The powerhouse field for the HSBC Women’s Champions 2011 will see the world’s leading players seeking to claim the world number one ranking. 63 of the LPGA’s best will descend on Singapore for the fourth edition of the tournament from February 24-27.
Defending champion Ai Miyazato, currently sixth on the Rolex Rankings and second-place Jiyai Shin, the 2009 winner, are just two of the superstars chasing the HSBC Women’s Champions’ US$1.4 million prize purse, with Yani Tseng (top-ranked), Suzann Pettersen (third), Cristie Kerr (fourth), and Na Yeon Choi (fifth) all within striking distance of the number one position.
The battle for the top spot on the Rolex Rankings is an appropriate backdrop for the fourth HSBC Women’s Champions, which remarkably counts only players that have been ranked at some time as world number one as its past champions – Lorena Ochoa (2008), Shin (2009) and then Miyazato 12 months ago.
Said Shin, a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour in 2010, “The HSBC Women’s Champions has a great reputation with the players and we all know that only players who have been number one in the world have won in Singapore. This is not only an event at which we are treated well, but one we all want to win. That is especially the case for me, having won the HSBC Women’s Champions in the past.”
Said Giles Morgan, HSBC Group Head of Sponsorship, “Each edition of the HSBC Women’s Champions has seen a world-class winner who has played world-class golf to win. Actually having the number one spot available certainly adds to the excitement, as we know from when Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson all arrived at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai last year in the same situation. If you look at the history of the HSBC Women’s Champions, you would predict that the winner will become world number one and I wouldn’t be surprised if it also shows whose star is going to shine brightest this year.”
In addition to the world’s leading six golfers, fellow top-10 ranked players In Kyung Kim, Song-Hee Kim and Michelle Wie will be in Singapore. Fan favorites Paula Creamer, who missed last year’s event due to injury, Karrie Webb, Morgan Pressel, Se Ri Pak and Natalie Gulbis will also be part of the field.
The feast of stars for Singapore golf fans also includes 2010 LPGA winners Beatriz Recari and Jimin Kang, plus Brittany Lincicome, Christina Kim and Amanda Blumenherst, who returns to the HSBC Women’s Champions after playing as a sponsor’s invite last year.
Added Robbie Henchman, Senior Vice President of Tournament Promoters IMG, “The HSBC Women’s Champions has quickly become one of the most popular events on tour and that is reflected in the incredibly strong field we once again have coming to Singapore. HSBC is one of golf’s biggest supporters worldwide and we are delighted to be working with them to deliver what we intend to be our best event to date.”
For local fans, Singaporean Christabel Goh will make her debut at the HSBC Women’s Champions after winning the National Qualifier in late January. Joining her in the field will be sponsor invites Nicole Castrale, who will be acting as Goh’s ‘big sister’ at the event to show her the ropes at an LPGA event, and rising star Jessica Korda.
The final spot in the field will be determined following the season-opener in Thailand this week. Players will arrive in Singapore from Monday, 21 February and tournament play will commence at 8 a.m. on Thursday,February 21, 2011 on the Garden Course of Tanah Merah Country Club.
For further information and a full list of qualifiers please visit http://www.hsbcgolf.com/womens/