The Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2011 was officially launched by the Top 10 players from the LPGA Money list today. The ceremony was officiated by Yani Tseng, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Suzann Pettersen, Brittany Lincicome, Angela Stanford, Ai Miyazato, Paula Creamer, Na Yeon Choi, Karrie Webb as well as defending champion, Jimin Kang at the Sime Darby Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur.
They were joined by VIPs from Sime Darby, IMG and the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) to officially start the week’s events.
The occasion was marked by the decorating of the traditional Malaysian kite by the LPGA stars. They were also given a brief history of kite – or ‘Wau’ making – before given the opportunity to perform the art themselves.
Just like golf, Wau making requires a substantial amount of skill and patience, making the art an ideal way to showcase the host country and kick start the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2011.
“We had a fun morning taking part in the Wau making. It was great to find out more about some of the traditions here in Malaysia,” World No 1 Tseng told reporters after the ceremony.
Punters described 2011 as Tseng’s bumper year, the 22-year-old said, “People say I have had a good year but I just enjoy the game and I think that’s why I’m doing well. Every day, every hole, I just focus and try my best and I hope that my success will continue into this year’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.”
Meanwhile, Tan Sri Datuk Dr M. Jegathesan, Governing Council Member, Sime Darby Foundation, said, “The support from the foundation for the tournament reflects the objective that it aims to achieve, which is to promote sporting events that cultivate sportsmanship within the community and raise the standards of golfing in Malaysia under its pillar of youth, sports and recreation”.
Vice president and global co-managing director ofIMGGolf, the event promoter, Robbie Henchman, echoed Dr Jegathesan’s sentiments, “Sime Darby has showed through their development and qualifying programs that they are committed to growing the game of golf within Malaysia.
“With the resilient performances of Jean Chua and Kelly Tan in last year’s event, Malaysian fans will have a lot more to cheer about this year with Local Qualifying Champions, Aretha Pan and Ainil Johani also representing the up-and-coming talent of South East Asia.
“I hope the fans will enjoy the forthcoming four days of great golfing action and I wish all the players the best of luck as they battle it out to claim the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2011 Trophy.”
The Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2011 will tee off Thursday at the KLGCCs East Course. This year’s event features the top 62 LPGA members from the LPGA Tour Official Money List, along with 10 sponsors’ invites. The four-day stroke play event with no cut will ensure that players are in Kuala Lumpur for the tournament duration and the local and regional golf community can catch their favourite golfers in action the entire week.