READY TO RUMBLE

一决高下126 international golfers put their best foot forward in Mission Hills Resort Dongguan to prepare for when the game returns to the Olympics this summer.

Jet Asia Pacific - - Jetnews -

When the Summer Olympics 2016 opens in Rio de Janeiro this August, history will be made, namely, it’s the year golf returns to the game since it was discontinued in 1904; and though only individual medals will be awarded this year, the World Ladies Championship will feature an innovative format that includes team competitions based on the combined scores of two players from the same country. So it’s no surprise Olympic hopefuls were enthusiastic to get warmed up at Mission Hills’s fifth World Ladies Championship in Dongguan early March, which saw rolling green fields dotted with golfing superstars like Nanna Koerstz Madsen from Denmark, Gwladys Nocera from France, Marianne Skarpnord from Norway, Finnish pair Ursula Wikstrom and Noora Tamminen, Klara Spilkova from the Czech Republic, Christine Wolf from Austria and Maria Verchenova of Russia.

Promising prize money of US$800,000, the tournament was co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour, China LPGA Tour and Korea LPGA Tour and highlights a unique three-in-one tournament format comprising an Individual Professional Team Competition played over 72 holes of individual stroke-play; a

72-hole Professional Team Competition whereby the scores of the top two players from 18 countries represented will be combined to determine the winning team; as well as a 72-hole stroke-play individual Amateur Competition.

“This tournament is kind of similar to the Olympics because we are playing for ourselves but also as part of a team,” said China’s Lin Xiyu. “I think that will give me experience and also Mission Hills and the National Team have helped me a lot throughout my career, so I think it’s an important tournament, and I’m glad to be here.”

Even the professionals who are still on the fence about joining the summer Olympics said the annual Mission Hills’ event is a priceless platform for practice.

“I’m not certain to play in Rio yet but every tournament is a great opportunity to get more World Ranking points, and this is a big event,” said Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen, who’s finished third place in the recent RACV Ladies Masters in Australia.

While some are preparing for the big show, others are making a name for themselves at the championship, such as world number 23 Ko Jin-young from South Korea, who hoped to be the third straight Korean winner of the individual title following the success of Park Inbee and So Yeong Ryu in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The inclusion of Korean players will also improve the event’s international standing, now that it’s trisanctioned with players from the KLPGA joining those from the China LPGA and LET.

2016年夏季奥林匹克运动会将于八月在巴西里约热内卢隆重开幕,高尔夫重新纳入正式比赛项目,是继1904年以来再次重返奥运。尽管今年奥运仅设个人奖项,但世界女子高尔夫锦标赛采用崭新的赛制,增设团体赛,根据两位同一个国家的队员所加起来的总杆数来评定胜负。难怪三月初在东莞观澜湖举行的2016世界女子高尔夫锦标赛吸引了众多大热球手出战,为奥运预热。绿茵场上尽见高尔夫巨星的身影,包括丹麦的那安娜-马德森、法国的格拉迪丝-诺西拉、挪威的玛莉安-斯卡普诺德、芬兰队的选手尤萨拉-维科斯特罗姆和娜拉-塔米宁、捷克的克拉拉-斯皮尔科娃、奥地利的克莉丝汀-沃夫和俄罗斯的玛丽亚-维琴诺娃。

2016世锦赛由女子欧巡,女子中巡和女子韩巡三方联合认证,总奖金高达80万美元。世界女子高尔夫锦标赛赛制独特,是一个三合一的赛事,包括72洞职业球手个人赛、72洞职业团队锦标赛( 18个国家各派出两位顶级球手组队参赛,大会根据她们的总杆数来评定胜出队伍)、以及72洞业余球手个人赛。

“这个比赛跟奥运很相似,我们参与个人赛之余,还会代表国家出战。”中国选手林希妤说:“这是一个很好的经验,观澜湖和国家队在我的整个职业生涯中给了我很多的支持,能够参与这一场重要的比赛,我觉得很荣幸。”

即使是仍未决定是否参战奥运的职业球手也表示,观澜湖世界女子锦标赛是一个宝贵的实践平台。

最近在RACV澳大利亚女子大师赛赢得第三名的丹麦球手尼格尔-布洛赫-拉森说:“我还未决定是否参战里约奥运会,但每一场比赛都是增加世界排名积分的重要机会,而且这是一场大型的赛事。”

一些选手是为奥运预热,另一些则希望通过世锦赛打响名堂,比如世界排名23位的韩国选手高眞榮,她希望能够继朴仁妃和柳萧然分别在2014年和2015年夺冠后,成为第三名赢得个人职业赛冠军的韩国球员。随着女子韩巡的新近加入,为这项赛事开创了由女子中巡、女子欧巡以及女子韩巡三方联合认证的新时代。

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