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Golf: Teens Lin, Oh take on major stars at Mission Hills Haikou

Janet Lin, 19, will be the highest-ranked Chinese player at the World Ladies Championship. Photos: Power Sports Images for Mission Hills.

Janet Lin will be the top-ranked Chinese at the World Ladies Championship. Photos: Power Sports Images / Mission Hills.

March 7, 2015: Teenagers Janet Lin Xiyu of China and Korea-born Australian Su Oh will each seek a second Ladies European Tour (LET) title when they compete in the World Ladies Championship, which will be held at Mission Hills Haikou on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan from March 12-15.

 

World No. 2 Park In-bee and fellow LPGA stars Suzann Pettersen (No. 5) and Ryu So-yeon (No. 8) are again the field’s highest-ranked players, the three major winners having finished first, second and third respectively last year.

 

French sensation Celine Boutier, the world’s No. 1 amateur, will make her Mission Hills debut, while Lin and Oh will also look to upset the world order.

 

Lin, who turned 19 last month, is the highest-ranked local in the field at World No. 80, having impressed in her first two years as a pro, starting as an LET rookie in 2013. In her rookie LPGA season last year, the China No. 2 overcame a tough start to post a string of encouraging results and retain her card for 2015.

 

The Guangzhou-based teen followed up with a dominant five-stroke win in last November’s Sanya Ladies Open, her first LET victory, finished joint third in December’s Hyundai China Ladies Open – co-sanctioned by the Korea LPGA – at Mission Hills Shenzhen, and secured the China LPGA Tour Order of Merit title.

 

Lin is next looking to make her mark at the World Ladies Championship, the fourth tournament on this year’s LET and the opening event of the CLPGA schedule

 

“It’s my first tournament in China this year, so I’m looking forward to coming back to Mission Hills Haikou and supporting this joint-sanctioned event,” Lin said.

 

“As the top-ranked Chinese player in the field, I know the fans will be cheering me on and I will be doing my best to deliver a performance to make them proud.”

 

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Su Oh, 18, will compete in Hainan less than a month after winning her first LET title at home in Australia.

Oh – whose Korean name is Oh Su-hyun – will arrive at Mission Hills Haikou on a high after the 18-year-old won the year’s first LET event, the RACV Ladies Masters on Australia’s Gold Coast, in just her second tournament as a professional.

 

Prior to that, Oh had enjoyed an outstanding amateur career. In 2009, aged 12, she was the youngest player ever to qualify for the Women’s Australian Open and in 2013 she tied for second in the LET-sanctioned Australian Ladies Masters.

 

Last year, Oh competed in the World Ladies Championship as one of the world’s top-ranked amateurs and in September helped Australia win the Espirito Santo Trophy (Women’s World Amateur Team Championship) in Japan.

 

“After winning the first LET tournament this year, I’m delighted to be returning to Mission Hills Haikou for the World Ladies Championship,” Oh said. “The organisers have put together a truly fantastic field and I’m relishing the chance to test myself against some of the best players in the world.”

 

The US$600,000 World Ladies Championship will again be played on Mission Hills Haikou’s signature par-73 Blackstone Course.

 

Tenniel Chu, Vice Chairman of Mission Hills Group, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming back Lin Xiyu and Oh Su-hyun to the World Ladies Championship. They are among the new generation of world-class golfers and are wonderful role models for any young female players with aspirations to do well in the sport.”

 

The World Ladies Championship features three events – the individual professional competition, a team championship in which countries are represented by teams of two, and individual amateur.

 

Park, the five-time major winner, will not only be defending the individual title but will also be looking to capture the team trophy for a third time, having triumphed with Kim Ha-neul two years ago and Ryu last year.

 

The World Ladies Championship is co-sponsored by American Express, FILA, TOTO, Dole, Stella Artois, Appletiser, San Pellegrino and Jacobsen.

 

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

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