Top LPGA stars to feature at star-studded ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open title next month

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Top LPGA stars to feature at star-studded ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open title next month

Some of the grizzled top-ranked ladies golfers in the world will be featuring in next month’s ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open scheduled from 9-12 February.

The event marks one of the few tournaments on the LPGA calendar where the top-ranked players from both LPGA and LET fly down to wrestle for the top slot.

Rolex World Number 1 and one of the stunning phenomenon in ladies golf, Yani Tseng, will be leading the star-studded field at the lucrative US$1.1 million prize money.

She is also the defending champion at the scenic Royal Melbourne Golf Club. The field will comprise of six of the top-10 ladies golfers in the world.

Joining Tseng in the field will be Norway’s Suzann Pettersen (#2), Korean Jiyai Shin (#7), Americans Cristie Kerr (#4), Stacy Lewis (#9) and Brittany Lincicome (#10).

Also included in the field would be Australian World Golf Hall of Fame member Karrie Webb and Americans Morgan Pressel, Angela Stanford and the prodigal new LPGA Tour member Lexi Thompson.

Youngest ever to win an event on the LPGA, Thompson is brimming with confidence as she closed the previous year with another stellar victory at Ladies European Tour at the season ending Dubai Ladies Masters.

She said, “I am so excited to make my debut as a member of the LPGA at the 2012 ISPS Handa Australian Open. I watched the Presidents Cup with great interest and can’t wait to play Royal Melbourne. I truly enjoyed my previous trips to Australia and I am really looking forward to the wonderful fans and amazing hospitality down under”.

The diversity in the field has given an altogether different outlook to the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the event marks the showdown of the best golfers from all over the world.

The Korean entourage at the event boasts of some of the formidable players, including 2011 US Women’s Open champion So-Yeon Ryu, 2008 and 2009 US Women’s Open champions Inbee Park and Eun-Hee Ji and Hee Young Park among others.

The European challenge comprises of former Open champions Laura Davies and Sophie Gustafson as well as Sandra Gal, Melissa Reid, Anna Nordqvist and another prodigal player on the Ladies European Tour Caroline Hedwall.

Hedwall has won four LET titles in her rookie year and was nominated for both Player of the Year as well as the Rookie of the Year on LET.

Aussie charge will include Katherine Hull, Nikki Campbell, Sarah Kemp, Kristie Smith, Lindsey Wright and Frances Bondad who will be hoping to utilise the advantage of home ground as well as their experience of the favourable conditions.

Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt said “The world’s eyes will be on Melbourne for this sensational field and with so many outstanding players, it’s hard to know which way to look”.

Scenic Royal Melbourne, which was also the venue of the nail-biting President’s Cup in November last year, will again be the centre of attraction for the golf lovers who are likely to throng the fairways over the weekend.




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