The 2017 Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship, the only official tournament sanctioned by the US LPGA tour while featuring six former and sitting Rolex Rankings No. 1 players, is set to tee off tomorrow morning at the Miramar Golf Country Club with USD2.2 million in prize money at stake. With the grand stage all set, fans are expecting the weather to clear up and local hero Yani Tseng to finally regain her form.
Due to torrential rain, today's pre-tournament pro-am was cancelled to allow the golf course to drain ahead of tomorrow’s first round. “It’s draining better than most courses,” said Nicole Broch Larsen of Denmark, who arrived on Sunday and was able to get in nine holes during Monday’s sunny conditions. “If it’s going to rain like this all week, then it will be tough. But fingers crossed.”
Tseng, winner of the inaugural LPGA Taiwan Championship in 2011, admitted she has been struggling a bit with her putting. But luckily for Yani, she is very familiar with this golf course and has been able to log many practice rounds over the past few days here at Miramar.
For the first round, Tseng will play alongside Rolex Rankings No. 2 player Sung Hyun Park of South Korea and Canadian young star Brooke M. Henderson, a two-time winner this season. As the leading margin of Rolex Rankings No. 1 player So Yeon Ryu over Park is at its smallest since June 26, there is a possibility that Park could dethrone Ryu this week in Taiwan.
Ryu is set to tee off tomorrow morning at 10:38am in the final group with Chinese ace Shanshan Feng and Thai player Ariya Jutanugarn. "I haven't been able to practice or been around the golf course at all this week (owing to rain disruption and late arrival), but the weather will be the same for everyone so I'll just have to deal with it and stay focused," said Ryu. Feng, who narrowly lost to South Korean Ha Na Jang here last year by one shot, said, "I have played quite well at this tournament over the past few years. Prior to arrival, we were all aware that the weather here is not stable, so we were prepared for rain and wind. Even though I haven't been able to practice but I have great memories from the past playing here, so I feel quite confident and will definitely give it my best shot."
Meanwhile, 2015 LPGA Taiwan Championship winner Lydia Ko is scheduled to tee off at 10:27am from the first hole with defending champion Ha Na Jang and Spaniard Carlota Ciganda. In response to the fact that Korean players have been dominating the LPGA as they have combined to pocket 14 wins out of 28 tournaments so far this season, Ko, a Korean-born New Zealander remarked, "I think it's great for the tour because we get to draw a lot of attention from around the world."
The 2017 Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship, a four-round, 72-hole stroke play tournament with no cut line, will commence play tomorrow at the Miramar Golf Country Club in New Taipei City. Organizers have made shuttle bus service available between Miramar and various locations in Linkou, including the Taoyuan Metro A7 station. Live TV coverage of round 1 action will be provided by FTV between 12:00 and 16:00. For more tournament information, please visit: http://www.sslpgataiwan.com/; For ticketing information, please visit: http://ticket.ibon.com.tw