CLPGA's new season tees off in Shanghai

08:57, April 01, 2011      

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The 2011 China LPGA (CLPGA) tour's opening event - the Shanghai Classic - tees off on Friday at the Shanghai Orient Golf Club.

The three-day tournament boasts a record number of entrants with about 120 female golfers from eight countries and regions slugging it out for overall prize money of $50,000.

"It's the first time more than 100 female players will take part in a CLPGA event since the tour was established three years ago," said Li Hong, CEO of the CLPGA tour. "The development of quality and quantity will be very useful for the future sanctioning from major international tours."

Due to the earthquake in Japan, the JLPGA has been postponed and a number of Chinese top professionals, like Ye Liying, Lu Xiaojuan and Wei Junjie, will be back in action on their home tour.

"It's a great feeling to compete on home soil," said Ye, the first Chinese woman to play in the US Open and on the LPGA tour in 2004. "I'm also glad to see our own women's tour is developing so quickly. I think there will be some big stars rising from here."

The participation of JLPGA players and other foreigners is set to make the Shanghai Classic extremely competitive. Defending champion Patcharajutar Kongkraphan from Thailand is already feeling the heat.

"It was a great win last year. But this year's list is much stronger and it will not be easy for me to defend the title. But I'll try to play my best golf."

To attract extra attention from fans and the media, the organizing committee has set up a hole-in-one award for spectators. A 200,000-yuan car will be awarded to the winner of a lucky draw who can ace the par-three 14th hole.

The Chinese Golf Association and the Orient Golf Group combined to establish the CLPGA Tour in a bid to emulate the success of the South Korean women golfers on the international stage.The debut season of 2009 featured eight tournaments; now the tour will feature 18 events this year.

Source: China Daily
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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(Editor:张心意)

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