February 15 2013, Singapore - Michelle Wie and Ariya Jutanugarn will receive sponsor invitations for the HSBC Women's Champions 2013, in a gesture that will see the two young players feature in one of the most competitive fields in the LPGA calendar at the Sentosa Golf Club from 28 February to 3 March 2013.
Speaking about her maiden outing at Asia's Major, Thailand's rising star Jutanugarn said, "I'm really appreciative of this opportunity to test myself against the best players in the game. I've played in previous LPGA events as an amateur so I know what to expect but never in such a competitive field as this."
Commenting on her fellow sponsor invite, she added, "I've played in a few tournaments with Michelle now and she's always a friendly person to have around so hopefully I'll get to have a practice round with her and get her thoughts on the course ahead of the tournament."
Two- time LPGA tour winner Wie added, "It's a real honour to be invited back to Singapore to play in this year's HSBC Women's Champions. It's a first class event with an elite field of players which I've always enjoyed. I'm looking forward to playing the Serapong Course which I know plays quite long so should suit my game. Ariya's had a great run over the last year and has now turned professional so it'll be a great opportunity for her as well."
Wie announced her arrival on the LPGA tour in 2009, becoming a Rolex First-Time Winner at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational and the second LPGA Tour rookie to qualify for The Solheim Cup, as a captain's pick, after just one season in which to earn points. Despite a quiet year by her standards in 2012, at 23 years old, and with a drive amongst the longest in the women's game, she has great potential and remains a firm favourite of the fans wherever she plays.
Jutanugarn turned professional in 2013 following an impressive career as an amateur in which she notched up some notable victories, ending her amateur days 2nd on the Amateur World Rankings. Last week she made her debut as a professional on the Ladies European Tour at the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters in Australia, finishing in an impressive second place tie having led the field overnight. At just 17 years of age, she is definitely one to watch for the future.
Explaining HSBC's decision to extend an invitation to the two players, Giles Morgan, HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship & Events, said, "It's an incredibly strong field and both Michelle and Ariya add even greater depth to what promises to be one of the toughest events ever staged in Asia with 48 of the top 49 players on the 2012 LPGA money list in the field."
Morgan continued "Michelle is of course a huge name in women's golf but at still just 23, she has everything in front of her. At only 17, Ariya is clearly one of Asia's rising stars - she's only recently turned professional and will really benefit from the experience of playing in Asia's Flagship Women's Golf Tournament. As well as both being very popular young players, they are great competitors who deserve their place in this stellar field."
Players qualify for the HSBC Women's Champions 2013 by winning tournaments on the LPGA Tour or finishing in the Top 20 on the Rolex Rankings (as at December 31, 2012).
The HSBC Women's Champions is the third tournament on the 2013 LPGA Tour calendar, following the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open and the Honda LPGA Thailand 2013 and will see the star-studded field competing for the coveted 'Champion of Champions' title and a prize fund of US$1.4 million.
For more information on the HSBC Women's Champions 2013, please visit the tournament website at http://www.hsbcgolf.com/womens.