|The defending champion Bo-Mi Suh|
Last year’s winner, South Korean Bo-Mi Suh, followed in the footsteps of the inaugural champion Annika Sorenstam when she claimed a one shot victory over Gwladys Nocera in 2009, finishing on a six-under-par 210 total after three rounds.
Despite a season best tie for 12th on the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association, Suh commented: “I hope that I can bring the championship cup back to Korea. I remember that offense is the best defense. I trust myself.”
The prestige will be enhanced even further for this year’s champion with such a high quality field of competitors including the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open champion Melissa Reid from England, two-time winner this season Trish Johnson, Portugal Ladies Open winner Karen Lunn from Australia and the ABN AMRO Ladies Open champion Florentyna Parker.
The field of 108 competitors includes 45 players from the Ladies European Tour, 22 from the Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT), 35 from the China Golf Association (CGA), 4 amateur invites and two invited players: Louise Stahle and Carly Booth.
There are a number of in-form players from Asia including the LAGT’s leading player Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand, who finished third last week in Sanya and was also third at the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open last year. Joining Phatlum is her compatriot Russamee Gulyanamitta, who tied for fifth in Sanya and the 14-year-old Chinese amateur Lin Xi-Yu who tied for ninth along with Lin Tzu Chi of Chinese Taipei.
The par 72 course will be playing at 6299 yards/5762 metres for the tournament, with a cut to the leading 60 professional players plus ties after 36 holes.
Despite being much cooler than last week on Hainan in southern China, the weather was fine on Tuesday and is set to improve steadily over the week, with highs of 20°C forecast for Sunday’s final round.