Killeen Castle

Three of the world’s top 10 and host of top Americans will headline a world class field at this summer’s AIB Ladies Irish Open.  

World No 3 Suzann Pettersen will be joined by Anna Nordqvist and American star Angela Stanford at Killeen Castle from August 6-8.  

The field is the strongest in the event’s history with 17 Solheim Cup players set to tee it up including Europeans Laura Davies, Catriona Matthew and Sophie Gustafson.  

World No 9 Stanford leads a five-strong raiding party of US Solheim Cup stars that includes extrovert Christina Kim, major winner Brittany Lincicome, Brittany Lang and Kristy McPherson.  

The event is a curtain-raiser for next year’s Solheim Cup clash between Europe and the US at the Jack Nicklaus resort in Co Meath.  

But organisers have cleverly taken advantage of the fact that it is being staged the week after the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale to attract some of the best players in the world.

If only the men’s equivalent of the Irish Open could secure such a plum date. Imagine how many to players might decide to stick around to play if it were held the week after the Open. 

This year’s 3 Irish Open takes place the week before the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and just two weeks before the US PGA.

Ladies Irish Open promoter Roddy Carr said: “There is one formula that works for golf events in Ireland, bring the best players in the world and the people will come to see them.  

“This is what we set out to do at this year’s event with the move to the splendid Jack Nicklaus designed course at Killeen Castle.  

“We were thrilled with the response from quality Americans, who obviously see the event as a curtain raiser for The 2011 Solheim Cup.”  

Ireland will have a big presence with Hazel Kavanagh, Rebecca Coakley, Alison Walsh, Martina Gillen and Tara Delaney all set to chase Solheim Cup points.