Golf: Big guns in the field for HSBC Women's Champions

Lydia Ko will be looking to cement her billing as the top women's golfer with a maiden victory at the HSBC Women's Champions tournament.
Lydia Ko will be looking to cement her billing as the top women's golfer with a maiden victory at the HSBC Women's Champions tournament.PHOTO:: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Led by top-ranked Lydia Ko and No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, the world's top 10 female golfers will compete at this year's HSBC Women's Champions at Sentosa Golf Club (SGC).

The stellar 63-women field includes last year's Rookie of the Year Chun In Gee (world No. 3), Feng Shanshan (No. 4), Lexi Thompson (No. 5) and Brooke Henderson (No. 8), as well as the South Korean quartet of defending champion Jang Ha Na, Ryu So Yeon, Kim Sei Young and Park Sung Hyun.

A new environment awaits the 10th edition of the US$1.5 million (S$2.14 million) LPGA Tour event.

The March 2-5 tournament will be held at SGC's newly-renovated New Tanjong Course.

Ko, 19, secured four LPGA Tour wins last season and another 10 top-10 finishes.

The New Zealander's best finish at the HSBC event was runner-up at the 2015 edition behind Park In Bee.

Ko said yesterday in a media statement: "The tournament always attracts a very high quality field so it does a lot for your confidence when you do well there.

"I came close a couple of years ago, so I would love to go one better and take the trophy home with me this time round."

Also gunning for the title and with an eye of supplanting Ko in the world rankings is Ariya.

The 21-year-old Thai bagged a LPGA Tour-leading five titles last year and won her first Major at the Women's British Open.

The reigning Player of the Year said: "Last year was a breakthrough year for me. I got over some of the injury problems I had been struggling with and managed to get the consistency back in my game.

"I have played HSBC Women's Champions a couple of times and done pretty well.

"I hear we will be playing on the New Tanjong Course this year, so it will be a fresh challenge for all the girls. I am sure it will be a lot of fun."

British pop band Take That held a live concert at last year's HSBC event.

A trio of international musicians from the United States, South Korea and Singapore will perform at the SGC driving range this year after the third round.

•HSBC Women's Champions tickets are available at apactix.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2017, with the headline 'Big guns in the field for HSBC Women's Champions'. Print Edition | Subscribe