Title sponsor Reignwood Group and event organisers IMG today confirmed the final field of 81 players who will participate in the prestigious Reignwood LPGA Classic 2014 which will take place at Pine Valley Golf Club in Beijing, China from 2nd – 5th October.
The players will compete for Asia’s largest prize purse of US$2.1 million. Included in the field are five of the world’s top players who will be on show on the Nicklaus Course at Pine Valley. They are led by World No.1* Stacy Lewis who has shown impressive form this year recording three victories and 15 top-ten finishes to retain her World No.1 ranking. (*Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, 22 September 2014).
World No.2, South Korean Inbee Park, a five time major winner herself, is another heavy-weight participant at Pine Valley. She is joined by three others from the top ten in World No.4 Suzann Pettersen (Norway) who makes a delayed debut at the tournament following a last minute withdraw in 2013 due to illness, World No.6 and winner of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, So Yeon Ryu (South Korea) and defending champion and World No.9 Shanshan Feng (China).
Returning to defend her crown, Feng will be hoping to capitalise on home advantage when she returns to the venue that saw her secure victory in 2013, edging out Lewis on the last round with an eagle on the par-5 18th to finish on 26 under par 266.
Feng said, “I’m really looking forward to getting back on course at Reignwood. It was my best tournament last year and will be doing everything I can to replicate that form and give the local fans something to cheer about. It’s a very impressive course and beautiful surroundings. It just feels great to be back in Beijing, so I’m very much looking forward to it.”
Another player that will be sure to catch the eye of the 40,000 plus spectators expected to line the Pine Valley fairways is China’s Xi Yu Lin. Speaking ahead of the tournament, the 18 year old LPGA Tour rookie, who currently ranks 85 on the LPGA Official Money List, said, “I’m really looking forward to the Reignwood LPGA Classic . It’s a good course with a great lay-out and a wonderful venue. The tournament is already playing an important role in the development of the game in China and it will be great to play with the other Chinese players and in front of home fans.”
Joining the field of 62 of the best players from the LPGA Tour and 15 from the China Ladies Professional Players Ranking List, will be four sponsor exemptions which have been awarded to rising Chinese amateurs Mohan Du, Xinying Wang and Ziyi Wang, together with professional CLPGA Tour player Zi Li.
The youngsters join the highest purse tournament in Asia on account of their future promise. With the tournament being the first opportunity for players to accrue ranking points on the Chinese mainland for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, the China Golf Association will no doubt have a keen eye on the leader board.
Grant Slack, Senior Vice-President IMG Golf Asia-Pacific, said, "China is a huge growth market for women’s golf and IMG is proud to be associated with this world-class event in Beijing. Both the Nicklaus Course and the facilities at Pine Valley are first class and I firmly believe that the Reignwood LPGA Classic is poised to become one of the preeminent tournaments in the region. I have no doubt that the fans will enjoy the spectacle and look forward to witnessing the tournament’s growth in the coming years.”
The Reignwood Classic sees players compete for Asia’s largest prize purse of US$2.1m in the 72-hole, no-cut tournament, which will be staged on the Nicklaus Course at the Pine Valley Golf Club from 2 – 5 October 2014.
The Reignwood LPGA Classic is organized by IMG. For more information, see http://www.reignwoodlpga.com/en/.