Sunrise Golf & Country Club
Yang, Mei, Taoyuan, Taiwan
October 20-23, 2011
In its inaugural year, the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship already boasts an elite field that includes 27 of the top-30 players on the 2011 Official LPGA Money List and 9 of the top-11 on the Rolex Rankings. Taiwan native and Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng headlines the field which also includes No. 2 Suzann Pettersen, No. 3 Cristie Kerr, No. 4 Na Yeon Choi, No. 5 Jiyai Shin, No. 7 Ai Miyazato, No. 8 Brittany Lincicome, No. 10 Stacy Lewis and No. 11 I.K. Kim. Also in the field are Sandra Gal and Maria Hjorth who have both won on the LPGA Tour in 2011 and LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame member Se Ri Pak.
All eyes will be on Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng as she returns home to compete in the inaugural Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship. Coming off her sixth LPGA Tour victory this season at the LPGA HanaBank Championship, 2011 has been a year to remember as she continues to improve on an already impressive resume. With a victory at this year’s RICOH Women’s British Open, the 22 year old became the youngest player, male of female, to win five major titles. Currently in the midst of her third season on the LPGA Tour, she has already notched 11 victories and holds the lead in the Rolex Player of the Year race (which she also won in 2010), the contest for the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average and the LPGA money list.
Hee Kyung Seo a.k.a “The Supermodel of the Fairway” currently holds a commanding lead in the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year race. This season, she has notched nine top-25 finishes including runner up at the U.S. Women’s Open where she lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu. Chasing Seo for the Louise Suggs Trophy are No. 2 Tiffany Joh, No. 3 Ryann O’Toole, No. 4 Christel Boeljon, No. 5 Jenny Shin, No. 6 Jennifer Johnson, No. 7 Jennifer Song, No. 8 Belen Mozo, No. 9 Jessica Korda and No. 10 Caroline Hedwall are all slated to compete in Taiwan.
On The Rise
Tzu-Chi (“Winny”) Lin might be competing in her first LPGA Tour event but the Taiwan native is no stranger to the professional golf ranks. A three year veteran on the LPGA Futures Tour, Lin captured her first professional victory at this year’s Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in Winter Haven, Fla. As an amateur, Lin played on the same Chinese Taipei National Team as Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng and the two have remained close friends exchanging words of encouragement and congratulations via Facebook.
A trio of players set to compete this week have found themselves in the winner’s circle multiple times during this season’s LPGA Tour. Yani Tseng, Suzann Pettersen and Brittany Lincicome have combined to win nine tournaments which is nearly half the amount of tournaments already played on this year’s schedule. Tseng leads the way with an impressive six victories including the Honda LPGA Thailand, LPGA State Farm Classic, Wegmans LPGA Championship, RICOH Women’s British Open, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and the LPGA Hana Bank Championship. Pettersen earned victories at the Sybase Match Play Championship and Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola and Lincicome won the ShopRite LPGA Classic and CN Canadian Women’s Open.
Just a month after the European Team clinched Solheim Cup, several team members now set their sights on Taiwan. Ten of the twelve European player roster including Christel Boeljon, Sandra Gal, Sophie Gustafson, Caroline Hedwall, Maria Hjorth, Catriona Matthew, Azahara Munoz , Anna Nordqvist, Suzann Pettersen and Karen Stupples are scheduled to tee-it-up this week. Members of the U.S. Team also in the field are Cristie Kerr, Christina Kim, Brittany Lang, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Linicome, Ryann O’Toole and Morgan Pressel.
This year’s inaugural tournament could not come at a better time as Taiwan celebrates its 100th year of independence. Currently, Taiwan is filled with celebrations and festivals but this week’s tournament marks as one of the highlights of the year.
Topics: Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship