Date: January 29, 2008

Marquee groupings set to take on the Heath!

MELBOURNE, Australia: Executive Chairman of the Australian Opens, Paul McNamee today welcomed the start of the 2008 MFS Women&aposs Australian Open golf championship and unveiled the marquee groupings that will highlight play on Thursday at Kingston Heath Golf Club. Australian Amateur Champion Sunny Park highlights the 7:50am Thursday marquee group. The 22 year old has since turned professional and is set to test her skills on the biggest stage in Australian women&aposs golf alongside last year&aposs third place getter Minea Blomqvist of Finland and Italian glamour girl Sophie Sandolo. Following them will be defending champion and world number three, Karrie Webb. The seven-time Major winner will be looking to win her fourth Women&aposs Australian Open crown as she gets her campaign underway at 8:00am alongside talented young Aussie Katherine Hull and world number 20, Sakura Yokomine of Japan. At 8:10am, Aussie Lindsey Wright, fourth in the LPGA Championships takes to the course with Europe&aposs number two, Bettina Hauert and young South African, Ashleigh Simon who was the leading amateur at the 2007 MFS Women&aposs Australian Open. The afternoon gets underway from the first tee at 12:35pm with world number seven Ji-Yai Shin of Korea, Aussie Nikki Campbell and Jill McGill of USA. Shin is coming off a phenomenal year on the Korean LPGA Tour where she won nine of 15 events. Following this group, Laura Davies, Sarah Kemp and Gwladys Nocera will provide a real treat for golf fans as they tee off at 12:45pm. Davies, a former world number one and Women&aposs Australian Open Champion is coming off a win in Sydney this week, Kemp was an early leader in last year&aposs tournament and Nocera finished third on the 2007 LET Order of Merit, so there is plenty of talent in this trio! Finally, Australia&aposs two-time LET event winner Nikki Garrett, 2005 US Open Champion Birdie Kim and Spaniard Paula Marti, third last year, round out the afternoon marquee groupings when they hit the course at 12:55pm. “The 2008 MFS Women&aposs Australian Open has an inspiring array of talent on show,” McNamee enthused. “The players in this world-class field boast a combined 13 Majors between them, including seven from our own Karrie Webb who will be defending her championship here at the magnificent Kingston Heath Golf Club.” “We have strong representation from Europe due to the co-sanctioning by the Ladies European Tour, as well as Asia with over 20 players committed to the tournament. “The Asia-Pacific region is integral to the future of the Australian Opens so this representation is welcome.” The complete draw of 156 players will be finalised later today after the full field has been decided following yesterday&aposs final qualifying at Woodlands Golf Club which has secured spots for 11 players. The 2008 MFS Women&aposs Australian Open will be televised from 3:00pm Thursday on ABC. AM Marquee Groups (10th tee) 7:50am Sunny Park (AUS) Sophie Sandolo (ITA) Minea Blomqvist (FIN) 8:00am Karrie Webb (AUS) Sakura Yokomine (JPN) Katherine Hull (AUS) 8:10am Bettina Hauert (GER) Lindsey Wright (AUS) Ashleigh Simon (RSA) PM Marquee Groups (1st tee) 12:35pm Ji-Yai Shin (KOR) Nikki Campbell (AUS) Jill McGill (USA) 12:45pm Laura Davies (ENG) Sarah Kemp (AUS) Gwladys Nocera (FRA) 12:55pm Birdie Kim (KOR) Nikki Garrett (AUS) Paula Marti (ESP)