The ninth edition of the HSBC Women’s Champions will welcome the world’s best female golfers and a host of Major Champions back to Singapore, when they compete for the coveted title from 3rd to 6th March at Sentosa Golf Club.
Following the confirmation of world No.1, Lydia Ko, world No.2 and defending champion Inbee Park, and 2014 champion Paula Creamer, the remaining eight players inside the top ten have announced their participation and the chance to be crowned ‘Champion of Champions’ at the prestigious tournament.*
Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson and Brittany Lincicome, the world’s third, fourth and 16th ranked golfers respectively, will lead the American challenge for the championship. Although without a win last year, the 30-year-old Lewis displayed tremendous consistency with six second-place finishes in 2015, and only missing the cut in one of the 26 tournaments she entered.
The two-time Major Champion said:
“The HSBC Women’s Champions is one of the toughest tournaments on the tour, as the quality of the field is always exceptional. Lydia and Inbee are the in-form players at the moment; they are great competitors and deserving champions. But I am working hard on my game. I came in third last year behind them but I have won this before, so no reason why I cannot do it again.”
Thompson, 20 and already with one Major to her name, added:
“I am looking forward to returning to Singapore as the tournament is such a great event and the people there are so warm and friendly. I played the last three years but didn’t manage to get my game together to challenge for the title come Sunday. I worked on a few things, it is a new year, new season, so anything can happen.”
Lincicome, a resident of Seminole, Florida, had an exceptional 2015 season, highlighted by her win at ANA Inspiration, her second on the LPGA Tour.
With South Korea currently so strong in the sport, it will take a brave person to bet against a Korean win this year. The Inbee Park-led contingent also includes talents such as world No.5 So-yeon Ryu, No.7 Sei-young Kim, No.8 Amy Yang, No.9 In-gee Chun and No.10 Hyo-joo Kim. The 25-year-old Ryu boasted nine top-ten finishes last year, while 23-year-old Kim walked away with the trophy at three world-class events.
Shanshan Feng will continue to fly the flag for China. Currently ranked sixth in the world, the Guangzhou native is no stranger to the course, having come close to lifting the trophy in 2012 and 2015 when she finished tied-second and tied-fourth, respectively. The 14-time tour winner will be keen to put up a good showing at The Serapong course this year. She commented:
“The HSBC Women’s Champions is one of my favourite tournaments on the tour, and one that I have been close to winning. Training has gone well over the off-season and I am looking forward to a good start in 2016. I am looking forward to catching up with my fans in Singapore and experiencing the new-look and feel of the event.”
The 2016 edition of the HSBC Women’s Champions will offer a total prize purse of US$1.5 million. Koh Sock Hwee, who won the host country qualifying tournament in January, will be flying the flag for Singapore in the four-day tournament, giving fans some local talent to support.
Take That will perform live in Singapore for the first time in over two decades, giving a one-off concert on Saturday 5th March while Electronic Dance Music DJ Jack Novak will fly in from the US to join two local DJ talents – DJ FARZ and DJ Li.A – to spin for fans at the end of each day’s play. Celebrity chef Monica Galetti will headline the culinary element of the four-day festival. Visitors to the HSBC Women’s Champions will be amongst the first in Asia to sample the Samoa-born Galetti’s critically acclaimed dishes.
For more information on the HSBC Women’s Champions 2016, visit the tournament website at http://www.hsbcgolf.com/womens or official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/hsbcwomenschampions .
photos Janos Schmidt