA event

Winners as a co-sanctioned LPGA tournament, but not an LPGA major (1994–2000):[2]

Year Date Venue Champion Country Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Purse
share ($)
2000 Aug 17–20 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Sophie Gustafson  Sweden 282 −6 2 strokes Becky Iverson
Meg Mallon
Liselotte Neumann
Kirsty Taylor
1,250,000 178,000
1999 Aug 12–15 Woburn Golf and Country Club Sherri Steinhauer  United States 283 −5 1 stroke Annika Sörenstam 1,000,000 160,000
1998 Aug 13–16 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Sherri Steinhauer  United States 292 +4 1 stroke Brandie Burton
Sophie Gustafson
1,000,000 162,000
1997 Aug 14–17 Sunningdale Golf Club Karrie Webb  Australia 269 −19 8 strokes Rosie Jones 900,000 129,938
1996 Aug 15–18 Woburn Golf and Country Club Emilee Klein  United States 277 −11 7 strokes Amy Alcott
Penny Hammel
850,000 124,000
1995 Aug 17–20 Woburn Golf and Country Club Karrie Webb  Australia 278 −10 6 strokes Annika Sörenstam
Jill McGill
600,000 92,400
1994 Aug 11–14 Woburn Golf and Country Club Liselotte Neumann  Sweden 280 −8 3 strokes Annika Sörenstam 500,000 80,325

LET major

Winners before the tournament became an LPGA tournament (1976–93):
(The 1984 tournament was co-sanctioned by the LET and LPGA Tour)

Year Venue Champion Country Score
1993 Woburn Golf and Country Club Karen Lunn  Australia 275
1992 Woburn Golf and Country Club Patty Sheehan  United States 207*
1991 Woburn Golf and Country Club Penny Grice-Whittaker  England 284
1990 Woburn Golf and Country Club Helen Alfredsson  Sweden 288
1989 Ferndown Golf Club Jane Geddes  United States 274
1988 Lindrick Golf Club Corinne Dibnah  Australia 295
1987 St Mellion Golf and Country Club Alison Nicholas  England 296
1986 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Laura Davies  England 283
1985 Moor Park Golf Club Betsy King  United States 300
1984 Woburn Golf and Country Club Ayako Okamoto  Japan 289
1983 No tournament
1982 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Marta Figueras-Dotti (a)  Spain 296
1981 Northumberland Golf Club Debbie Massey  United States 295
1980 Wentworth Club Debbie Massey  United States 294
1979 Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Alison Sheard  South Africa 301
1978 Foxhills Golf & Country Club Janet Melville (a)  England 310
1977 Lindrick Golf Club Vivien Saunders  England 306
1976 Fulford Golf Club Jenny Lee Smith (a)  England 299

(a) denotes amateur

Major champions by nationality

This table lists the total number of titles won by golfers of each nationality as an LPGA major (2001–present).

Nationality Number
of wins
 South Korea 5
 United States 3
 Taiwan 2
 Australia 1
 England 1
 Mexico 1
 Scotland 1
 Sweden 1

Future sites

Year Edition Course Location Dates Previously hosted
2016 40th Woburn Golf and Country Club Little Brickhill, England July 28–31* 1984, 1990–1996, 1999
2017 41st Kingsbarns Golf Links Fife, Scotland TBA Never


  1. ^ "Championship History". Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Ricoh Women's British Open Past Winners". LPGA. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 

External links

  • Official website
  • - microsite - Ricoh Women's British Open
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