Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation chairman Johnson Wang (middle of back row) poses for a photo with Se-ri Pak (far right of back row), New Taipei City deputy mayor Ming-Ji Wu (second from right of back row), Cheyenne Knight of U.S. and schoolchildren in attendance for a group photo after a golf clinic. (Photo Credit: Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA)
(October 30, 2019; New Taipei City) The annual flagship sporting event featuring the highest prize money in Taiwan -- Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA -- is set to tee off tomorrow at Miramar Golf & Country Club in New Taipei City for four rounds of exciting stroke play. The star-studded 81-player field consists of all four major championships winners in 2019, who will vie for a purse of USD2.2 million (around NT$67.16 million).
The ninth edition of this prestigious world-class golf tournament is co-sanctioned by both the LPGA and Taiwan's TLPGA. The impressive field is made up of 62 LPGA members including Wei-Ling Hsu of Taiwan, 10 local professional players recommended by TLPGA, as well as 9 sponsor invitations (including 5 amateurs).
Hinako Shibuno (Photo Credit: Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA)
Wei-Ling Hsu (Photo Credit: Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA)
Teresa Lu (Photo Credit: Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA)
Na Yeon Choi (Photo Credit: Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA)
Sung Hyun Park (Photo Credit: Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA)
The all-star field includes all four Grand Slam winners in 2019-- Rolex Rankings No. 1 player Jin-young Ko of Korea, Hinako Shibuno of Japan, Jeongeun Lee6 of Korea, and Hannah Green of Australia (Ko won two majors this year). 16 players in the top 20 of the Rolex Rankings are in the field, making it the strongest ever.
Cheyenne Knight of the U.S. looks on as a young junior golfer hits a good shot. (Photo Credit: Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA)
Organizers invited Korean golf legend Se-ri Pak, who blazed the trail for South Korean lady golfers back in late 1990s, to host a golf clinic for schoolchildren from two local primary schools today. Korean player Na Yeon Choi, who is immensely popular among local golf fans, teamed up with American Cheyenne Knight to tutor these aspiring junior golfers.
Se-ri Pak signs autographs for schoolchildren attending a golf clinic today at the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA. (Photo Credit: Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA)
Pak, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2007, retired two years ago to cap a scintillating career highlighted by five major championships titles. Pak encouraged young golfers in attendance to enjoy the game, practice hard, "strike a nice balance between golf and life, and dream big."
Se-ri Pak encourages schoolchildren attending a golf clinic today to enjoy the game and chase their dreams. (Photo Credit: Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA)
Pak also offered a word of advice for junior golf development in Taiwan. "I think compared with Korea, Taiwan should hold more junior golf events such as clinics, camps and tournaments to attract more children to golf, so that they will have more chances to chase their dreams," said Pak.
Choi also revealed that Pak has always been her idol because she "grew up watching Pak play!" Knight was also very popular with the children as she tirelessly fine-tuned their stance and swing, while offering timely high fives after they hit nice shots.
Na Yeon Choi (right) and Cheyenne Knight sign autographs for schoolchildren attending a golf clinic today at the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA. (Photo Credit: Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA)
Round one of the 2019 Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA is set to tee off tomorrow from 8:12 am. The final group made up of defending champion Nelly Korda of U.S., Jin-young Ko and hometown favorite Wei-Ling Hsu will start at 10:35 am from the first hole. Teresa Lu of Taiwan will tee off earlier at 10:13 am with Rolex Rankings No. 2 Sung Hyun Park of South Korea and Brook M. Henderson of Canada.
Nelly Korda (Photo Credit: Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA)
Korda shot a 4-under 68 to maintain her 54-hole lead and pull clear of the field to capture her first LPGA Tour title at this tournament last year, calling it the "dream week" of her life. Since getting her maiden victory under the belt, Korda has added a win at the 2019 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open along with 10 top-10 finishes this season to her growing resume. "It's bermuda grass (here at Miramar), so it's kind of what I grew up on in Florida... I like it a lot," said Korda, who actually finished T17 as a rookie at this tournament in 2017.
In order to encourage more fans to come to the golf course this week, organizers have painstakingly planned an assortment of interactive events, including a near-pin fan competition, fun putting games on the practice green, as well as a lucky draw on Sunday featuring prizes ranging from Gogoro electric scooters to iPhone 11 Pro.
Chinatrust Commercial Bank chairman Morris Li (from far left), New Taipei City deputy mayor Ming-Ji Wu, Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation chairman Johnson Wang and legislator Chun-Yee Lee tee off together during the opening ceremony. (Photo Credit: Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA)
Tickets for the 2019 Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA can be purchased via ibon or at http://www.sslpgataiwan.com/pages/tickets Admission tickets for each of the first two rounds start from NT$300, and NT$500 for each of the final two rounds. Four-day tournament passes are available at only NT$1,350. Formosa TV will provide live coverage tomorrow from noon till 4 pm. For more information, please visit: http://www.sslpgataiwan.com/