Happy return for Pettersen

Norway’s Solheim Cup star Suzann Pettersen is looking forward to a new experience as the defending champion at the Michelob Ultra Open in Williamsburg which starts tomorrow.

Pettersen won five times on the LPGA Tour last year, including her first major at the McDonald’s LPGA Championship, and the magnificent run began at the Kingsmill Resort in Virginia with a nail-biting play-off win over South Korea’s Jee Young Lee.

“It’s really exciting to be back,” said the 25-year-old. “I’ve got great memories from last year.

“I also feel my game has improved a lot in the last 12 months so I’m coming here full of confidence.”

Karen Stupples, with two top-10 finishes, is currently the top British player on the LPGA Tour. She is ranked 26th and is 27 places higher than Johanna Head.

“It’s been a good start to the year,” said the 33-year-old from Kent, who missed most of last season after the arrival of her first son, Logan.

“It’s great to be back playing every week and I feel I’m getting stronger all the time.”

Michelle Wie, the 18-year-old who has had a troubled 18-months, plays in the tournament for a second time.

Plagued by a wrist injury, she has spent the last month practising with coach David Leadbetter in Florida and she said: “I’m excited to be back here.

“The wrist is okay and it’s nice to be back on the LPGA Tour.

“I’m just thinking about the last 18 months as a bit of a dip and now I’m ready to get going again.”

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