Women’s golf legend Annika Sorenstam is predicting a bright future for golf in Brazil after this week’s LPGA Brasil Cup presented by HSBC was officially revealed as the most international field ever assembled in South America.
Sorenstam, acting in her role as an HSBC golf ambassador, flew to Brazil to cast her eye over a stellar field featuring 30 players from 15 different countries including current World No 3 Suzann Pettersen, American major winner Paula Creamer, Brazilian golf legend Angela Park and reigning champion Mariajo Uribe from Colombia.
The LPGA Brasil Cup presented by HSBC runs from May 5-6 at the Itanhanga Golf Club in Rio de Janeiro and Sorenstam believes the tournament can help take the sport to a new level in the country and the region.
She said: “The clock is ticking towards Rio 2016 so it’s fantastic to see such an international field line up in Brazil – we’ve all seen what’s happened to golf in Asia and the Middle East and South America could be next to make a real impact on the global golf stage.
“The LPGA Brasil Cup presented by HSBC is a superb showcase for golf in this part of the world and I’m here because, like HSBC, I feel passionate about bringing golf to an even wider audience as we head towards Rio 2016. Olympic status has given women’s golf a huge shot in the arm and the momentum generated by events like the LPGA Brasil Cup is vitally important to the future success of the sport.”
HSBC Group Head of Sponsorship and Events Giles Morgan said: “As a global sponsor of golf our overall ambition is to grow the game so it makes absolute sense for us to support women’s golf which has been on an upwards trajectory for a number of years.
“South America is a very important market for us and the Olympic opportunity is of course huge – as a global financial services organisation, we pride ourselves on opening up a world of opportunities for people and the LPGA Brasil Cup presented by HSBC represents an ideal platform to showcase golf in South America.
“It is fantastic for us to host a professional golf tournament in the city hosting the Olympics. The point of the Olympics for sports like golf – already hugely established in their own right with their own top events or majors – is that it can broaden the base appeal to more countries and the LPGA Brasil Cup presented by HSBC can really help us achieve that.”