LPGA Tour moving into Taiwan
As it looks to the east for salvation, the LPGA Tour has announced that one of its 2011 events will be in Taiwan.
That the embattled LPGA Tour is looking to the east for salvation has clearly been underlined by its recent announcement that it is to run its first tournament in Taiwan.
The island nation’s inaugural LPGA Tour event is to be called the LPGA Taiwan Championship and is set to take place at the prestigious Sunrise Golf & Country Club in Taoyuan from October 27-30, 2011
And with a prize fund of $2 million this full field event is expected to attract a strong international field at a moment in time when the opportunity for professional women’s golfers to earn money in the US has been drying up alarmingly.
The event will join other LPGA tournaments in Japan, Korea, Singapore and Thailand and the fact that Taiwan is the latest Asian nation to get an event on the world’s premier women’s tour is surely no coincidence.
With the retirement of Mexico’s Lorena Ocha, women’s golf is abuzz with names as a small band of international golfers fight it out to replace her.
Japanese icon Ai Miyazato is currently top of the World Rankings, American Cristie Kerr, in second place, is very much in the mix and so too are Korean Jiya Shin, who briefly claimed the World No 1 spot in the week after Ochoa’s retirement, and fast-rising Taiwan star, Yani Tseng.
Tseng who edged Michelle Wie, another of the Tour’s exciting young pretenders, in Arkansas on Sunday after having already won two of her three major titles this year (the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the Ricoh’s Women’s British Open), has helped put golf very firmly on the map in her homeland and it is not surprising that sponsors, so short in the USA right now, have been easy to find in Taiwan.
Tseng, who could be hard to beat in the LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Award this year, is easily the leading Chinese-speaking golfer in the world with sufficient talent and inclination to win a lot more tournaments.
Indeed, it’s very possible that her heroics will bring further events to Taiwan just as Ocha did in Mexico.
During the period when Ochoa dominated women’s golf – her reign followed that of Swedish great Annika Sorenstam – the number of LPGA Tour events in Mexico went from one to three and it’s more than possible that with all the Asian talent on the LPGA Tour right now, the east will soon be hosting as many events as it is on the men’s European Tour.
Indeed the European Tour has become very much a global tour with its number of tournaments in Asia, the Middle East, Australia and South Africa almost matching those in Europe and following the alarming shrinkage that has taken place on the US-based LPGA Tour where one sponsor after another has turned tail and run in the face of the hard economic times.
That looks to be the route the LPGA is going to follow.
‘Is this where I am going to die?’ Nicolas Colsaerts on kidney disorder battle
The Belgian is the focus of attention this week as he belatedly defends the Cazoo Open de France title he won three years ago.
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe team
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Open champion Cameron Smith wins first LIV trophy in just second start
The world number two is the highest-ranked player to join the rebel series.
Robert MacIntyre beats Matt Fitzpatrick in play-off to win Italian Open
MacIntyre birdied the first extra hole at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, the venue for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Matt Fitzpatrick holds narrow lead ahead of final round at Italian Open
Rory McIlroy and Aaron Rai are one shot off the pace.
Rory McIlroy picks up the pace to claim lead ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick in Rome
McIlroy’s group looked unlikely to complete their second rounds after taking three hours to play nine holes.
Matt Fitzpatrick leads way at Italian Open despite ‘inconsistent’ display
The US Open champion held a one-shot lead over fellow Englishman Tom Lewis,
Rory McIlroy rues a late night until eagle gets him flying in Italian Open
The four-time major winner was only a shot behind leader Matt Fitzpatrick after the first round of the Rome event.
Rory McIlroy begins Italian Open with superb 67 after recovering from slow start
He kick-started his round by holing out from 115 yards for an eagle on the par-four third.
Shane Lowry: Golf risks alienating fans with disgusting amount of money involved
The BMW PGA Championship winner insists he was never tempted to join LIV Golf.