Ladies European Tour rookie professional Ssu-Chia Cheng from Chinese Taipei is getting ready to defend her maiden title when the second edition of the Xiamen International Ladies Open gets under way at Orient Golf and Country Club in Xiamen, China, from October 8-11.
Cheng fired rounds of 70, 68 and 68 for a 54 hole total of 206, 10 under par, to win last year’s inaugural event at the venue by three strokes over Frenchwoman Marion Ricordeau.
Due to Cheng’s amateur status, she was unable to claim the first prize cheque for €37,500 last year, but still only 17 years old, she now has the chance to win twice on the LET before her 18th birthday on October 28.
The third ranked rookie this year on the LET, Cheng has played in 10 events so far in 2015 with her best finish 6th place at the RACV Ladies Masters at Royal Pines in Australia.
She is joined in Xiamen by the LET’s top two rookie professionals, Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Emily Kristine Pedersen from Denmark. Pedersen finished second in the recent Lacoste Ladies Open de France and is looking to catch Madsen, who has earned approximately 10,000 euros more so far this year. The rankings will be finalised at the season ending Omega Dubai Ladies Masters on December 12, along with the 2015 Order of Merit.
The field for the Xiamen Open also includes Nicole Broch Larsen of Denmark, currently ranked third on the LET Order of Merit after her first win at last month’s Helsingborg Open.
She is one of five 2015 tournament winners competing along with Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera, currently ranked fifth. Sixth ranked Beth Allen of the United States, who tied for third place in 2014 and claimed her first LET trophy at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters in July is back in Xiamen along with seventh ranked Rebecca Artis of Australia, who won the summer’s Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.
England’s Hannah Burke, currently ranked 12th on the LET after her first win at the Tipsport Golf Masters in the Czech Republic, is also returning to Xiamen while Caroline Hedwall from Sweden, a member of last month’s European Solheim Cup team, will be making her first appearance in this part of China.