Women's British Open 2014: Stacy Lewis glad of Michelle Wie rivalry

Stacy Lewis and Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie (left) beat Stacy Lewis to win the US Women's Open last month
Women's British Open
Venue: Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport
Date: 10-13 July
Coverage: Live on BBC Two each day from 13:00 BST

Defending champion Stacy Lewis says her rivalry with fellow American Michelle Wie is good for golf as they prepare for the Women's British Open.

US Women's Open champion Wie, 24, will vie with Lewis, 29, at Royal Birkdale, with the event teeing off on Thursday.

Britain's contenders include 18-year-old Charley Hull, Dame Laura Davies and Catriona Matthew.

"I think rivalries are great for any sport and Michelle definitely moves the needle," world number one Lewis said.

"I think her playing good golf is good for golf. It's good for the Tour and it's good for the other players."

World number six Wie's US Open victory at Pinehurst last month was her maiden major, while Lewis's win at St Andrews last year added the British title to her 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship triumph.

"I don't think you'll find a rivalry where we hate each other or anything like that because I want her to do well and I think she wants me to do well," Wie said.

"But I think it's fun because we definitely want to beat each other."

Stacy LewisMichelle Wie
Born: 16 February 1985, Toledo, OhioBorn: 11 October 1989, Honolulu, Hawaii
Turned pro: 2008Turned pro: 2005
LPGA Tour wins: 11LPGA Tour wins: 4
LPGA Majors: 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship, 2013 Women's British OpenLPGA Majors: 2014 US Women's Open

Hull, from Kettering, became the youngest person to play in the Solheim Cup last year as she helped Europe to an 18-10 victory over the United States in Colorado.

Davies, 50, was made a Dame in the Queen's Birthday Honours last month and will be competing at her 30th British Open.

The 1986 champion said: "At 50, the enthusiasm is still there. I've not given up on winning big tournaments."

Edinburgh's Matthew, 44, is aiming to repeat the form that won her the British Open in 2009.

"I'm pleased with how I'm playing, I've played well all year," she said.

American Lexi Thompson, the 19-year-old winner of the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April, will hope to challenge for another major title while Norway's Suzann Pettersen, New Zealand's Lydia Ko and South Korea's Inbee Park add further depth to the field.

The 17-year-old Ko, the world number two, turned professional at the end of last year and recently moved to Florida, but still has academic commitments to fit in - as she has yet to graduate from high school.

"I've still got to finish my photography assignment but I hope to finish by the end of this year," she said.

Laura Davies
Dame Laura Davies failed to make the cut at last year's Women's British Open but has 84 professional wins
Charley Hull
Teenager Charley Hull has impressed since making her professional Tour debut last year
Inbee Park
Former world number one Inbee Park's best Women's British Open finish was second in 2012

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