Golf: World No. 1 Lydia Ko, No. 2 Nelly Korda to headline HSBC Women’s World C’ship in Singapore

Lydia Ko (left) wrested the top spot from Nelly Korda after winning the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in November. PHOTOS: AFP

SINGAPORE – World No. 1 Lydia Ko and No. 2 Nelly Korda have confirmed their participation in the 2023 HSBC Women’s World Championship in Sentosa from March 2-5, organisers announced on Monday.

Both golfers had held the world No. 1 position last season, with Ko wresting the top spot from Korda after winning the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in November.

Ko, who was also the LPGA Player of the Year after clinching three titles in 2022, showed that she is ready to pick up from where she left off when she bagged a hole-in-one last week while on honeymoon in New Zealand with her South Korean husband Chung Jun. They married in December.

“I had an amazing year and to finish the season with a win and a return to the top of the world rankings was very special,” said the 25-year-old Kiwi.

“The HSBC Women’s World Championship is definitely an event I would love to win one day.

“It always has such a strong field and an amazing list of past champions that it would be such an honour to add my name to the list.”

To do that, Ko will have to improve on her best finish of joint-seventh in 2021 when she returns to the Sentosa Golf Club’s Tanjong Course. She was tied-23rd in 2022. 

Defending champion and fifth-ranked Ko Jin-young had earlier announced that she will be back.

She had clinched last season’s championship with a total of 17-under 271 and made LPGA history by becoming the first female golfer to shoot 15 straight rounds in the 60s.

The South Korean, 27, is aiming to become the tournament’s first back-to-back winner.

Korda last played in the tournament in 2019, when she placed 10th.

The American, who held the No. 1 position for two weeks after winning the Pelican Women’s Championship last November, said she is excited to return to Singapore.

The 24-year-old had a remarkable 2022, after recovering from surgery for a blood clot in her right arm, and will be taking part with her sister Jessica.

The 29-year-old is ranked 18th in the world.

The full line-up will be announced at a later date.

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