Date: October 02, 2013
Author: LPGA

Aussie women in China for Beijing Tour stop

The LPGA Tour begins its five-tournament Asia swing this week at the inaugural Reignwood LPGA Classic outside of Beijing, the Tour s first trip to the capital of China. Karrie Webb, Lindsey Wright, Katherine Hull-Kirk and Sarah-Jane Smith represent the Aussie contingent in the Chinese capital. In conjunction with the China Golf Association and the China LPGA, the Pine Valley Golf Club will play host to 81 LPGA and CLPGA players who will compete over 72 holes for a chance at the $270,000 first-place check and be the first to etch their name on the tournament s trophy. Headlining this week s event will be Rolex Rankings No. 10 Shanshan Feng, the top-ranked golfer who hails from the People s Republic. Feng made history last year when she captured the Wegmans LPGA Championship title, becoming the first Chinese golfer -male or female – to win a major championship. Her feat has helped spark a golf boom in her home country. LPGA players are well aware of the influence China native and sixth-year LPGA Tour member Feng had on bringing an official Tour event to Beijing for the first time. Feng earned widespread attention in her homeland after she won the Wegmans LPGA Championship and became the first player male or female to win a major championship. She has been involved in the preparations and promotion of the inaugural Reignwood LPGA Classic every step of the way. Rolex Rankings No. 3 Stacy Lewis made sure Feng felt the gratitude from her fellow Tour pros for playing such a huge role in adding another event to the schedule. She acknowledged Feng at a press conference on Tuesday. I think we just need to say thank you to Shanshan because we re here this week because of her, said Lewis. It’s really cool to come play in her country and her winning the LPGA Championship last summer certainly spurred this on a little bit so we certainly say thank you to Shanshan for bringing us all here. Six of the top 10 golfers in the Rolex Rankings are slated to be in the field this week including No. 1 Inbee Park and No. 3 Stacy Lewis, who are both seeking title defenses during the fall s Asia swing. While Park currently leads the Rolex Player of the Year race, she ll be looking to strengthen her grip on the award after Suzann Pettersen put herself within 77 point s after she captured back-to-back victories at the Safeway Classic and The Evian Championship. Pettersen unseated Lewis from the No. 2 spot, providing for what looks to be a dramatic finish to the 2013 season.