The players are converging on the Sunrise Golf and Country Club in Yang Mei, Taoyuan, Taiwan for the 3rd Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship. There’s a $2 million purse, with a $300K check waiting for the winner. Suzann Pettersen, the 2012 defending Sunrise champion, would certainly like to collect that check. It would put her one step closer to bumping Inbee Park off the #1 Rolex Rank. With a top finish Pettersen would also overtake Stacy Lewis in the race for the Vare Trophy.
With only 3 events remaining after the Sunrise Championship before the end of the 2013 season, time’s running out for Pettersen to achieve her goals this year. You can be certain she’ll be playing her heart out.
Yani Tseng and Candie Kung will be working just as hard at getting to the top of the board. Tseng, ranked 22nd by Rolex, has struggled this year and is still looking for her first victory. She’d like a turnaround event this weekend.
Tseng won the inaugural Sunrise in 2011, lost to Pettersen last year, and will be welcomed by the excited hometown crowd. Tseng said she always enjoys playing for a championship title in her home country.
It’s such a great event and I know the course pretty well. It’s pretty fun having the players come to Taiwan and show them where my home town is. I’m very happy to go back there to play in front of my country.
Kung, who’s ranked 83rd, will also be working for a high finish. Tseng and Kung both know that a top finished here, on home ground, with the support of local fans, is important to Taiwan as well. With the International Crown team selections on everyone’s mind, and with Taiwan holding the 8th spot on the team rosters going into the LPGA LEB-HanaBank Championship, Tseng and Kung both need high finishes at the Sunrise to keep Taiwan’s hope of playing in the new international event alive.
This will be more than a 3-way contest for a victory. Aussie Katherine Hull-Kirk and Swede Anna Nordqvist are still looking to end long victory droughts, Caroline Hedwall may yet pull her A game out of her bag, and there are 4 rookies playing who merit a closer look before tee time.
The weather will be perfect for golf at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, mid-70s, sun, and just enough wind to keep things interesting.
The Golf Channel will provide daily coverage, Thursday, October 24-Sunday, October 27, noon-3pm, ET, and I’ll provide a wrap-up of each day’s round.