New Tournament Co-Sanctioned By Ladies European Tour And China LPGA Tour
This week, Mission Hills Golf Club announced that it will host a new ladies professional golf tournament, the World Ladies Championships (WLC), from March 2-4 at its Haikou, Hainan island course. A partnership with the China Golf Association (CGA) and Department of Culture of Radio, Television, Publication and Sports of Hainan Province, the tournament will take place on Mission Hills’ Vintage Course in a “three-in-one” format, featuring 54-hole individual play, professional team play and individual amateur play. Co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and China LPGA Tour, the World Ladies Championship will allow two players from each of 18 countries or regions to participate in the team portion, with host nation China fielding two teams.
According to an event release, invitations for the individual category of the 108-player field will follow Women’s World Golf rankings and the 2011 European Tour Order of Merit. Participants will include top-ranked players from the Ladies European Tour (LET), China LPGA Tour, Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), Korean Professional Ladies Golf Association (KLPGA), Ladies Professional Golfers’ Association of Japan (JLPGA) and Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG). Amateur players will be drawn from winners of select R&A-sanctioned golf competitions in major countries. The WLC will also award additional points to LET and China LPGA Tour members.
As Zhang Xiaoning, Vice Chairman & Secretary General of the China Golf Association (CGA), said, “We are delighted to see the first World Ladies Championship and Mission Hills host another international event for our players. This time the stage will be larger, involving more local challengers.” Noting the role played by Mission Hills and other golf clubs in promoting the development of women’s golf in China, Zhang noted, “The developmental strategy of the CGA is to set our sights on the Olympics [and] to further develop the professional game in China.”
Designed by Brian Curley, the 250-acre Vintage Course at Mission Hills Hainan hearkens back to turn-of-the-20th-century American courses, featuring natural routing and thick preserved forests, sharp mounding, deep pot bunkers, blind shots and a wide range of green sizes.
With courses in Shenzhen, Dongguan, and Haikou, Hainan island, Mission Hills Golf Club has established itself as one of China’s top clubs over the past 20 years, hosting dozens of events, including last year’s European Evergreen PGA Tour, Omega Mission Hills World Cup, and the Asian Amateur Championship.
As Tenniel Chu, Vice Chairman of Mission Hills Golf Club, said of the upcoming tournament, “The stage has long been set for a brand new world women’s golf championship in the professional game and we are very glad to see it finally happen.”