When Lorena Ochoa started with a 9-under-par 64 in the opening round of the 2007 RICOH Women's British Open, she silenced a few of her critics who claimed her career was not complete without a major championship. When she won, it was only the beginning.
In a season where Ochoa would earn eight victories, it was at the birthplace of golf ' the Old Course at St. Andrews ' where the number one player in the world secured her first major championship victory by two strokes over Maria Hjorth and Jee Young Lee.
Instead of being satisfied, Ochoa left Europe energized and would go on to win her next two events: the Canadian Women's Open and the Safeway Classic.
Although Ochoa's six 2008 wins at least double that of the season's other multiple winners ' Paula Creamer (3), Seon Hwa Lee (3) and Annika Sorenstam (3) ' the story lines abound to include a long list of reasons why any player could win this week at Sunningdale, which hosted the event in 2004 when Karen Stupples won.
Laura Davies will be competing in her 60th consecutive major championship ' the longest active streak on the LPGA. In her 21st year on tour, Davies has played in every major championship since the 1994 Kraft Nabisco Championship. A victory this week would give her a spot in the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame.
Already a Hall of Famer, Juli Inkster will be looking for her first major championship since the 2002 U.S. Women's Open. An eighth major championship win would make Inkster the second player to complete the Super Career Grand Slam, in which a player wins all eligible majors in her career.
Tthe 144 players in field have their eyes on the $2.1 million purse, which also designates the RICOH Women's British Open as a Winner Event in LPGA Playoffs 2008. With a win, the champion will also have secured her place in the 32-player, $1 million-to-the-winner ADT Championship, which Ochoa claimed as her final victory of 2007.