The World Ladies Championship is looking to
cement its position as one of the golf’s premier tournaments in
2016, with some important upgrades.
As well as announcing a 33%
increase in the prize purse to US$800,000, organisers have
confirmed other notable developments designed to elevate the
status of the event.
For 2016, the championship will be sanctioned
by the Ladies European Tour [LET], the China LPGA Tour and now the
Korean LPGA as well.
The championship will retain its unique
three-in-one format, created by Mission Hills, China LPGA Tour,
and LET with an eye on golf’s return to the Olympic Games this
year in Rio de Janeiro.
After four years at Mission Hills
Haikou, the fifth edition of the championship will switch to the
Mission Hills Dongguan site in close proximity to Hong Kong and
will be held from 10-13 March 2016.
TK Pen, Vice
President (Honorary) of the China Golf Association and Chairman of
the China LPGA Tour, said, “On this the 5th anniversary of the
World Ladies Championship, the event has moved to the Mission
Hills Dongguan Olazabal course. In addition to a top international
field, the tournament provides the opportunity for players to earn
valuable world ranking points before this year’s Rio Olympics as
one of high-level international ladies events before the Games.”
In other exciting developments, the field will be upsized
to 126 players from 108 entries while the Korean LPGA has given
the championship its stamp of approval and will select its top-40
players to compete alongside 40 players from the Ladies European Tour and 40 players from the China LPGA Tour.
will be seeking to add their name to the illustrious list of past
winners – Feng Shanshan of China, Norway’s Suzann Pettersen and
Koreans Park In-bee and Ryu So-yeon.
Following a 36-hole
cut, the top-60 and ties will qualify for the final two rounds on
the acclaimed Olazabal Course, a three-time venue for the World
Cup of Golf and designed by Jose Maria Olazabal, the two-time
Masters Champion is considered one of the best sand players in the
history of golf.
As well as a 72-hole individual stroke
play competition there is a professional team championship run
concurrently in which 18 countries will be represented by teams of
two. China, as hosts, will have two teams. The combined daily
scores of both players in each team are counted.
gathering will also continue to include an individual amateur
tournament, played over 72 holes of stroke play. Joining China’s top two female amateurs will be eight of the leading international
Ivan Khodabakhsh, Chief Executive Officer of the
Ladies European Tour, said, “The Ladies European Tour has driven
this initiative and we are proud to have delivered these
innovations working closely with the China LPGA Tour and Mission
Hills. Over the last four years, the World Ladies Championship has
quickly become one of the standout tournaments staged across the
globe and provides an excellent platform to showcase the strength
of the women’s game. Our members always look forward to competing
in this tournament and with golf returning to the Olympic Games in
August, it will be intriguing to watch the world’s best players at Mission Hills.”
long-term vision of the organisers is to have the World Ladies
Championship recognised as the sixth major event on the women’s
international calendar and the first in Asia.
See other recent
World Ladies Championship,