Mission Hills China announced today it will host a new ladies’ professional golf tournament: the World Ladies Championships (WLC).
It will be played on Mission Hills Hainan’s Vintage Course, 2-4 March, 2012 and hosted by the China Golf Association (CGA) and Department of Culture of Radio, Television, Publication and Sports of Hainan Province. With the inaugural World Ladies Championship, Mission Hills Group will have staged a ‘grand slam’ of major events in all competition formats.
The World Ladies Championship, co-sanctioned by Ladies European Tour and China LPGA Tour, will adopt a unique three-in-one format, featuring 54-hole individual play, professional team play and individual amateur play. In accordance with the Women’s World Golf Rankings, two players from each of 18 countries or regions will be invited to participate in the team portion. Results will be calculated by aggregating the total points scored by each golfer. In competing against the best players in the world, the host nationChinawill field two teams.
Invitations for the individual category of the 108-player field are dictated by the Women’s World Golf rankings and 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 award points to LET and China LPGA Tour members.
Mr. Tenniel Chu, Vice Chairman of Mission Hills Golf Club said, “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. We are very thankful to the CGA, LET, China LPGA Tour and all the other parties for their collaborative input and contributions to this new event. The World Ladies Championship is the only three-in-one game in world golf today.
“Mission Hills has always been devoted to popularizing and promoting the sport through competitions. Golf is once again approved as an Olympic event and we proactively cooperate with different industry bodies to support the development of professional women’s golf and achieve breakthroughs in the women’s game,” addedChu.
Commenting on the new competition, Mr. Zhang Xiaoning, Vice Chairman & Secretary General of China Golf Association said, “For a long period of time, Mission Hills has made significant contributions to organizing world-class tournaments and creating international, competitive platforms for Chinese golfers. 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. I believe it will definitely bring in a new era for the women’s golf industry in our motherland.
As Zhang pointed out, “the developmental strategy of the CGA is to set our sights on the Olympics, to further develop the professional game inChinaand to attain break-through in women’s golf development.” The formation of World Ladies Championship is entirely consistent with that strategy and provides a solid foundation for the realization of those goals.
“Being the first China LPGA Tour stop in 2012, the World Ladies Championship is sure to take a leading role on the tour. Strict entry requirements are imposed so as to ensure high quality of play. Since the sport itself is highly marketed, professional tournaments can foster the growth of developing players. The World Ladies Championship boosts the confidence of players in our nation and encourages more female golfers to strengthen their determination in pursuing their career,” revealed Ms. Li Hon, General Manager of China LPGA Tour.
Mr. Fan Xiao Jun, Director-General, Department of Culture Radio, Television, Publication and Sports of Hainan Province said,” Through various international sports events staged in Hainan, the Culture and Sports industry plays an important role for the Hainan International Tourism Island development strategy. The World Ladies Championship is another important tournament staged inHaikouand it will definitely enhance the awareness ofHainanprovince in the World.”
“The World Ladies Championship 2012 is an integral part of LET as well as an unprecedented women’s professional golf competition inChina. As Mission Hills has already arranged numerous international tournaments with success, I believe the upcoming Championship will certainly draw more attention to women’s golf and thus further popularize the sport on a global level,” said Alexandra Armas, Executive Director of Ladies European Tour.
Designed by Brian Curley, the host Vintage Course pays homage to the classic American golf courses built at the turn of the 20th century. It has a distinct, authentic feel – holes were routed to leave the densely forested site as undisturbed as possible. Abrupt mounding; deep pot bunkers; severe ridges; blind shots; varied, sometimes geometric, bunkering; an array of green sizes and wicker basket pins are highlights.
The Golf & Tourism Forum, the annual major event in the industry, will take place concurrently with the Championship in March 2012. Already in its third year, the Forum has emerged as a “must attend” convention for politicians, businessmen and the golf industry leaders.
Mission Hills Group www.missionhillschina.com
Ladies European www.ladieseuropeantour.com