Up-and-coming Thai star Supamas Sangchan returns to Hainan Island in China this week to defend her title in the Sanya Ladies Open from November 17-19.The prestigious tournament -- co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour (LET), China Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Asian Ladies Golf Tour -- takes places at Yalong Bay Golf Course for the eighth time and has attracted a star-studded international field including a pair of two-time winners in South African Lee-Anne Pace and China’s Lin Xi Yu.
Also bound to make an impact are last week’s Hero Women’s Indian Open champion Camille Chevalier from France, South African Ashleigh Buhai, England’s Florentyna Parker, Anne Van Dam of the Netherlands and China’s Simin Feng.
“We are looking forward to hosting one of the great ladies’ Asian tournaments once again,” said Yalong Bay Golf Club chairman Chen Ya Xiong.
“It is wonderful to see such great players from three leading world Tours take on the challenge that Yalong Bay presents.”
Sangchan, 21, used the 2016 Sanya Ladies Open as a springboard for her first professional win outside her home country and followed it up with victory at the Hong Kong Ladies Open in June this year. She is currently second and 47th on the CLPGA and LET Order of Merits respectively.
Last year she fired a final round of 68 to finish with a 54-hole total of eight-under-par and edge Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall by a shot in hot and breezy conditions. The highlight of her round was an eagle at the 525-yard (475-meter) par five ninth, which propelled her into a share of the lead which she never relinquished.
South African Pace is no stranger to the course having won the tournament here in 2010 and 2013, while Lin is likely to prove a home favourite following her back-to-back wins in 2014 and 2015.
Picturesque Yalong Bay once again promises to be a fitting setting for one of Asia’s top ladies’ events with the Robert Trent Jones designed course in tip-top shape.
“The course will be in perfect condition and all organisational elements are now in place,” said Chairman Chen.
The 7,189-yard (6,754-metre), course is dotted with 98 deadly bunkers and sliced through by a meandering river that also adds to the treachery. Shaped like a dragon’s claw, the course is hemmed in by lush green hills and the beautiful Yalong Bay, all combining to form a stunning setting.
A Gutsy performance from both sides