The 39th Ricoh Women’s British Open is flourishing as it kicks off a two week festival of world-class golf in the North West of England at Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport 10 –13 July.

Taking place in the week preceding the Open Championship, the Ricoh Women’s British Open marks the start of a veritable feast of golf allowing golf fans to watch both the best female and male golfers in the world in a golden fortnight this summer.

Defending Champion and World No.3 Stacy Lewis commented, “Winning the 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open really was the highlight of my year and I can’t wait to play this year’s Championship as the reigning Champion. One of the coolest things about the tournament is that we get to play on the world’s top courses and Royal Birkdale is definitely one of the best. I’ve always loved the challenges of playing links golf and now, having won at the Home of Golf, I look forward to the week in Southport with an added confidence that will hopefully help me defend that title in July.”

In addition to the title sponsor Ricoh, Rolex signed a new four year agreement in 2013 and Berenberg Bank has renewed their partnership joining new co-sponsors for 2014 including Calvin Klein, Tourism Andalucía and Lynx Golf. The Ricoh Women’s British Open is enjoying support like no other time in its history as sponsors embrace the tradition, history and passion of the Championship and the many values that the best women golfers can offer their brands.

Laura Davies, who will be playing in record 30th consecutive Women’s British Open in July, was recently elected as an Honorary Member at Royal Birkdale Golf Club. She looks forward to competing in her home Major, more so than for any other tournament. She explained, “It is very special to play in front of the home crowds for sure and I think we all find that is especially the case in the North West where the crowds are always plentiful and very passionate and knowledgeable about their golf. I can’t believe this will be my 30th time playing in the Women’s British Open. I’ve seen it develop over three decades as it has attracted more and more major sponsors and now it truly is one of the biggest events we play in the year, much of which is down to Ricoh’s extraordinary support. It is a great showcase for women’s golf and, as always, I’m really looking forward to competing this year.”

Royal Birkdale Golf Club is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year and Richard Hunt, the Club Captain commented, “Holding the Ricoh Women’s British Open for the sixth time is the perfect way for us to mark this special anniversary. We really enjoy hosting the world’s best women and our members especially enjoy both watching  how the leading female golfers navigate their way around our course and, also, the unique interaction with the players that is possible at the Women’s British Open.”

Javier Diez-Aguirre, Corporate Marketing Director, Ricoh Europe added, “We are certain the 2014 Ricoh Women’s British Open will be a must-watch for all golf fans as the players up-the-ante year on year with new techniques, skills and ambition. We will be busy behind the scenes providing document management services for the tournament and will also be closely watching the professionals master their game with the support of their teams.  It’s why we are the title sponsor of the tournament, as we can also compare that with the way we work with our own clients, supporting them to evolve into the future.  We wish all the players the best of luck for 2014.”

Shona Malcolm, the LGU’s CEO, added, “Year on year we work hard to improve the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the experience of the players, sponsors, media and spectators and we are delighted with the feedback we’ve received. This is, of course, done with a solid foundation only made possible due to the tremendous and long term support of Ricoh, to who we are extremely grateful. Preparations are going very well for the 2014 Championship and we look forward to staging another fantastic tournament, together with our partners Ricoh and IMG.”

The 2014 Ricoh Women’s British Open will be played 10 – 13 July and is showcased, as always, on BBC Television and around the world.

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Getty Images: England's Florentyna Parker, Laura Davies and Holly Clyburn at Royal Birkdale on Tuesday