Ladies European Tour stars Nicole Broch Larsen and Emily Kristine Pedersen are expected to form a formidable partnership when they represent Denmark in the fifth edition of the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills Resort Dongguan from Thursday.
Broch Larsen was voted as the LET Players’ Player of the Year in 2015 after a tremendous second season on tour which saw her earn her maiden title at the Helsingborg Open at Vasatorps Golf Club in Sweden and record three other top five finishes. She has continued 2016 in similarly strong fashion and is currently third on the Order of Merit after finishing 17th in New Zealand, 24th in the Australian Open in Adelaide and third in the RACV Ladies Masters in Queensland.
The 22-year-old from Hillerød said: “I always enjoy playing in the World Ladies Championship as it’s a great tournament and obviously a little bit different from the events we usually play. You want to do well when you are playing for your country, so I will give it my best shot and it will be fantastic to represent Denmark with my best friend on tour.”
Pedersen, the 2015 Rookie of the Year who earned her first professional victory in the Hero Women’s Indian Open at the demanding DLF Golf Club in Gurgaon, also enjoyed a strong start to 2016. She is 21st on the Order of Merit after her first three tournaments, with her best finish so far being sixth in the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Women’s Open.
Pedersen said: “Representing my country is a real honour and of course I am thrilled to partner Nicole on my World Ladies Championship debut as I am confident that we will make a fantastic team! I really enjoyed representing Europe in the Junior Ryder Cup, Junior Solheim Cup and also at The Queens presented by Kowa and I know this tournament will also be very special.”
The make-up of the 126-woman World Ladies Championship field includes 40 players from each of the Ladies European Tour, China LPGA Tour and Korean LPGA Tour as determined by their 2016 Exemption List as well as six invited players.
The format is 72 holes of stroke play, with individual players competing for the US$700,000 prize fund. The top world-ranked two players from each country as of 1st January will compete for the team prize fund of US$100,000, using combined stroke play scores.
First played in 2012, the list of former champions reads like a who’s who of women’s golf, with great names such as Shanshan Feng, Suzann Pettersen, Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu having lifted the individual trophy. Feng led China to victory in the inaugural team competition but Korea has dominated the last three years.