With such a great field at Royal Melbourne for the 2015 ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open this week, picking a winner is no easy task.
This week’s 2015 ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open has one of the best fields in Australian golf tournament history. Four of the world’s top-10 golfers will be vying to win the Patricia Bridges Bowl at Royal Melbourne; world number one Lydia Ko, China’s Shanshan Feng (#4), Korea’s So Yeon Ryu (#7), and defending champion Karrie Webb (#9).
But the field runs deeper than just these four players, in one of the few national championships that is part of the LPGA Tour schedule.
Previous winners of the event Jessica Korda, Yani Tseng, Laura Davies and Sophie Gustafson are all here and aiming to reclaim their crown, not to mention a whole of host of young guns ready to make their mark.
World number one Lydia Ko goes into the field as outright favourite – and rightly so. In her two tournaments this year Ko has two top-10 finishes. Combined with two consecutive third place finishes at this event it wouldn’t surprise to see Ko atop the leaderboard on Sunday.
Korea’s So Yeon Ryu looked solid in her first hit out for the year and on the US LPGA Tour a few weeks ago but she has struggled to close out tournaments over the past few years with just the one victory since 2012.
It’s to imagine a less known world number four in any sport than China’s Shanshan Feng. The 2012 LPGA Championship winner continues to fly under the radar despite a phenomenal record in the big tournaments. As Mark Hayes’ points out in his great piece, Feng has finished in the top-10 in her last 13 majors.
It wouldn’t be an Australian Open without Karrie Webb arriving with a chance to win. Her victory last year at Victoria Golf Club was remarkable and a reminder to us all that Webb can win any golf tournament at any time. Do not rule out Webb winning a sixth Australian Open crown this weekend.
Who else could win?
As we said, the field runs deep this week and there a plenty of golfers who could walk away with the Women’s Australian Open trophy.
Korea’s Na Yeon Choi has already chalked up a victory this year by winning the opening LPGA tournament and keep an eye out for Spain’s Beatrice Recari who seems to always play well in Australia. Jessica Korda is also a great chance to win at the same place she won in 2012 after surviving a 6-way playoff.
As for the Australians, Rebecca Artis is playing good golf with only a poor weekend preventing her from a high-placed finish at the Australian Ladies Masters and Katherine Kirk‘s strong finish has her primed for another good result this week.
We’re particularly looking forward to seeing how Australian Amateur champion Shelly Shin performs this week. Despite a poor final round, she still managed to finish in a tie for 11th at the Victorian Open and has spent the last two weeks focussing squarely on this event.