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Golf: LPGA, LET winners target China Ladies Open at Mission Hills

World No. 9 Kim Hyo-joo, 19, won the year’s fifth major at The Evian Championship in France and will headline the field at the Hyundai China Ladies Open in December.  Photos: c/o Ladies European Tour.

World No. 9 Kim Hyo-joo, 19, won the year’s fifth major at The Evian Championship in France and will headline the field in the Hyundai China Ladies Open at Mission Hills Shenzhen in December. Photos: c/o Ladies European Tour.

November 27, 2014: World No. 9 Kim Hyo-joo and Korean compatriots Hur Mi-jung and Lee Mi-hyang – all recent winners on the LPGA Tour – will spearhead the field at the upcoming Hyundai China Ladies Open, which will be held at Mission Hills Shenzhen from December 12-14.

 

In September, Kim became the third-youngest player to win a major when she captured The Evian Championship in France two months after turning 19, while later that month Hur, 24, won the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic for her first LPGA win since 2009.

 

In early November, the 21-year-old Lee won the Mizuno Classic in Japan to continue a remarkable run of success for Koreans, who had won 10 of 13 LPGA tournaments from August.

 

Kim is one of four former champions competing in Shenzhen, alongside Choi He-yong (2008), two-time winner Kim Hye-youn (2010 and 2011) and defending champion Jang Ha-na (2013).

 

China No. 2 Janet Lin Xiyu, 18, and Taiwanese amateur sensation Cheng Ssu-Chia, 17, will also compete after they each captured their first title on the Ladies European Tour as the circuit recently swung through China. Cheng, 17, won last week’s Xiamen Open on her LET debut, while Lin won the previous week’s Sanya Ladies Open in Hainan by five strokes.

 

China No. 2 Lin Xiyu, 18, will spearhead the local charge after recently winning her first Ladies European Tour title.

China No. 2 Lin Xiyu, 18, will spearhead the local charge after recently winning her first Ladies European Tour title.

Once again co-sanctioned by the China LPGA and Korean LPGA, the China Ladies Open will be held at Mission Hills for the first time in its eight-year history.

 

The tournament will be held on the legendary Jack Nicklaus-designed World Cup Course, which famously hosted the 1995 World Cup, the first significant international golf tournament held in China. It was last used for a professional event in 2011 when Sandy Lyle captured the ISPS Handa Senior World Championship.

 

Tenniel Chu, Vice Chairman of Mission Hills Group, said: “We are honoured to be hosting the Hyundai China Ladies Open for the first time and see this tournament as the start of a long-term relationship between two prestigious global brands in Mission Hills and Hyundai.

 

“Mission Hills is a natural fit for this tournament given our proud record of achievement in women’s golf, including our innovative World Ladies Championship, the Annika Invitational junior girls tournament and our strong emphasis on family and friendship that encourages greater participation by female players.”

 

The tournament will be preceded by a one-day qualifying tournament on the Monday ahead of the event, following by pro-am events on the next two days and an official practice day on the Thursday.

 

Tan Daohong, President of Hyundai Motor Group (China), said: “As the fifth-largest automobile corporation in the world, Hyundai has been a leader in sports marketing and we have spared no effort in improving professional golf in China. This year, we have increased the purse from US$400,000 to US$550,000 and we are delighted to have Mission Hills, with its famous World Cup Course and world-class facilities, as our new tournament venue.”

 

Source: Mission Hills (www.missionhillschina.com); Editing by SportAsia

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