This year’s World Ladies Championship will boast a 33 percent increase in prizemoney to US$800,000 and will move to Mission Hills Dongguan after four years at Mission Hills Haikou.
Scheduled for March 10-13, the fifth edition will be sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour, China LPGA Tour and now the Korean LPGA as well. It will retain its unique three-in-one format, with the 72-hole individual competition running concurrently with a team championship (18 countries represented by teams of two with China, as hosts, having two teams) and an amateur event featuring China’s top two female amateurs and eight international amateurs.
TK Pen, Vice President (Honorary) of the China Golf Association and Chairman of the China LPGA Tour, said: “On this the 5th anniversary of the World Ladies Championship, the event has moved to the Mission Hills Dongguan Olazabal course. In addition to a top international field, the tournament provides the opportunity for players to earn valuable world ranking points before this year’s Rio Olympics as one of high-level international ladies events before the Games.”
The field will be upsized from 108 to 126 players, comprising 40 from the Korean LPGA, 40 from the Ladies European Tour, 40 from the China LPGA Tour and six invitations. Participants will be seeking to add their name to an illustrious list of past winners – Feng Shanshan of China, Norway’s Suzann Pettersen and Koreans Park In-bee and Ryu So-yeon.
Following a 36-hole cut, the top-60 and ties will qualify for the final two rounds on the acclaimed Olazabal Course, a three-time venue for the World Cup of Golf and designed by two-time Masters winner Jose Maria Olazabal.
Tenniel Chu, Vice Chairman of Mission Hills Group, said: “We are excited at the prospect of bringing the World Ladies Championship to Mission Hills Dongguan this year. For more than 20 years, Mission Hills has been at the forefront of promoting and developing golf in China and the World Ladies Championship is one of the jewels in the crown of our tournament portfolio.
“We see it as a window to showcase China to the world and, with the Olympics in mind, a chance to provide our mainland Chinese players with the opportunity to compete with the game’s finest players.”
The long-term vision of the organisers is to have the World Ladies Championship recognised as the sixth Major event on the women’s international calendar and the first in Asia. The championship continues its long-standing partnership with the world’s leading renowned global services brand, American Express.