Beijing, China: Feng Shanshan is aiming once more to prove that there’s nowhere quite like home.
The pioneering Chinese tees-off over the Nicklaus Course at Beijing’s Pine Valley Golf Club on Thursday with the explicit target of successfully defending her crown in the US$2.1 million Reignwood LPGA Classic.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back on course at Reignwood,” said Feng, who eagled the final hole last year to secure a dramatic victory over American Stacy Lewis.
Feng said: “It was my best tournament last year and I will be doing everything I can to replicate that form and give the local fans something to cheer about. It’s a very impressive course and beautiful surroundings. It just feels great to be back in Beijing, so I’m very much looking forward to it.”
Once more, Feng, ranked ninth in the world, knows that she’ll have to be at her very best if she’s to retain her title in the richest LPGA Tour event in Asia.
Included in the field are four players ahead of Feng in rankings – world number one Lewis, world number two Park In-bee of Korea, world number four Suzann Pettersen of Norway and world number six Ryu So-yeon.
Another player sure to catch the eye of the 40,000 plus spectators expected to line the Pine Valley fairways is China’s Lin Xiyu.
The 18-year-old LPGA Tour rookie, currently 85th on the LPGA Official Money List, said: “I’m really looking forward to the Reignwood LPGA Classic. It’s a good course with a great layout and a wonderful venue. The tournament is already playing an important role in the development of the game in China and it will be great to play with the other Chinese players and in front of home fans.”
Joining the field of 62 of the best players from the LPGA Tour and 15 from the China Ladies Professional Players Ranking List, will be four sponsor exemptions which have been awarded to rising Chinese amateurs Mohan Du, Xinying Wang and Ziyi Wang, together with professional CLPGA Tour player Zi Li.
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