Teenage starlet, 17 year old American Jessica Korda, is one of the LPGA Tour's most exciting prospects having finished second at the LPGA Final Qualifying School at the end of last year. She will celebrate her 18th birthday on the Sunday of the HSBC Women's Champions and is hoping for a coveted place on the leader board as the perfect birthday gift.
She enthused, "I am so excited for my rookie year on the LPGA Tour and to be heading out to Asia to play in my first tournaments as a professional is very exciting. The HSBC Women's Champions is one of the biggest events on the schedule and I feel really fortunate to have been given an invite and it is an amazing opportunity for me. I have heard so much about Singapore and I can't wait to visit - it sounds like the perfect place to celebrate my birthday."
A Florida high school senior and daughter of former world-ranked, Australian Open tennis champion Petr Korda of the Czech Republic, the teen played as an amateur at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament turning professional when she finished in second place. A former Number One on the Amateur World Rankings, 2010 U.S. Curtis Cup team member and the runner-up in last year's U.S. Women's Amateur Championship she looks set to make a huge impact on the LPGA Tour.
The second invitee is Nicole Castrale, a two time member of the US Solheim Cup team and winner on the LPGA Tour in 2007, is on her way back to form after suffering a season ending shoulder injury half way through last year. She is very grateful for the opportunity to compete in Singapore explaining, "I am really looking forward to getting back out on the Tour injury free and would have been really disappointed to miss out on the HSBC Women's Champions - it is one of the best events of the year. HSBC look after all the players so well and with a Major-quality field I am thrilled that I will be a part of the tournament thanks to this invitation."
Joining the 63 player field which includes every qualified winner from the LPGA Tour in 2010 is Singaporean Christabel Goh who claimed the host country invite after winning last week's Qualifying Tournament at the Tanah Merah Country Club. She added, "Having Nicole helping me will be an awesome experience; I'm sure I'll be able to learn a lot from her and that she'll help me feel more comfortable and confident. I'm really looking forward to seeing how my game compares to the world's best players - it's going to help me improve. It's very special to me and just a great opportunity."
Giles Morgan, HSBC Group Head of Sponsorship, said "In Jessica, Nicole and Christabel we have three great additions to the world class HSBC Women's Champions field. Jessica has a great future ahead of her and we are delighted she will be a part of our tournament and that we are able to give her this opportunity at the start of her professional career. We are also delighted to welcome Nicole back and hope she enjoys a successful week. She has generously agreed to spend some time with Christabel showing her the ropes which will be a great help to her at her first LPGA tournament."
For more information on the HSBC Women's Champions 2011, please visit the tournament website at http://www.hsbcgolf.com.