Sun Young Yoo, winner of the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship, has confirmed that she will join defending Champion, Yani Tseng, as they bid to win the 37th Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, 13th to 16th September 2012.
The beginning of the month saw South Korean Sun Young Yoo beat I.K. Kim in a one-hole playoff for her second career victory and first major championship in what was a dramatic finale. After I.K. Kim missed a one-foot par putt on the 18th hole to force a two-player playoff, Yoo hit her approach shot to 20-feet on the first playoff hole and sank the birdie putt to clinch what seemed to be an improbable victory at the season’s first major championship.
Both Sun Young Yoo and I.K Kim started the day 3 shots behind World Number One, Yani Tseng. Every expectation was for Tseng, with five career majors at the ridiculously young age of 23, to fill up another chapter in the history book. Yoo believed otherwise, playing some flawless golf, birdieing her final two holes to finish 9 under. She then birdied the first playoff hole to win the first Major of 2012.
Tseng’s career has gone from strength to strength since winning her first Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale in 2010, a feat she matched at Carnoustie last year. She arrived at Mission Hills Country Club for the season’s first major having won three of the season’s five events. Going into the Sunday, she had led or shared the lead in 10 of the last 11 rounds. She explained, “Winning the Ricoh Women’s British Open for two consecutive years has been huge for me and has really helped improve the mental aspect of my game, giving me the confidence to play as world number one. I have had a great start to the season and while I am disappointed to have just missed out on the seasons first major, it makes me doubly determined to defend at Royal Liverpool in September. I am really looking forward to returning to the UK and playing such a famous links course. It’s my honour to play on such great courses that are always part of the Ricoh Women’s British Open’s rota.”
Yoo, who among her fellow South Koreans on Tour is known as the ‘Course Clown,’ becomes the second South Korean to win the season’s first major, joining Grace Park (2004). It’s her first victory since she became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the 2010 Sybase Match Play Championship. Her joy at winning her first major at the prestigious Kraft Nabisco Championship has yet to subside as she explained, “I don’t think any words can describe how I feel right now. I’m more nervous now than what I was out on the course. I obviously feel sad for I.K, it happens, its golf and it’s a crazy game. To play with IK and the world number one over the final two rounds and come from behind to win was very special! They are both great players that I have known since I was young. I’m sure that I’ll be able to put this into proper perspective soon, but right now, I’m having fun and excited about playing in more big tournaments.”
Shona Malcolm, the LGU’s CEO added, “We are very much looking forward to playing the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Liverpool for the first time this year and all our preparations are going well. The ladies’ game is very exciting at the moment and the standard is exceptionally high with Yani still on fire and as Sun Young Yoo and I.K. Kim showed in their nail-biting performance at the year’s first Major. This will be a world class field battling it out over one of the world’s best courses and I believe we are in for a fantastic week of golf.”
This year fans will again be able to watch the BBC’s extensive coverage of the Ricoh Women’s British Open in HD (high definition) underlining the significance of the Championship in the BBC’s sports portfolio.
The Ricoh Women’s British Open was founded by the LGU in 1976 and is staged in conjunction with IMG, the world’s largest sports marketing company. The event has been co-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET since 1994 and gained Major status in 2001.
Ricoh, the leading technology provider of Managed Document Services and Production Printing, has been the title sponsor of the Ricoh Women’s British Open since 2007.