The LPGA Tour returns to action this week and heads to Asia for a four-week swing beginning in Malaysia for the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club welcomes a field of 72 players competing for a $1.9 million purse and a $285,000 first-place prize.
Rolex Rankings No. 4 and defending champion Na Yeon Choi headlines a stellar field which features 49 of the top 50 players on the 2012 LPGA Tour Official Money List. Choi returns to Malaysia defend her title after an outstanding finish in 2011 when she shot a final-round 68 and held off a Sunday charge from Yani Tseng to capture her fifth-career LPGA victory. Choi has recorded five top-10 finishes in the 2012 season along with a victory at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Coming off her fourth-career victory at the Navistar LPGA Classic in Prattville, Ala., No. 2 Stacy Lewis is looking to continue her dominant 2012 season. Lewis, a three-time winner already this year, holds a commanding lead in the Rolex Player of the Year race with 184 points, 56 points ahead of Jiyai Shin. She also leads the Tour in top-10 finishes, tallying 14 top-10s in the 20 events she has competed in this year. With $1,598,596 in season earnings, Lewis also ranks second on the official money list behind No. 6 Inbee Park.
The Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia is the first of four consecutive events for the LPGA Tour in Asia, followed by the LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship in South Korea, the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship and the Mizuno Classic in Japan.