Women’s British Open: Top 10 power rankings for Kingsbarns success

Ricoh Women's British Open at Woburn Golf Club on July 31, 2016 in Woburn, England. (Photo by Richard Martin-Roberts/Getty Images)
Ricoh Women's British Open at Woburn Golf Club on July 31, 2016 in Woburn, England. (Photo by Richard Martin-Roberts/Getty Images) /
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Women's British Open
Women’s British Open. (Photo by Richard Martin-Roberts/Getty Images) /

The Ricoh Women’s British Open power rankings tap into recent performance and history of major championship performance to identify the players most likely to contend at Kingsbarns.

The 41st edition of the Ricoh Women’s British Open is packed with star power: 17 of the world’s top 20 women players head a field of 144 golfers representing 30 nations. The alchemy of my top-10 power rankings of this field involve recent performance trends, major championship performance history, Women’s British Open performance, and gut instinct.

Some players you might expect to lead the charge are missing from my top-10 list: notably, defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko, Stacy Lewis, and Inbee Park. They’re all proven major champions, but their games don’t appear to be fine tuned to contend this week.

Kingsbarnes Golf Links hosts the 2017 Women’s British Open. It’s an old course, dating to the original 9-hole track that was in play in 1793 but renovated and updated by Kyle Phillips and reopened for play in 2000. This traditional Scottish links course will test the skills of every player in the field. The track is laid out along the North Sea coastline which means players will be contending with wind as well as a links terrain. The par 72 track will play about 6697 yards this week.

The weather will be typical for summer in Scotland – some rain, some wind, and a sunny Sunday for the final round. Players will need the caps and earmuffs and rain suits they used last week at Dundonald Links because really it’s going to be more of the same testing conditions.

As Dame Laura Davies observed when she was asked to speculate on whether or not she’d be successful in her attempt to qualify for her 38th British Women’s Open start, “golf’s a funny game” and nothing’s really predictable.

The best among the field could miss the cut and the least likely could emerge the winner on Sunday because the game is only in part one grounded in technical skill. Mental endurance, patience, and stoic acceptance all get figured into the equation at some point during the 72-hole marathon, as does the capricious lucky bounce and the equally capricious tragic mis-hit.

That said, here’s how I’m looking at the field who will be contending for the win at the 41st Women’s British Open.