Norway’s Suzann Pettersen will return to the scene of her Solheim Cup winning heroics when she defends her Ladies Irish Open title at Killeen Castle next month.
It’s a coup for promoter Roddy Carr, who will reveal plans to completely “re-invent” the €350,000 event for 2013 some time later this summer.
Pettersen will be the top draw at the Jack Nicklaus designed course in Co Meath from August 3-5 when she will be joined by four of her Solheim Cup winning team mates in Swedes Sophie Gustafson and Caroline Hedwall and English pair Laura Davies and Melissa Reid.
Lexi Thompson won’t be there though there will still be an American presence with the Christina Kim returning to the scene of the USA’s Solheim Cup defeat last year.
Whether Kim would have posed naked for a sports magazine, as Pettersen did recently, is another question entirely.
The 31-year old world number six made headlines in the US this week by stripping naked for “The Body Issue” of ESPN The Magazine, which comes out this Friday.
Pettersen told USA Today: “There was a big crowd, we’ll say, for the shoot. But they are professional, and I was probably the only one there who felt a little awkward.
“A lot of the best athletes in the world have done it, and I thought it was great to be asked.”
She’s sure to set tongues wagging simply for her golf in Co Meath and showed some good form when she tied for ninth in last week’s US Women’s Open in Wisconsin.
Ireland will have a wealth of home grown talent on show including Rebecca Codd, Danielle McVeigh, Tara Delaney and the 17-year old twin amateurs from Cavan, Leona and Lisa Maguire.
Tickets are free for children and senior citizens and standard tickets cost just €10, with season passes for €25. Public parking is available on-site and tickets can be purchased on entry or by visiting www.ladiesirishopen.ie.