Excitement is building around Melbourne s sand-belt with the 2009 Women’s Australian Open just a week away at The Metropolitan Golf Club. Four time champion and world number 9 Karrie Webb is chasing a fabulous five Women’s Australian Open titles but a solid list of contenders will make her quest that much harder. Canadian Open champion and world number 26 Katherine Hull, fresh from consecutive runner-up finishes at the LG Bing Lee NSW Women’s Open and Women’s New Zealand Open, will be gunning to secure her first Patricia Bridges Bowl. A host of international challengers from overseas will also give Webb some stiff competition in an event that she has dominated in recent years. France s Gwladys Nocera, fresh from winning the Women’s New Zealand Open by six shots will also be in the hunt to make her s the first international name on the trophy since Laura Davies victory at Concord in 2004. Tournament Director Trevor Herden said he was excited about the stars gathering to take on Australia s undisputed Queen of golf on an outstanding course. Karrie has such an illustrious history with this championship and she ll have some serious competition again this year to retain her title, Herden said. We have five members of the 2007 Solheim Cup European Team coming to Melbourne, setting the scene for a fierce battle between the Australians and the Europeans. The Metropolitan layout recovered well from Melbourne s heatwave as hard work by dedicated staff kept the course in pristine condition for Australian golf’s leading ladies. The Metropolitan Golf Club, vastly experienced in hosting national and international championships, has hosted seven previous Men’sAustralian Opens and the 2001 WGC-Accenture World Match Play Championship. The 2009 Women’s Australian Open runs from 12-15 February at The Metropolitan Golf Club.