Women’s Open 2014: Dame Laura Davies eyes repeat Royal Birkdale win aged 50

She is a beacon for middle-age ambition in a sport suddenly flush with teenage sluggers

She is the oldest player in the field contesting her 30th Ricoh British Women’s Open, yet you would have to walk the length of the Fylde coast to find a golfer with more enthusiasm than Dame Laura Davies.

At 50 Davies might be in a minority of one this week believing she is a contender for a championship she first claimed 28 years ago. And that is why she is still here, a beacon for middle-age ambition in a sport suddenly flush with teenage sluggers.

The same Royal Birkdale track was the scene of her 1986 triumph, the memories of which still inspire her. “I still feel 21. I have got a bad heel at the moment so I’m walking like a 50-year-old, or even a 60-year-old, but the enthusiasm is still there and in my mind I’m still good enough,” she said.

“If I could just hole some putts and sort that aspect of my game I would be in shape. I haven’t given up on the chances of winning here, that’s not to say I will, of course. I understand the pressure on these young girls to be out here practising every day but the longevity won’t  be there.”

Ranged against her is arguably the most talented group of young women the sport has seen, Britain’s Charley Hull, at 18, attempting to join fellow teenager, America’s Lexi Thompson, 19, as a Major champion.

Hull was seventh behind Thompson at the first major of the season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She won for the first time in Morocco, scored a top 10 at the Ladies European Tour’s flagship event last week, the ISPS Handa Championship, and just loves Birkdale.

“I played it as an amateur. I missed a four-foot putt on the last to qualify [for the Open] and I was about 14 then, so it’s good to be in it and not have to qualify this time. It’s my favourite links course because I think it’s a fair links. It’s a proper golf course.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas