The stars of the LPGA Tour provided media and guests with a preview of what visitors can expect when the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2015 gets under way at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) this Thursday. The sixth edition of the tournament tees off from 8-11 October, promising 72 holes of fiercely fought competition on course and four days of non-stop entertainment off it.
World no. 2 Lydia Ko of New Zealand, Paula Creamer, a.k.a. the ‘Pink Panther’ of the US, defending champion Shanshan Feng of China and Malaysia’s Kelly Tan spoke to media about the highly anticipated Asian Swing curtain raiser, and what a win would mean for them.
Asked about her chances this week, Ko said: “This tournament it's a top field. It doesn't get much better than this. There's a lot of great things to look forward to, and personally I think I play better when I have fun and I've got a smile on my face. I just got to play some good golf out there and just have fun.
” Added Creamer: “Being here is a highlight. I think we all love to come to this event. It shows in the field. It shows in how this tournament has been growing, what we've been doing for women and just families and touching people's lives in a different way, through the game of golf, is pretty special. I think we all want to be a part of that and we all want to help. This event is getting bigger and bigger. There is no way any of us are real going to miss it. So I'm really glad to be back, and hopefully to be for many more years.
” Malaysia’s big hope Kelly Tan was asked if she felt an addition weight on her shoulders. Said Tan: “I wouldn't say it's tougher, but, yes, there is going to be a lot of expectation from the home crowd. That's kind of the fact. Just got to deal with it and stay in the moment and play my own game.
” During the official pre-tournament photo call, fan favourite Michelle Wie got into the spirit of this year’s tournament with fellow American Cheyenne Woods – niece of the legendary Tiger – in the new Courtyard, spinning some tunes with the tournament’s resident DJ Patricia Knudsen.
Meanwhile fellow Americans Ryann O’Toole and Jaye-Marie Green sampled the culinary delights of Ken’s Food Truck – one of six food trucks that will be serving a range of gastronomic treats at this year’s tournament as part of the KL Food Truck Festival’s golfing debut.
Continuing under the banner of Women with Drive, the 2015 edition of the tournament will see 75 of the very best golfers in the world, including nine out of the top 10, and 63 of the top 66 players according to the LPGA Money List, battle it out on the East Course, in the Sime Darby Foundation sponsored event, which continues its association with Cancer Research Malaysia.
In addition to the international cast, fans will also have five so-called Malaysian Angels to cheer on over the four days. Malaysia’s top three ranked players, Kelly Tan, Michelle Koh and Ainil Bakar return to the East Course and will be joined by local qualifier and tournament debutant Nur Durriyah Damian, who is also Malaysia’s top ranked amateur player, and veteran pro Cindy Lee-Pridgen.
Commenting on what lies in wait for visitors at this year’s tournament, Steven Thielke, General Manager of KLGCC and Chairman of the Tournament Committee said, “The sixth edition of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia promises to be the very best yet. Once again we have a truly world class field here in Malaysia that would be the envy of any tournament around the world. The course is in great shape and we’re ready to go.”
“But it’s in the off-course entertainment that this year’s event will really come alive. The combination of new public grandstands, a live in-concourse TV show, The Courtyard, food trucks, music, shopping, Konica Minolta Chip-4-Charity and Kids Zone will take this event to a new level and provide spectators with an experience not previously seen at a sporting event here in Malaysia. I’m sure it will be a fantastic four days and we encourage everyone to come and enjoy it.
” Speaking on behalf of the Tournament Organiser, Grant Slack, Senior Vice-President IMG Golf, added, “The stage is set for another first class tournament at KLGCC. The East Course is in perfect condition, the spectator activities look fantastic and we have some of the world’s most recognized players ready to test themselves against one another in this highly anticipated event. We look forward to witnessing four days of great entertainment both on and off the golf course.” Billed ‘the nation’s most fun golf event’, the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2015 sees a host of new initiatives on and off the golf course.
With a free food voucher included with every ticket purchased, a Lucky Draw worth up to RM 500,000-, plus a host of other freebies including golf umbrellas and Magnum ice creams, the tournament is certainly living up to expectations. For ticketing information log on to www.simedarbylpgamalaysia.com. Follow the latest updates on www.facebook.com/SimeDarbyLPGAMalaysia or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SimeDarbyLPGA, #SimeDarbyLPGA, #WomenWithDrive. * According to the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, 5 October 2015
photos Janos Schmidt
photos Janos Schmidt