Singapore: Defending champion Park Sung-hyun and world number one Ko Jin-young confirmed on International Women’s Day that they’ll head a star-studded field when the HSBC Women’s World Championship returns to Singapore.
To be staged from April 29 to May 2, one of the premier golf events in Asia will once more take place over The Tanjong course at Sentosa Golf Club, a Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Also in the elite field will be Park and Ko’s South Korean compatriot Park Inbee, a two-time winner of the tournament, Major winner Danielle Kang from the US and five-time LPGA Tour winner Lee Minjee of Australia.
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.
Park Sung-hyun’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 trail-blazer 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.
She is currently ranked 11th in the world and will be keen to add to her tally of seven LPGA Tour wins.
Park said: “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 their efforts in ensuring this year’s tournament takes place. I had immense support on course in 2019 so I’m looking forward to getting back out there and playing my best golf.”
Ko, who tied for third at the 2019 HSBC Women’s World Championship, 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, the 25-year-old posted 12 top-10 finishes in 2019, including four wins, two of which were Majors.
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.
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 on-going 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 celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, 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.”
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.”
Sentosa Golf Club was named World’s Best Golf Club at the 2019 World Golf Awards and was the world’s first golf club to join the UN’s Sports for Climate Action Initiative.
Andrew Johnston, the club’s General Manager, 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.”
Grant Slack, EVP & Managing Director, Golf Events at IMG, the tournament organiser, added: “Over the years the HSBC Women’s World Championship has grown to be one of the standout events in Asia. We were all disappointed 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.”