Date: January 25, 2018
Author: Mark Hayes

American champs eye Kooyonga

Thirty LPGA Tour titles, three major championships – and one burning desire to pocket the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open crown.

Two of the LPGA Tour’s greats, Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer, will spearhead the American invasion at Kooyonga Golf Club from February 15-18.

Tournament director Trevor Herden said both were excited to visit South Australia.

The evergreen Kerr will play in Adelaide for the first time, attempting to add to her stunning record of 20 LPGA Tour victories, including two majors.

Kerr, 40, has maintained her passion for the game throughout a couple of generations of challengers and remains ninth in the world rankings after two wins in 2017, including one of the biggest and most recent, the Sime Darby event in Malaysia in October.

“Cristie hasn’t played here since 2012,” Herden said of Kerr, an avid wine enthusiast who has her own label for sale.

“She’s apparently very keen on coming to Adelaide and hopes to get to those magnificent wine regions she’s heard about.”

Creamer, 31, is returning from a wrist injury that spoiled the second half of her 2017 campaign, hoping to recapture the form that once took the Californian to No.2 in the world.

She withdrew during the Evian Championship in agony and has since had wrist surgery in the hope of finding the form that led her to 10 LPGA Tour titles, including the 2010 US Women’s Open.

“Paula’s been such a popular player over the past decade or so and it’s great to see her putting such energy and importance in her trip to Adelaide.”

Herden said it was a tribute to the host Kooyonga that it had been able to lure the American greats back Down Under.

“Make no mistake, these are two of the most magnetic players in any LPGA Tour field and we’re really excited to have them both in Adelaide,” he said.

“They’ll be among a handful of American women in the field who’ve won major championships and we’re confident the fans will realise why they’ve both been at the top of world golf when they watch them in action next month.”

The addition of Kerr and Creamer further bolsters a field that already has a host of superstars including former world No.1s So Yeon Ryu and Lydia Ko and two more fan favourites in Canadian Brooke Henderson and defending champion Ha Na Jang.

“All six women obviously play great golf, but among their strongest assets is their ability to engage the fans,” Herden said.

“It’s a very exciting field we’re bringing together.”

The tournament will be broadcast live all four days via ABC Television.

Visit TICKETEK  to book your tickets.