Sports / Golf

Feng leads local charge at China Ladies Open

By Chen Xiangfeng (China Daily) Updated: 2012-11-30 07:53

LPGA Championship winner Feng Shanshan from China will spearhead a group of local stars challenging some of the best women's golfers from the Korean LPGA at the Hyundai China Ladies Open from Dec 14-16.

As the final stop of the Chinese LPGA Tour, the China Ladies Open will provide record prize money of $400,000 at the Orient Golf Club in Xiamen, Fujian province.

The CLPGA and KLPGA co-sanctioned tournament will also be the opening event of the KLPGA Tour and will attract the top 40 ranked golfers from that circuit, including the KLPGA's order of merit leader Kim Ha-neul and defending champion Kim Hye-youn.

Feng leads local charge at China Ladies Open

Since its debut in 2006, the tournament has been dominated by South Korean golfers, as the country has boasted the past six winners.

Feng, 22, who became the first player from the Chinese mainland to win a major event after clinching the LPGA Championship in June, is tipped to break the Koreans dominance.

She is also not alone, as rising young stars Feng Simin, Lin Xiyu and Liu Yu are potential contenders for the title after a successful season on the CLPGA.

"I hope we can work together to win the title and put the trophy in Chinese hands," said 17-year-old Liu, who won the CLPGA Chongqing event this year.

The tournament has been a good barometer for future success.

World No 1 Tseng Ya-ni from Chinese Taipei, South Korea's world No 2 Choi Na-yeon, 2012 British Open winner Shin Ji-yai and 2012 Evian Masters champion Park In-bee all competed at the event before going on to success on the LPGA Tour.

"With more women's golfers coming up in the LPGA tour and more important events being held in China, the CLPGA has become an important part of the world's golf scene," said Chinese Golf Association chief Zhang Xiaoning.

"Feng's success this season has helped draw more attention to the sport's development in the nation. I'm confident more Chinese women golfers will rise in the coming years on the world stage."

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