Jiyai Shin and Ai Miyazato, previous winners of the HSBC Women’s Champions, signaled the start of the HSBC Women’s Champions 2011 by dressing up two of their biggest rivals in their respective national costumes. Defending champion Miyazato, the 25-year-old Japanese star, was tasked with helping America’s Paula Creamer into a furisode (a type of kimono). Shin, the 2009 winner, at just over 5’1”, wrestled with getting the 6’0” Michelle Wie into a hanbok, Korea’s distinctive costume. Meanwhile, Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng, who has dominated the start of the year with four wins in her first four tournaments, watched on approvingly.
“The HSBC Women’s Champions came to Singapore because we knew this wonderful new generation of Asian stars was coming. While the golf is going to be as serious as it gets, it seemed like a nice idea to let them share some of their culture and remind the golf world of how rich their cultures are,” said Giles Morgan, HSBC’s Group Head of Sponsorship.
“There’s always something different here [at the HSBC Women’s Champions] and dressing Paula up in the furisode was great fun,” Miyazato said. “Paula looked great, too, like she always does!”
The HSBC Women’s Champions 2011 will see 63 of the world’s top female golfers, including all of the 2010 major champions and all of last year’s LPGA tournament winners, battle it out over 72 holes of individual stroke play. Coverage in the U.S. begins Thursday on the Golf Channel.