Creamer, Wie add to star-studded line-up at HSBC Champions

Paula Creamer (left) and Michelle Wie received sponsor invitations to the HSBC Women's Champions.
Paula Creamer (left) and Michelle Wie received sponsor invitations to the HSBC Women's Champions.PHOTOS: AFP

This week's HSBC Women's Champions will include two more Major winners, one of them a former champion of the US$1.5 million (S$2.11 million) tournament.

Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie will be among those getting a taste of the New Tanjong course at Sentosa Golf Club when the event begins on Thursday, after both received sponsor invitations.

Neither are strangers to the prestigious LPGA Tour event, which is into its 10th edition and features the world's best women golfers.

Many fans will remember Creamer - affectionately known as the "Pink Panther" - for a 75-footer eagle putt on the second play-off hole in 2014 that gave her the title over Spaniard Azahara Munoz.

The American, ranked 94th in the world, said she has fond memories of competing in Singapore.

"I look forward to competing with the best in the world in one of my favourite places to visit," said the 30-year-old.

The 10-time winner on the LPGA Tour and 2010 US Women's Open champion has made big changes to her team over the past year, splitting with long-time coach David Whelan a year ago and ending her 12-year partnership with caddie Colin Cann late last year.

Added Creamer, who has also tied for third twice in Singapore: "I have been working very hard on all aspects of my game and hope I can get my season off to a strong start."

World No. 185 and fan favourite Wie, meanwhile, is raring to test out the greens of the new 6,683 yards, par-72 course. The tournament is being contested on the New Tanjong for the first time this year.

Said the 27-year-old, who won the US Women's Open in 2014: "The tournament always gathers one of the toughest fields on the LPGA, and it's going to be an extremely difficult one to win, but a challenge I am looking forward to."

The duo join a world-class 63-strong field that includes 19 of the world's top 20 players.

This includes world No. 1 Lydia Ko of New Zealand, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and defending champion Jang Ha Na of South Korea.

Singapore will be represented by 18-year-old Amanda Tan, who earned the berth after winning the local qualifiers early this month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2017, with the headline 'Creamer, Wie add to star-studded line-up at HSBC Champions'. Print Edition | Subscribe