Eun-Hee Ji, Teresa Lu, Sung Hyun Park and Pernilla Lindberg.
The 2018 Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship, slated to be held at Ta Shee Golf &Country Club in Taoyuan between October 25 and 28, features a total of 81 players including 62 LPGA elites, 15 players recommended by the Taiwan LPGA as well as four sponsor invites, who will vie for a purse of US$2.2 million. In light of the tragic train derailment accident occurring in Yilan, East Taiwan yesterday, organizers have announced to donate all ticket proceeds this week to disaster relief.
The impressive field this week rounds up four of the top 10 players in the Rolex Rankings (as of Sep.24), including Rolex Rankings No. 1 player Sung Hyun Park of South Korea, No. 3 player So Yeo Ryu of South Korea, No. 2 player on the LPGA 2018 money list Brooke M. Henderson of Canada, former LPGA Taiwan Championship winner Lydia Ko of New Zealand, as well as American Danielle Kang fresh from her victory at the LPGA Buick Shanghai yesterday. Teresa Lu, the highest-ranked Taiwanese player in the field, will lead a star-studded pack of local players including Yani Tseng, Japanese tour regular Pei-Ying Tsai and top amateurs Chia Yen Wu and Hsin-Yu Lu.
In a pre-tournament media event held at Ta Shee Golf & Country Club, which will play host to the most prestigious golf event in Taiwan for the first time, defending champion Eun-Hee Ji revealed that she is still very emotional about her win in Taiwan last year, her first triumph in eight years. "I have been much more confident in my game since winning the LPGA Taiwan Championship last year, which has motivated me to try harder and push myself a bit more," said Ji, who won again at the Kia Classic earlier this season.
Teresa Lu, making her debut in the LPGA Taiwan Championship this week, credited the Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation and its chairman Johnson Wang for bringing the LPGA to Taiwan. "I am very proud to be able to play in front of hometown crowd with a huge media presence. I will definitely try my best."
Sung Hyun Park said Ta Shee is a new course for her and she will try to get some feel of this beautiful course in practice rounds over the next two days. Park said she has no plan to hire a coach. "It has been quite gratifying to be able to identify problems and challenges on my own over the past five years," said the Korean ace.
On the other hand, Pernilla Lindberg explained that the reason why her native country Sweden is able to produce so many successful golfers is that the Swedish Golf Federation has been very supportive of golf on all levels, from junior golf all the way to the pro. "Even though Sweden is a small country with a population of only 10 million and long winters, we are lucky to have 500 golf courses and great talents like Annika Sörenstam to look up to," said Lindberg, who broke through earlier this season after winning the ANA Inspiration.
Before the media event attended by Johnson Wang and deputy mayor of Taoyuan City Wang Ming-teh, Johnson Wang escorted Teresa Lu, Eun-Hee Ji and Sung Hyun Park to visit the Presidential Office Building this morning, where they were granted an audience by His Excellency Vice President Chen Chien-jen. Wang, who is also president of the Golf Association of the Republic of China (Taiwan), expressed his appreciation for the government's long-standing support of golf.
"On behalf of the organizers, I would like to thank the Taoyuan City Government for their great support. We cordially invite all golf fans to come to Ta Shee in the days ahead to enjoy the passion of golf and push the game of golf to new heights in Taiwan."
As part of the tradition of this tournament, the Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation has once again infused it with artistic elements befitting of golf, including installation art pieces around the golf course in the form of paintings by 18 famous illustrators form Taiwan. In addition, the organizers have also designed a fun game in which fans who have walked through all of the 18 holes and collected 18 corresponding stamps will be awarded with nice small gifts.
Tickets for the 2018 Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship are available for purchase on the ibon platform: http://www.sslpgataiwan.com/pages/tickets. Tickets for each of the first two rounds sell for NT$300; NT$500 for each of the final two rounds. Week-long passes are also available at only NT$1,350 each. To make it easier for fans, free shuttle buses are scheduled to operate between Ta Shee Golf & Country Club and Taipei MRT Yongning Station from Thursday to Sunday. For more transportation and access information, please visit: http://www.sslpgataiwan.com/pages/traffic
Golf fans unable to come to the golf course in person can also tune in to FTV, FTV News Channel, Hami Video and Chunghwa Telecom MOD for daily live telecast between 12:00 and 16:00. For more information, please visit the official tournament website: http://www.sslpgataiwan.com/?locale=tw