“ We are pleased to develop our partnership with HSBC and by bringing this event to Asia, we believe we are extending the popularity of the game. We are particularly proud that the prize fund will be
the highest in the region.” LPGA Commissioner Carolyn F. Bivens
30th August, 2007, Singapore – HSBC, founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1865 and one of the world’s largest financial services organisations, has created Asia’s most significant women’s golf tournament, the HSBC Women’s Champions, which will take place in Singapore from 28th February to 2nd March 2008.
Following the enormous success of the men’s HSBC Champions, established in 2005 in Shanghai, and already referred to by many of the players as ‘Asia’s Major’, HSBC have created a similar event for the world’s best women golfers.
The qualification criteria mirrors that of the men’s HSBC Champions, with winners from around the world invited to compete for the coveted “Champion of Champions” title. Winners on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour, leading money winners from the Japan Ladies Professional Golf Association (JLPGA), Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour, Ladies European Tour (LET), Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG), Duramed FUTURES Tour, Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT) and the top player from the continent of Africa will qualify, making this the most international and impressive women’s field ever assembled in Asia.
The inaugural HSBC Women’s Champions will boast a prize money of US$2 million (US$300,000 to the winner), the largest purse for a women’s event in Asia, and will be played at the prestigious Tanah Merah Country Club in Singapore. Tanah Merah has already hosted a number of top class professional events including the Singapore Open, the Johnnie Walker Classic and the LPGA-sanctioned Lexus Cup in 2005 and 2006.
The HSBC Women’s Champions, sanctioned by the LPGA, will be played over 72 holes of individual stroke play. The field of 78 golfers will qualify as follows;
LPGA TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS FROM 2007
TOP 30 PLAYERS from the ROLEX RANKINGS (as of December 31, 2007)
LPGA MAJOR CHAMPIONS 2005 to 2007
CHAMPIONS OF THE FOLLOWING 2007 TOURNAMENTS
Japan Women’s Open
JLPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup
JLPGA Tour Championship Ricoh Cup
Shinsegye Cup KLPGA Championship
Dubai Ladies Masters
Scandinavian TPC Hosted by Annika
CHAMPIONS OF THE FOLLOWING 2008 TOURNAMENTS
2008 ANZ Australian Ladies Masters
2008 MFS Australian Women’s Open
2008 SBS Open
2008 Fields Open
LAGT (Ladies Asian Golf Tour)
Duramed FUTURES Tour
LEADING RANKED PLAYER ON THE ROLEX RANKINGS FROM THE CONTINENT OF AFRICA ( as of December 31,2007)
HOST COUNTRY INVITE
2 SPONSOR INVITES
LEADING PLAYERS ON THE LPGA TOUR MONEY LIST NOT OTHERWISE QUALIFIED (as of year ending 2007 LPGA Money List)
Giles Morgan, HSBC’s Head of Sports Sponsorship and Marketing, enthused, “Our third men’s HSBC Champions is coming up this November and it has been an unqualified success. We think we have got the format just right and believe that a women’s event will capture the imagination of our employees, customers and golf fans in the same way.”
“The HSBC Women’s Champions will provide us with a global platform that will fit perfectly with our business footprint and the Tanah Merah Country Club is the ideal venue to host this world class event. Together with IMG, we believe we have created an event that will quickly establish itself as one of the best in the world “
"We had three great years sponsoring the Women's Match Play and were eager to continue our relationship with the LPGA Tour while bringing the event format inline with our successful HSBC Champions in Asia. The LPGA have been extremely helpful in working with us to create the HSBC Women's Champions and we hope the players will be as excited as we are at our new venue and format."
LPGA Commissioner Carolyn F. Bivens added, “The HSBC Women’s Champions will mark the first time the LPGA will compete in Singapore in an official stroke play LPGA event. This premier event will bring together the champions from the LPGA and from around the world and will showcase the global talent of women’s professional golf and the global commitment of HSBC to women’s golf. We are pleased to develop our partnership with HSBC and by bringing this event to Asia, we believe we are extending the popularity of the game. We are particularly proud that the prize fund will be the highest in the region."
The players have received the news of the new HSBC Women’s Champions enthusiastically with ten-time Major winner, Annika Sorenstam, commenting, “I am delighted to hear about this new LPGA event. This will be very exciting news for all the players on the LPGA Tour who will be thrilled to be playing in Singapore. HSBC are great supporters of golf and we will all be keen to win the inaugural HSBC Women's Champions title.”
Japanese star, Ai Miyazato, said, “Following my great week at the 2007 HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship where I reached the final, I am very excited to hear about the new HSBC Women’s Champions. HSBC are very good sponsors of golf all over the world and I am sure the HSBC Women’s Champions will be another great event.”
Speaking on behalf of the Singapore Sports Council, Kelven Tan, Chief of Sports Marketing, said, “Our vision is to build a sporting society. At the geographical pulse of Asia, Singapore presents itself as a perfect venue for world class sporting events with its convenient location, world class facilities and outstanding infrastructure. 2008 is set to be a momentous year and we are pleased that the organisers have seen fit to bring the HSBC Women’s Champions to Singapore.”
Guy Harvey-Samuel, CEO, HSBC Singapore, added, “The HSBC Women’s Champions is an excellent event for Singapore and the perfect venue for such a world class event. With the growing interest in golf among women here, this event could not be better timed. Golf is a key platform in HSBC’s brand strategy both in Singapore and globally. And now the HSBC Women’s Champions will provide an excellent platform for golf fans in Singapore and overseas to watch the world’s best female golfers in action.”
IMG’s Managing Director of Golf, Mark Steinberg, concluded, “It is a very exciting time for golf in Asia and IMG are thrilled to be a part of developing such an innovative new event. The LPGA has worked hard to create this great opportunity for their players. IMG welcomes HSBC’s commitment to the HSBC Women’s Champions tournament which complements the bank’s support of the men’s HSBC Champions in Shanghai. We are confident that this new event with its unique qualification criteria will be very successful.”
A Gutsy performance from both sides