TOP FIFTY-FIVE ON LPGA OFFICIAL MONEY LIST PREPARE FOR CHAMPION SHOWDOWN AT THE HSBC WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS 2010
For the first time in the event’s history, the top twenty female golfers from the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking will roll into town for the HSBC Women’s Champions 2010 as part of the 63 player line up at Tanah Merah Country Club from 25-28 February.
Accentuating the unprecedented strength and quality of the field, all of the top 55 ranked players on the LPGA’s Official Money List will be in Singapore to battle it out over four days of stroke play in a bid to win the Champion of Champions title and a share of the US$1.3million prize purse.
“The best of the best are coming to Singapore for the HSBC Women’s Champions this year which sets the stage for an exciting tournament and a wonderful start to the 2010 season. This is the best line-up we will see in Asia and is testament to the importance the LPGA players give our event and the hospitality and support we offer to them in this part of the world.” said Giles Morgan, HSBC Group Head of Sponsorship.
Along with the top two players in the world Lorena Ochoa (1) and Jiyai Shin (2), and the other stars already announced, other notable champions in the field to look out for include 2009 RICOH Women’s British Open Catriona Matthew (16) and a host of Asian Champions including two-time winner on the 2009 LPGA season Na Yeon Choi (11), In-Kyung Kim (12)of Korea who claimed victory in the 2009 LPGA State Farm Classic and US Women’s Open Champion Eun-Hee Ji (22).
Matthew, who won the 2009 Ricoh Women’s British Open only 11 weeks after giving birth to her second child said, “This will be my third trip to Singapore for the HSBC Women’s Champions and I am very much looking forward to getting back on the Garden Course and kicking off the 2010 season with a strong performance. It was the last tournament I played before having a break to have my second baby and although I played pretty well considering I was five months pregnant, I was rather uncomfortable in the heat. This year I am feeling refreshed after the break and, after a very cold Scottish winter, I am really looking forward to seeing the sun in Singapore and unlike last year, relishing the chance to enjoy the hot weather. Playing in such a classy event hosted by HSBC in Asia is a great way to start the season. I believe every single one of the qualified players has taken up their place in the field and that certainly illustrates what a popular tournament this is among the world’s best players.”
Crowd favourites from the United States Cristina Kim and Natalie Gulbis will also be making a welcome return to the competition along with a large Japanese contingent. Alongside world number eight, Ai Miyazato; three other players from Japan sit inside the top 20 rankings, namely Sakura Yokomine (14), Shinobu Moromizato (17) and Chie Arimura (19).
Robbie Henchman, Senior Vice President of the tournament promoters IMG commented, “Singapore is gearing up to host the best field of female golfers ever witnessed on its shores, and arguably in the Asia Pacific, and along with title sponsor HSBC, we will ensure these champions will enjoy a wonderful tournament and the finest Asian hospitality while they are here. The mix of countries being represented in the top 20 alone shows the spread of professional women’s golf across the globe, and we are sure that Asian golfing fans will turn out over the four days to welcome and support their golf idols from the around the world.”
This year’s sponsors exemptions show the wealth of talent across the continents in American rookie Amanda Blumenherst and Chinese favourite Shanshan Feng. Joey Poh from Singapore will take the host country invite place for the second year running and be the only amateur and Singaporean in the line-up after coming out on top in the local qualifying tournament in January.
The final spot will be determined following the season-opener in Thailand next weekend. Players will arrive in town from Monday 22 with tournament play commencing on Thursday 25 at the Garden Course, tee-off from 8am.