Eight of the world’s top women golfers today swapped the fairway for a fashion show as they launched the eighth annual HSBC Women’s Champions in spectacular style.
The unique occasion in Singapore witnessed World Number 1 Lydia Ko (New Zealand), World Number 2 Inbee Park (Korea), World Number 5 Suzann Pettersen, World Number 6 Michelle Wie (United States), and defending HSBC Women’s champion Paula Creamer (United States) all joined on the catwalk by LPGA stars Anna Nordqvist (Sweden), Jessica Korda (United States) and Chella Choi (Korea) for a stunning showcase of the latest in Asian fashion.
Inspired by the beauty of Sentosa Golf Club where the star-studded field will compete from 5th – 8th March, the elite group of golfers celebrated the launch of the tournament as they showcased the new Spring/Summer 2015 collection by pioneering lifestyle brand Shanghai Tang.
Returning to Singapore and the scene of her dramatic play-off victory, defending champion Paula Creamer said: “It brings back great memories to be in Singapore again. We always do something special with HSBC that gives us a chance to sample the local culture before the real work starts.
“Last year I was transformed into an Asian warrior which was good preparation for the mental strength needed for one of the toughest challenges in women’s golf. I love fashion so trying out some Asian inspired designs has been a really fun experience. This is a big week for me and I’m looking forward to the challenge of defending my title.”
Widely recognised as the best women’s golf event staged by the LPGA in Asia and one of the best anywhere in the world, the tournament continues to build on its reputation as ‘Asia’s Major’ and an event for champions with only the leading players from all corners of the world invited to complete the 63 elite player field.
The line-up this year is led by the record breaking World Number 1 Lydia Ko and includes the top ten ranked golfers in the world, 19 of the world’s top 20 players on this week’s Rolex Rankings. In total, the field boasts over 200 LPGA Tour victories and a further 36 major wins.
Ko, the youngest ever World Number 1 at 17 years old comes to Singapore looking to add the prestigious title to her growing list of remarkable achievements as well as continue her winning streak following victories at the New Zealand Open championship and the LPGA Tour Australian Open in successive weeks.
Speaking ahead of the tournament, New Zealander Ko added: “I would love to win this tournament for the first time and I could think of no better place to make it three straight wins. There is something special about the championship and the festival atmosphere. The crowds are always great with so much energy, a bit like today’s fashion show! The course is tough especially when the wind picks up and the quality of field is always really strong. But I’m excited about the challenge, this is where champions win and I can’t wait to get started.”
As the only LPGA-sanctioned event held in Singapore, the US$1.4 million tournament is expecting large crowds to once again descend upon the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club for the annual showpiece which prides itself as an international festival of golf.
World Number 6 and 2014 U.S. Women’s Open Champion Michelle Wie added: “I have very fond memories of Singapore both on and off the course. It’s a place I really enjoy spending time in. I’m into fashion so it’s been an extra special start to the week. But come Thursday it will be back to serious business of golf and trying to win one of the biggest tournaments we play in all year.”
The eight golfers took to the runway dressed in Shanghai Tang’s latest collection, Spring/Summer 2015, described as the epitome of femininity and modern sophistication, with the look completed by the support of professional make-up artists from Bobbi Brown and hair stylists from Singapore’s renowned Shunji Matsuo.
HSBC Women’s Champions 2015 www.hsbcgolf.com/womens
HSBC Golf www.hsbcgolf.com