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THE AIG WOMEN’S OPEN CELEBRATES 20 YEARS SINCE SE RI PAK SHONE AT SUNNINGDALE

11 August 2021, St Andrews, Scotland: Exactly 20 years have passed since Se Ri Pak made history as the first South Korean winner of the AIG Women’s Open, sparking an incredible period of success for Asia with ten further champions since the historic moment for the championship.
With just one week until the season’s fifth and final Major gets underway from 19-22 August at Carnoustie, Scotland, the best women’s Asian golfers including Major winners Sei Young Kim, So Yeon Ryu and Jeongeun Lee6, head to one of golf’s greatest tests with one goal in mind – joining Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak on the champions roll of honour.
Widely considered as a true trailblazer of the game, Pak was the first Korean golfer to make an impact on the LPGA Tour, winning 25 titles including five Major Championships, before retiring her clubs in 2016 after a record-breaking career spanning 18 years.
Coming from four shots behind in the final round of the 2001 Championship, Pak fired a sensational six-under-par 66 to prevail by two strokes over a world-class field at Sunningdale and start a legacy which has seen compatriots Jeong Jang (2005), Jiyai Shin (2008, 2012), Inbee Park (2015) and IK Kim (2017) follow in her footsteps and claim the prestigious title.
While Jang, Shin and Kim will not compete in this year’s AIG Women’s Open, seven-time Major winner Park heads to Carnoustie as one of the most decorated players and is in good form after picking up her 21st LPGA title earlier this season. She is currently number three in the Rolex Women’s Golf World Ranking.
Returning to the AIG Women’s Open, where she has recorded six top-ten finishes in 13 appearances, Park, said, “I have fond memories of the AIG Women’s Open and I remember feeling very happy with my second-round 64 at Carnoustie in 2011. You never really know what sort of conditions you will be playing in at links golf, but you just have to play your own game and accept whatever bounces you get out there.”
HISTORIC INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Outside of South Korea, Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and Japan’s Hinako Shibuno add to the list of Asian stars who have tasted success at the AIG Women’s Open since Pak’s memorable victory, while Filipino star Yuka Saso arrives in Scotland having claimed her first Major Championship win.
At only 19-years-old, Saso pulled off one of the performances of the year with victory at the 2021 US Women’s Open and is set to make her debut in the AIG Women’s Open.
Widely known to have modelled her swing on 2014 Champion Golfer Rory McIlroy, Saso secured a dream meeting with her idol after the win and an opportunity to seek more advice from the Northern Irishman, who won the Silver Medal in The Open at Carnoustie in 2007 as the leading amateur.
Saso, said, “I have heard a lot about the AIG Women’s Open, it is such an historic championship and I look up to many of the past champions. This is my first trip to Scotland, so I am excited to play at an incredible course like Carnoustie.”
Saso and Park are joined in the field by Major champions from Asia including: In Gee Chun, Eun Hee Ji, Alim Kim, Jeongeun Lee6, Sung Hyun Park, So Yeon Ryu, Hinako Shibuno, Patty Tavatanakit and Sei Young Kim.
The full list of exemptions into the AIG Women’s Open and AIG Women’s Open Final Qualifying can be found at aigwomensopen.com.
The AIG Women’s Open will take place from 16-22 August 2021 at Carnoustie, with tickets now on sale via aigwomensopen.com. The Championship will follow government guidance in relation to spectator attendance.
Adult tickets will start from £25 with children aged 16 years or under before the Championship admitted free of charge. Spectators aged 24 years or under will be entitled to purchase youth (16-24 years) tickets starting from £12.50. A £5 Mastercard discount is available per transaction.
Ends.
Notes to Picture Editors:
The photographs attached may be used with editorial coverage of this news release only. Please credit The R&A.
Caption 1: Inbee Park, the 2015 champion, will compete in the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie.
Notes to Editors:
About the AIG Women’s Open
First established in 1976 and now owned by The R&A, the AIG Women’s Open is one of five Major championships in women’s golf.
Each year 144 players compete for the championship trophy with the low amateur, who plays 72 holes, awarded the Smyth Salver.
The AIG Women’s Open will be played at Carnoustie Golf Links from 16-22 August 2021. Future venues will include Muirfield (2022), Walton Heath (2023), St Andrews (2024) and Royal Porthcawl (2025).
The Championship is the showpiece for The R&A’s commitment to growing women and girls’ golf via the Women in Golf Charter. The AIG Women’s Open aims to champion the changing face of women’s golf; to inspire, engage and provoke in order to challenge perceptions that will shape the future of the sport.
About AIG
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organization. AIG member companies provide a wide range of property casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement solutions, and other financial services to customers in approximately 80 countries and jurisdictions. These diverse offerings include products and services that help businesses and individuals protect their assets, manage risks and provide for retirement security. AIG common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Additional information about AIG can be found at www.aig.com | YouTube: www.youtube.com/aig | Twitter: @AIGinsurance www.twitter.com/AIGinsurance | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/aig. These references with additional information about AIG have been provided as a convenience, and the information contained on such websites is not incorporated by reference into this press release.
AIG is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty, life and retirement, and general insurance operations of American International Group, Inc. For additional information, please visit our website at www.aig.com. All products and services are written or provided by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. Products or services may not be available in all countries and jurisdictions, and coverage is subject to underwriting requirements and actual policy language. Non-insurance products and services may be provided by independent third parties. Certain property-casualty coverages may be provided by a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds, and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.
About The R&A
The R&A group of companies was formed in 2004 to take on The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews’ responsibilities for governing the Rules of Golf, staging The Open, golf’s original championship, and developing the sport. The R&A World Golf Museum in St Andrews is part of the R&A group.
Together The R&A and the USGA govern the sport of golf worldwide, operating in separate jurisdictions with a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Equipment Standards. The R&A, through R&A Rules Ltd, governs the sport worldwide, outside of the United States and Mexico, on behalf of over 36 million golfers in 146 countries and with the consent of 159 organisations from amateur and professional golf.
The R&A has responsibility for running a series of world class amateur events and international matches in women’s and girls’ as well as men’s and boys’ golf. The R&A stages the AIG Women’s Open and works with the European Tour to stage the Senior Open presented by Rolex.
The R&A is committed to investing £200 million over ten years in developing golf and supports the growth of the sport internationally, including the development and management of sustainable golf facilities. For more information, visit www.randa.org.