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- 23. February 2011.
Kerr gunning for top at HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore
Leading contender Cristie Kerr is targeting not only victory at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore this week, but also an early season boost to her hopes to once again reach the summit of women's professional golf.
Kerr, currently ranked fifth in the world, is part of the powerhouse field that has gathered in Singapore for the fourth edition of the HSBC Women's Champions, to be played from February 24-27 at Tanah Merah Country Club's Garden Course.
Current Rolex Rankings world number one Yani Tseng, who has four consecutive wins including last week's Honda LPGA Thailand, defending champion Ai Miyazato, currently ranked sixth, the second-placed Jiyai Shin, third-ranked Suzann Pettersen, and Na Yeon-choi, in fourth place, are amongst the other superstars chasing the HSBC Women's Champions' title.
Uniquely, the HSBC Women's Champions counts only players that have been ranked at some time as world number one as its past champions - Lorena Ochoa (2008), Shin (2009) and then Miyazato 12 months ago.
With that in mind, Kerr, one of just five players in history to have held the coveted world number one position after doing so last year, is delighted to be back amongst the very best in Singapore this week.
Said Kerr: "I think there's a lot of excitement around the HSBC tournament. The golf course (Tanah Merah Country Club's Garden Course) certainly lends itself to the top players wanting to play well. I think everybody likes the golf course very much, everybody loves Singapore and it's a great week.
"Of course I want to be No. 1, but it's only the second tournament of the year - I don't know whether I would be No. 1 if I won this week or not. I think it's good to have the rivalry and the competition, but it's also good to have one dominant player up there; as long as they are doing everything they can to make the Tour a better place.
"There's more to golf than just being No. 1. You have to support your Tour and you have to do everything you can to make the game of golf better," she added.
In addition to the world's leading six golfers, fellow top-10 ranked players I.K. Kim (seventh), Michelle Wie (eighth) and Paula Creamer (10th) are in Singapore for the HSBC Women's Champions. Fan favourites Karrie Webb, Morgan Pressel, Se Ri Pak and Natalie Gulbis are also part of the field.
Wie will be part of one of the marquee groups for tomorrow's first round, teeing off at 10.19 am with Shin, the 2009 winner in Singapore, and defending champion Miyazato. The group ahead of them (10.08 am) will feature the world number one Tseng with Kerr and Na Yeon Choi.
Fan favourites Beatriz Recari, Gulbis and Anna Nordqvist will play from the first hole at 9.24 am, one group ahead of local favourite, Singaporean Christabel Goh, who will make her debut at the HSBC Women's Champions alongside the Korean duo Inbee Park and Eun-Hee Ji at 9.13 am.
Featuring 63 of the best players in the world, the first round of the HSBC Women's Champions will tee off tomorrow (Thursday) at 8.40 am at the Garden Course at Tanah Merah Country Club in Singapore. The 72-hole championship offers a first prize cheque of US$210,000 to the winner.
For further information, please visit http://www.hsbcgolf.com/womens/ <http://www.hsbcgolf.com/womens/>