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2017 Taiwan LPGA Tour CTBC Ladies Open 21– 23 Dec Tournament Preview
Date:2017-12-20

The TLPGA Tour now goes down to the final event on the 2017 calendar, with CTBC Ladies Open kicking off on Thursday at the Orient Golf & Country Club in Taoyuan, Taiwan, boasting a lucrative purse of NT$5 million and a first-place check worth NT$1 million. The 108-player field is headed by No.31-ranked in the world and defending champion Teresa Lu (盧曉晴). The 54-hole, stroke-play format shall apply in this China LPGA co-sanctioned event with world ranking points on offer.

The winning prize of NT$1 million and a second-place prize up to NT$550,000, some of the richest prizes during the season, can still shuffle the rankings on the year’s Money Leaderboard, which will be made final on this weekend to determine the 2017 TLPGA Tour Money Winner.

Alongside Teresa Lu, fellow CTBC Bank spokesplayers Yeh Hsin-Ning (葉欣寧), Lin Tzu-Chi (林子麒), Hsieh Yu-Ling (謝瑀玲), Kuo Ai-Chen (郭艾榛), Cheng Ssu-Chia (程思嘉) and Chinese young star Shi Yuting (石昱婷) will lead an elite host of female golfers from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and New Zealand.

Lu, who has won four titles this year on the Japan LPGA Tour including the season-ending major, completed a come-from-behind victory last year on her maiden appearance at the rain-shortened 2016 CTBC Ladies Open. Lu has shifted her main focus from the LPGA Tour since 2013 to the JLPGA Tour and found her feet quickly as she has already garnered sixteen wins under her belt and been consistently seen as a title contender. Lu finished the 2017 season No.3 on the JLPGA Tour prize money leaderboard.

“Of course I hope to win, but there are many, many great players coming to play this year. I’m hoping some home course magic will work and a Taiwanese girl will do it again,” said Lu. “It’s held on our land after all.”

LPGA Tour member Hsu Wei-Ling (徐薇凌), Chien Pei-Yun (錢珮芸) and Lee Min (李旻), who have been developing their resume in the U.S. will also tee it up this week. Other local title hopes include JLPGA member Tsai Pei-Ying (蔡佩穎), Chen I-Wen (陳依妏) and Wei Yun-Jye (魏筠潔).

In search of being the first Chinese to win at the CLPGA and TLPGA co-sanctioned event, besides 2016 Money Winner Shi Yuting who added a second pro title this June, are some of the CLPGA Tour’s biggest names Li Chia-Yun (黎佳韵), Pan Yanhong (潘艷紅), Zhang Weiwei (張維維), and Liu Yan (劉艷).

Meanwhile, seven in the top ten of the 2016 CLPGA Tour Money Leaderboard made their ways to the Orient Golf & Country Club, including No.2 Supamas Sangchan and No.4 Saraporn Chamchoi, as well as 2017 Money Leader at the moment Saranporn Langkulgasettrin. The trio will lead a formidable Thai line-up that took away the 2014 and 2015 trophies in this tournament by the hands of Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro and Budsabakorn Sukapan respectively.

Title-sponsor, the CTBC Bank has been developing the “Next-Gen Golf” program and supported Tour players by sponsorships and hosting professional events since 2011. The CTBC Ladies Open, starting in 2012, has now become one of the most iconic events in Asia sharing a special cross-strait bond.

The first-round of the sixth edition of CTBC Ladies Open is scheduled at 7:30 on Thursday morning and the last group is set off to go at 10:20. A cut will be made to the top 50 and ties after 36 holes.

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