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Major women's event set for Haikou

Updated: 2012-02-09 07:58
( China Daily)

BEIJING - Mission Hills China has announced it will host a new women's professional golf tournament - the World Ladies Championships (WLC) - in Haikou, Hainan island.

The inaugural World Ladies Championship, which will be played on Mission Hills Hainan's Vintage Course from March 2-4, will complete a "Grand Slam" of major events in all competition formats for the Mission Hills Group.

The World Ladies Championship, co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour (LET) and the China LPGA Tour (CLPGA), will adopt a unique three-in-one format, featuring 54-hole individual play, professional team play and individual amateur play. In accordance with the women's world golf rankings, two players from each of 18 countries and regions will be invited to participate in the team portion.

Invitations for the individual category in the 108-player field will be dictated by world rankings and the 2011 LET Order of Merit.

Participants will include top-ranked players from the LET, CLPGA, Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), Korean Professional Ladies Golf Association (KLPGA), Ladies Professional Golfers' Association of Japan (JLPGA) and Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG).

The 2010 LET order-of-merit winner, Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa, has confirmed she will take part, while local duo Feng Shansha, the world No 13, and JLPGA winner Ye Liying will represent China's challenge among the world's top women golfers.

China's golf chief hailed the event as a milestone in the development of women's golf here.

"For a long period of time, Mission Hills has made significant contributions to organizing world-class tournaments and creating international, competitive platforms for Chinese golfers," said Zhang Xiaoning, vice chairman and secretary general of the China Golf Association (CGA). "We are delighted to see the first World Ladies Championship and Mission Hills host another international event for our players. This time the stage will be larger, involving more local challengers. I believe it will definitely usher in a new era for the women's golf industry in our motherland.

"The developmental strategy of the CGA is to set our sights on the Olympics, to further develop the professional game in China and to attain a breakthrough in women's golf development."

This international tournament will also serve as the opening stage of the CLPGA Tour.

"Being the first China LPGA Tour stop in 2012, the World Ladies Championship is sure to take a leading role on the tour. Strict entry requirements have been imposed to ensure a high quality of play," said Li Hong, general manager of the CLPGA. "Since the sport itself is highly marketed, professional tournaments can foster the growth of developing players. The World Ladies Championship boosts the confidence of players in our nation and encourages more female golfers to strengthen their determination in pursuing their careers."

China Daily

(China Daily 02/09/2012 page23)

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