Golf: Davies' driving ambition: Weetabix British Women's Open

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The Independent Online
LAURA DAVIES has every incentive to recapture the title she last held in 1986 when she tees off in the Weetabix British Women's Open over the Duke's course here today, writes John Bolton from Woburn.

A relaxed Davies explained yesterday that she takes delivery of a BMW M3 this week and it will take the pounds 50,000 first prize to pay for it. Not that money has been an important factor in her career. Davies was told by her headmaster she would never make money at golf but has earned pounds 1.5m since turning professional in 1985.

'If I have a putt to win a tournament it is the title and not the money I think about,' the former British and US Open champion said. Davies has won in Asia and America this year and is anxious to maintain her record of winning at least once in Europe each year since turning professional. A level-par round of 73 in yesterday's pro-am indicates she is ready for the off.

Patty Sheehan, who became the first player to win the British and US titles in the same season last year, faces a strong challenge from the Europeans, who have impressed in America. Trish Johnson won back-to-back titles in Las Vegas and Atlanta in April, Alison Nicholas lost a play-off for the Corning Classic in May, while Sweden's Helen Alfredsson won the Nabisco Dinah Shore and almost captured a second major when sharing second place in the US Open three weeks ago.

Sheehan also leads the world rankings, while Jane Geddes, another former British Open winner, and Brandie Burton, whom Davies beat in last year's Solheim Cup match, add strength to the American quest.