Gulbis, Davies headline Women's Australian Open
BY iseekgolf.com | ALPG Tour | 2007 Women's Australian Open | General | 18 Sep 2006
Golf Australia confirms that Australian number two player Nikki Campbell, reigning Australian Open champion Laura Davies and glamorous American Natalie Gulbis ranked 17 in the world will be contesting the 2007 MFS Women’s Australian Open.
First held in 1974, the 2007 MFS Women’s Australian Open will mark the 16th Championship and a first for The Royal Sydney Golf Club.
Paul McNamee, Executive Chairman of the Opens, Golf Australia said, "We are thrilled to have the Open up and running with a world class line up of local and international talent.
“The Women’s Open is a pivotal event on the Australian golfing calendar. Players such as Laura, Nikki and Natalie bring talent, style and glamour to the Open setting the scene for a must see event. It’s held the week before the ANZ Ladies Masters.”
Aside from having the enviable ranking of number two player in Australia, Nikki Campbell is establishing herself in the professional ranks after an outstanding amateur career. The quietly spoken Australian achieved her first professional win in 2005 winning the ABC Learning Centres and FADL Group Ladies Classic on the Gold Coast. After numerous top 10 finishes both here and in Japan, Nikki broke through for her first international victory this year winning the We Love KOBE Suntory Ladies Open.
Nikki was “very excited” to hear that the Women’s Australian Open was back. Nikki is looking forward to playing at Royal Sydney, a course on which she previously won the Australian Amateur title. With regards to playing at home, she said “Since we play for the majority of the year overseas, it’s nice to come home and play in front of family and friends and support our tour”.
Also confirmed are international golfing favourites Laura Davies and Natalie Gulbis.
Current holder of the Australian Open’s Patricia Bridges Bowl, English born Laura Davies is one of the superstars of the game with an impressive 67 career wins and winner of both the US and British Open titles. In 1994 Davies was the first golfer, man or woman, to win on five different Tours in one calendar year. Laura will return to defend her title and with 21 years experience as a professional golfer, brings fierce competition to the Women’s Open.
“It’s fantastic news to have the Women’s Australian Open back on the ALPG Tour schedule,” said Laura. “I love coming down and playing in Australia and as the defending champion I’m looking forward to playing well at Royal Sydney in February. I’m back in some of the best form of my career.”
Golf Australia has also confirmed Californian born model turned professional golfer, 23 year old Natalie Gulbis. In 1997 at age 14, she became the youngest player ever to qualify for a Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) event.
Turning professional in 2001 Natalie has had six top-10 finishes, including two top-3 finishes and runner up in the recent Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. Natalie is certain to make an impact on the world stage. Natalie is sure to add her own unique glamour and style to the Championship.
“I’m thrilled to be coming down under again; it was a wonderful experience at the Open last time. It would be my greatest career highlight if I could take home the title.” Natalie enthused. “It’s great that Golf Australia is holding such an important event for women’s golf. I’m an advocate for empowering women to be the best they can be and golf delivers so much more than competition – a healthy lifestyle, personal challenges and a lot of fun.”
Golf Australia’s strategy is to build strong partnerships for the Women’s Open that delivers an event showcasing world class golfers.
“We have the commitment from our sponsors. We have the television rights secured and great players. The Women’s Open is an important Australian event – it is also the ideal platform from which to inspire our future Australian golfers, bring new audiences to the sport and introduce people to the game of golf,” stated McNamee.
The championship will be held at The Royal Sydney Golf Club 1 – 4 February 2007 and is co-sanctioned with the ALPG Tour and Ladies European Tour.
Golf Australia acknowledges the support of major partner MFS, the New South Wales Government, Fisher & Paykel and The Royal Sydney Golf Club for the 2007 MFS Women’s Australian Open.
Source – Golf Australia