Five of the top ten players in the world will hit the fairways of Royal Canberra Golf Club with three new players announced on Tuesday, but potential drawcard world No.12 Paula Creamer will not be among them.
Norway's world No.6 Suzann Pettersen, No. 7 So Yeon Ryu, the 2011 US Open Champion, and two-time British Open winner Jiyai Shin (No.8) are the top golfers who will join world No.1 Yani Tseng and reigning Player of the Year Stacy Lewis to make this the strongest field ever for the women's Australian Open.
“There's only one player we probably did want to try and get down as well, just to put some more icing on this big cake, and that was Paula Creamer, but unfortunately we weren't able to get her,” tournament Director Trevor Herden said.
The top-ranked players will be joined by former teen sensation Michelle Wie, Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger, and defending champion Jessica Korda.
The event, which starts on February 14, will feature two other teen sensations, American 17-year-old Lexi Thompson and 15-year-old Lydia Ko of New Zealand, the world's top-ranked amateur and the youngest ever winner of an LPGA Tour event.
Ko shot to fame when she won the NSW Open last year as a 14-year-old. She went on to win the US Women's Amateur tournament which gave her entry to the Canadian Open, shooting 13-under par to become the first amateur to win an LPGA tour event in 43 years at just 15 years old.
As an amateur, she was not allowed to claim the winner's cheque of CAD$300,000, which went to the runner up, Inbee Park.
The Women's Australian Open is one of the first major events of Canberra's Centenary year, with Canberra set to get worldwide exposure hosting the tournament for the first time.
“Going across the global platform from the LPGA, it will go to millions – it's unbelievable how far it will reach … just about every corner of the globe,” Herden said.