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Michelle Wie, Christie Kerr, Brittany Lincicome, Lexi Thompson, Morgan Pressel, Natalie Gulbis and Brittany Lang are among the 34-strong American contingent in the field of 144.

Fifteen-year-old New Zealand amateur sensation Lydia Ko, winner of the Canadian Open last month, tees off first from the 10th paired with Lexi Thompson and Japan’s Kaori Ohe. The South Korean-born Ko became the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history and only the fifth amateur champion.

The European challengers include 20-year-old Scot Carly Booth, leading the tour order of merit with two wins this season; Germany’s Caroline Masson, who led going into the final round at Carnoustie last year; and Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall, winner in Austria 10 days ago.

Catriona Matthew, the last British winner at Royal Lytham in 2009, is one of the home favorites along with European Tour veteran Laura Davies, who won the title in 1986.

American Numa Gulyanamitta withdrew Wednesday and was replaced by first alternate Louise Larsson from Sweden.