Davies looks to luck at Woburn

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The Independent Online
Golf

Laura Davies starts the Weetabix Women's British Open at Woburn today as favourite to take the title for the second time. However, the world No 1 insisted: "There are so many good players here and it is impossible to pick a winner with the greens so good. The scoring will be low."

Davies completed a 38th career win in the Welsh Open last weekend, but said: "It's very difficult to win back-to-back. A lot of luck is involved and we'll just have to wait and see."

The defending champion, Sweden's Lotta Neumann, will take part, despite taking two weeks off to have treatment for her injured shoulders. "They are fine now and I am playing steadily," Neumann said. "There will be a lot of strange kicks on the fast-running fairways and a patient attitude will be needed."

Nancy Lopez - who has won 47 tournaments and more than pounds 2.5m on the LPGA Tour since 1978 - will be making her first appearance in the championship. "I always set my goal to win and I feel good about this week," Lopez said. "I am hitting the ball well and the tee shots will be so important."

Annika Sorenstam of Sweden, joint second last year, has the opportunity to emulate Patty Sheehan by winning both the British and US Opens in the same year.

With the premium on accuracy from the tee, Britain's Alison Nicholas and Lora Fairclough should relish the conditions. Fairclough won two of the opening five European events this year, while Nicholas took the Scottish Open title two weeks ago.

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