Golf: Sentosa set for women's top 10

World No. 1 Lydia Ko (above) and second-ranked defending champion Park In Bee will be part of the HSBC Women's Champions tournament next month.
World No. 1 Lydia Ko (above) and second-ranked defending champion Park In Bee will be part of the HSBC Women's Champions tournament next month. PHOTO: AFP

All are confirmed amid 63-strong field for HSBC Women's Champions tournament

Having just hosted the men's world No. 1 golfer Jordan Spieth at last week's SMBC Singapore Open, the Sentosa Golf Club (SGC) will welcome another star-studded line-up of golfers next month.

This time, the world's top 10 women golfers will grace the Serapong Course, after all of them confirmed their participation at the March 3-6 HSBC Women's Champions tournament.

World No. 1 Lydia Ko and second-ranked defending champion Park In Bee had already confirmed their participation in December.

They will be joined at the US$1.5 million (S$2.1 million) tournament by a 63-strong field that includes Americans Stacy Lewis (world No. 3) and Lexi Thompson (No. 4), Koreans Kim Sei Young (No. 5), Ryu So Yeon (No. 6), Kim Hyo Joo (No. 7), Amy Yang (No. 9) and Chun In Gee (No. 10), as well as China's Feng Shanshan (No. 8).

There are, however, concerns over seven-time Major winner Park, who is nursing a back injury.

The 27-year-old, who took last year's trophy in a wire-to-wire win, withdrew from last month's season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic after posting a seven-over 80 in the first round, her worst score in an LPGA event in seven years. She also sat out this week's Coates Golf Championship.

This will be the fourth time the tournament, which is into its ninth edition, will be contested at the demanding Serapong Course, which was ranked 58th in Golf Digest's list of the world's 100 greatest golf courses last month.

Said 2013 winner and two-time Major champion Lewis: "The HSBC Women's Champions is one of the toughest tournaments on the tour, as the quality of the field is always exceptional. Lydia and In Bee are the in-form players at the moment; they are great competitors and deserving champions. But I am working hard on my game. I came in third last year behind them but I have won this before, so no reason why I cannot do it again."

Feng, who finished joint-second and joint-fourth in the 2012 and 2015 editions respectively, is eager to break her duck in Singapore.

She said: "The HSBC Women's Champions is one of my favourite tournaments on the tour, and one that I have been close to winning. Training has gone well over the off-season and I am looking forward to a good start in 2016."

Singapore will be represented by Koh Sock Hwee, who won the host country qualifying tournament last month.

Besides the strong competing field, golf fans will also have the chance to watch British pop group Take That at a one-off concert on March 5 at the SGC driving range. Celebrity chef Monica Galetti will headline the culinary element of the four-day festival.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 05, 2016, with the headline 'SENTOSA SET FOR WOMEN'S TOP 10'. Print Edition | Subscribe