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Jiyai Shin of South Korea watches her tee shot on the first hole during the first round of the LPGA Golf Championship in Pittsford, New York, June 24, 2010. (ADAM FENSTER/REUTERS)
Jiyai Shin of South Korea watches her tee shot on the first hole during the first round of the LPGA Golf Championship in Pittsford, New York, June 24, 2010. (ADAM FENSTER/REUTERS)

On top of the world Add to ...

South Korea's Shin Jiyai chases her second women's British Open title on top of the world and on top of her game.



Two years ago when she won at Sunningdale she was barely known outside her own country.



Now fresh from winning the Evian Masters in France on Sunday she is ranked world number one again and Royal Birkdale, starting on Thursday, holds no great fears.



"I love links golf and it would be great to win this major again," the 22-year-old Shin told reporters.



"When I won at Sunningdale two years ago it made a really big change in my life. Up until then getting to play on the LPGA Tour was just a dream.



"It gave me so much confidence and just made a huge difference to everything."



Shin experienced links golf for the first time at last year's British Open at Royal Lytham, finishing a creditable eighth behind Scotland's Catriona Matthew.



"I think I like this course better," she said. "There are not so many blind shots. But I love links golf. You have to wear so many clothes and think of lots of different shots."



Shin's win in Evian was the first this season and it came just six weeks after an emergency appendix operation.



"I felt ready to play about two weeks ago -- Sunday proved I was ready to win again," she said.



Paula Creamer, winner of the U.S. women's Open three weeks ago, is another seeking a second major after a season of injury. The 23-year-old had a thumb operation at the start of the year and is still not fully fit.



"Last week (in Evian) was difficult and I wasn't sure if I could practice on Monday," she said. "But it's not too bad."



She added: "When I was out injured there was a black cloud hanging over me. After surgery you never know if you are going to be able to play again, never mind compete at the highest level.



"Winning (the U.S, Open) at Oakmont was such a breakthrough. I had come close to winning majors before, but now I know what it takes to actually do it. It has definitely lifted my expectations."



Matthew, who won the title at Lytham 11 weeks after she gave birth to a second daughter was another in confident mood.



"I'm feeling great and have looked forward to this week all year," she said. "I love the course and my game is in pretty good shape."



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