'Greatest honour' for Davies

Four-time major winner Laura Davies may be Britain's most accomplished female

golfer, but being made a Dame in the Queen's Birthday Honours List comes top of her career accolades.

The 50-year-old has been a professional for almost 30 years and had already been awarded an MBE and CBE in previous honours but she admits this latest recognition will not be beaten.

And she is looking forward to being announced as Dame before she tees off at next month's Women's British Open.

"It really is the greatest honour I have received in my career and what makes it even more special is that it is an honour that transcends golf," said Davies, who has racked up 84 worldwide wins, seven Order of Merit triumphs and is a four-time Solheim Cup winner - a tournament in which she is the record points holder.

"I was very proud when I received the letter in May and it has been really difficult keeping it a secret from my friends since then.

"I am sure there will be a fair bit of teasing from my close friends at home and on tour but I think they will be pleased, not only for me but also because it is a nice recognition for women's golf.

"It will be very special playing in my 30th Ricoh Women's British Open this summer at Birkdale and, although I will feel very proud, it will definitely feel slightly unbelievable to be announced on the tee as Dame Laura Davies."

Davies, who is a big Liverpool fan and organises the annual football match at the Evian Masters Tournament in France, is adamant another date with the Queen to receive more honours will not change her.

"I am really looking forward to going to Buckingham Palace and sharing this occasion with my family and friends who have all played such a big part in my career," she added.

"I've already been asked if I will now be too posh to play football and the answer is definitely not!"