Published on : Saturday, March 18, 2017
The sixth edition of the SGF67 World Ladies Championship with SBS (WLC) will return to Mission Hills Haikou on Hainan Island in China next week, from 17 to 19 March, and will once again be played on the highly-acclaimed Blackstone course.
“We look forward to welcoming the stars of world golf back to the tropical tourism island of Hainan for the sixth edition of the World Ladies Championship,” said Tenniel Chu, Vice-Chairman of Mission Hills Group. “Since Mission Hills created this championship back in 2012, we have been fortunate enough to count Major winners Feng Shanshan, Suzann Pettersen, Inbee Park and So Yon Ryu among our past champions. We look forward to crowning another worthy champion this year, but more importantly we will be showcasing the sport to a global audience and inspiring a new generation of golfers to take up the game.”
With Korea’s Jung-Min Lee confirmed to defend her title, which she won by a stroke last year at Mission Hills Resort Dongguan, the Ladies European Tour (LET), China LPGA Tour (CLPGA) and Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) tri-sanctioned event will feature a field of 126 players with a cut to the top 60 and ties after round two.
Other leading international players who have confirmed their participation in the three-day, 54-hole stroke play event, include the European Solheim Cup prospects Florentyna Parker and Georgia Hall from England, Isabelle Boineau and Gwladys Nocera from France, Anne Van Dam from the Netherlands, Nuria Iturrios from Spain and Danish trio Nanna Koerstz Madsen, Emily Kristine Pedersen and Nicole Broch Larsen. The European contingent is joined by Supamas Sangchan from Thailand, Rebecca Artis from Australia and Jin Young Ko of South Korea, who partnered Lee to win the concurrent team event played last year at Mission Hills Dongguan.
With a 600,000 US dollar prize purse, the WLC was previously played at Mission Hills Haikou for four years before the fifth edition of the championship switched venue in 2016. As well as Lee, the list of previous champions includes So Yeon Ryu from Korea (2015), Olympic gold medallist Inbee Park from Korea (2014), Suzann Pettersen from Norway (2013) and Shanshan Feng from China (2012) – winners of 11 Majors between them.
Described as the “crown jewel” at the Mission Hills Resort Haikou, the par-73 Blackstone course is the premier 18-hole layout at a 10-course luxury golf complex. It was voted best championship course in Asia and hosted ‘The Match at Mission Hills’ between Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods in 2013, as well as the biennial World Celebrity Pro-Am (WCPA). The fourth edition of the WCPA was held on the Blackstone course last October and featured celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment, including Hollywood legends Michael Douglas and Jeremy Renner, basketball Hall of Famers Allen Iverson and Yao Ming, sports stars Paul Scholes and Boris Becker and Major golf champions Gary Player and John Daly.
Visitors considering a trip to tropical Hainan Island – which is visa-free for more than 25 countries – will not only be able to witness the first-class golfing spectacle on offer at the resort’s top course, but will also have the opportunity to indulge in some rest and relaxation in what is officially accredited the “World’s Largest Spa Resort” by Guinness World Records. What’s more, there is the hugely popular Mission Hills Movie Town – Hainan’s leading tourist attraction – and Mission Hills Centreville – one million square metres of shopping, dining, entertainment and culture, plus hotels by world-leading brands Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance and Hard Rock. Also home to a state-of-the-art Football Training Base, Mission Hills last month announced a ground-breaking partnership with FC Barcelona to make Hainan a hub of football for China and the wider region.
The World Ladies Championship continues its long-standing partnership with the renowned global services brand, American Express.