JAKARTAINSIGHT.com | Defending champion Sung-hyun Park and World No.1 Jin-young Ko have confirmed on International Women’s Day that they will head what is set to be a star-studded field when the HSBC Women’s World Championship returns to Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore from 29 April to 2 May this year.
Joining them in the elite field will be fellow South Korean and two-time winner of the tournament Inbee Park, major winner Danielle Kang from the U.S. and five-time LPGA Tour winner, Minjee Lee of Australia.
Recognised as one of the premier golf events in Asia, the HSBC Women’s World Championship marks a welcome return for professional women’s golf to Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region after its one-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sung-hyun Park’s ‘Namdalla’ fan club now boasts over 11,000 members worldwide. Translated from Korean to English, ‘Namdalla’ means ‘I am different’ and that is certainly the case for this self-taught player with one of the most admired swings in the game. She has been a trailblazer since arriving on the LPGA Tour in 2017, claiming the first of her two majors at the US Women’s Open together with the LPGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year awards in her debut year.
Cool, calm and collected, she returns to Sentosa ranked No.11 in the world and will be keen to add to her tally of seven LPGA Tour wins.*
“I’m excited to be coming back to Singapore to defend my HSBC Women’s World Championship title. It was an exciting final day in 2019 and I managed to put in a strong fourth round to take the championship. The HSBC Women’s World Championship is one of my favourite events on Tour and we are all very grateful to HSBC and the Singapore Tourism Board for all their efforts in ensuring this year’s tournament takes place. I had immense support out on course in 2019 so I’m looking forward to getting back out there and playing my best golf,” said Sung-hyun Park.
Jin-young Ko will be looking to find the same form that propelled her to the top spot in the world rankings in her last full season on tour. Combining raw talent with consistency, she made no less than 12 top-10 finishes in 2019, including four wins and two majors. Tying for third at the HSBC Women’s World Championship, the 25-year old will surely be backing herself to claim the top prize in 2021.
Champion in 2015 and 2017 and LPGA Hall of Famer, Inbee Park needs little introduction. With 20 LPGA Tour wins under her belt, seven majors and an Olympic gold medal, she knows better than anyone what it takes to win and will be one to watch on the Tanjong Course.
Danielle Kang returns to Singapore having come ever so close in 2018, before having to settle for tied-second place behind compatriot and friend Michelle Wie. Currently ranked fifth in the world, she too will see this as an opportunity to build on her five LPGA Tour victories to date.
And while Minjee Lee might not have the home club entourage that usually follows her from Western Australia to Singapore each year, a second place finish in 2019 will be all the encouragement she needs to go one better this year.
With safety restrictions set to remain in place until after the tournament, HSBC Women’s World Championship 2021 will be a limited attendance event. Prioritising the safety of players, officials and corporate guests, organisers are working with the Singapore Tourism Board and relevant authorities to finalise health and safety protocols for every aspect of the tournament, including adhering to prevailing safe management measures (SMMs) pre and post-event.
Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, fans will still be able to look forward to the intense competition and thrilling action that the tournament has become known for over the years.
Speaking about the return of the tournament to the city state, Tony Cripps, HSBC CEO, Singapore, said: “The HSBC Women’s World Championship is our flagship event in women’s golf and we are thrilled to have recently announced our ongoing commitment as title partner of the event. Hosting this tournament in one of HSBC’s most important international hubs showcases our firm commitment to Singapore and women in sport. As the world celebrates International Women’s Day on 8 March, we are truly proud of how HSBC Women’s World Championship has opened up a word of opportunity for women and girls. For the past 14 years we have brought world class golf to Singapore through our support of ‘Asia’s Major’ with the long term aim of inspiring the next generation of talent in the region. We succeed together and we are enormously proud of what we have achieved with our partners and look forward to many more years of collaboration and opportunity.”
Mr Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “The HSBC Women’s World Championship is one of the key highlights of Singapore’s major sporting calendar that has gained a huge following locally and around the world. We are pleased to work with the organisers to welcome the world’s best golfers back to compete on our shores safely. The return of the event to Singapore is a strong testament to Singapore’s attractiveness as a leading business and leisure destination, as we gradually resume activities in line with the public health situation and prevailing travel polices.”
Lauded as the World’s Best Golf Club at the 2019 World Golf Awards and the world’s first golf club to join the UN’s Sports for Climate Action Initiative, Andrew Johnston, General Manager of Sentosa Golf Club, said:“We are very happy to be welcoming the players back to Sentosa Golf Club and we can’t wait to watch them compete again on the The Tanjong. With some modifications and as the course continues to mature, the players will notice some difference from when they last played and I’m confident The Tanjong will once again provide a true test of golf. The tournament was greatly missed last year, so we look forward to seeing the world’s best women golfers return to our fairways again this year.”
Speaking on behalf of the tournament organiser, Grant Slack, EVP & Managing Director, Golf Events at IMG added:“We’re delighted to announce the return of the HSBC Women’s World Championship. Over the years the tournament has grown to be one of the stand-out events in Asia and I know how disappointed we all were not to be able to host the Championship in 2020 when COVID-19 stopped play so this is exciting news and an event we all anticipate eagerly. I’d like to express our gratitude to all our partners for the unwavering support they have shown over the past year and a particular thanks to our title sponsor HSBC, as well as Sentosa Golf Club and Singapore Tourism Board. We look forward to another successful edition of the tournament this year.”
Partners of the HSBC Women’s World Championship that have committed to the 2021 edition are: Rolex, Fairmont Singapore & Swissôtel The Stamford, Lexus, Singapore Airlines, Under Armour, ECCO, Epson, PengWine, Ice Mountain, 100PLUS and Aon.
The 2019 HSBC Women’s World Championship was won by Sung-hyun Park who joined a list of champions that includes Michelle Wie, Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Karrie Webb, Ai Miyazato and Lorena Ochoa.
*According to the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, 1 March 2021