SINGAPORE - The world's best female golfer, Ariya Jutanugarn, and her sister Moriya will feature at next year's HSBC Women's World Championship at the Sentosa Golf Club.
The Thai pair's participation at the Feb 28-March 3 tournament was announced on Friday (Nov 30), alongside that of American sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda.
World No. 1 Ariya, 22, reclaimed the top spot in women's golf in July and has three wins this year, including a second Major at the US Women's Open.
She also completed a clean sweep of all the top LPGA awards this term. They include the Rolex Player of the Year Award and the Rolex Annika Major award, which recognises the player with the best record in all five major championships during the current LPGA season.
Add to that the inaugural Leaders Top 10 trophy for accumulating the most top-10 finishes on the 2018 LPGA Tour (17), the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average (69.415), the Race to the CME Globe trophy and rivals know they have their work cut out at the New Tanjong course.
Said Ariya, who tied for 16th in Singapore this year: "I am proud of what I have achieved in 2018 but I am going to keep working very hard to keep improving in 2019.
"The HSBC Women's World Championship is one of my favourite events to go to each year as it feels like such a major event.
"It always attracts one of the strongest fields and Sentosa is such a great venue that it is definitely a tournament I would love to win.
"Moriya and I also enjoy lots of support when we play in Singapore, so it feels a bit like a home event for us and we can't wait to return there next year."
Her older sister Moriya, 24, has had a breakthrough year in which she won her first LPGA title at the Hugel-JTBC LA Open in April. She finished 22nd in Singapore.
The Jutanugarn and Korda sisters this year became the second and third pair of siblings to win LPGA Tour titles, a feat previously achieved only by Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam in 2000.
Twenty-year-old Nelly, who won her maiden LPGA title at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship in October, said: "I'm excited to return to Singapore for the HSBC Women's World Championship after finishing second earlier this year.
"Although I was so disappointed not to win after leading such a big event going into the final round, I know I learnt so much from the experience and now I can't wait to get back to Sentosa and have another go next year."
Defending champion Michelle Wie confirmed in July that she would return for the US$1.5 million (S$2.06 million) event, which will move into its 12th edition.
Golf fan Nicole Mok said the return of the Korda and Jutanugarn sisters next year is exciting.
The 18-year-old student added: "Nelly and Jessica are great role models that inspire younger girls to take up golf and I would definitely like to see an Asian golfer win this event and for Ariya and Moriya to have a go at it."
Tickets to the HSBC Women's World Championship are now on sale. Visit www.hsbcgolf.com/womens for more information.