CHAM­PI­ONS PIPE IN ON THE NEW TAN­JONG COURSE

Golf Asia (Malaysia) - - TEE BOX - BY NATASHA WONG PHO­TOS CRED­ITS: GOLF ASIA

The New Tan­jong Course was in­tro­duced to the world at the 2017 HSBC Women’s Cham­pi­ons. Set against the Singapore Straits with some el­e­vated views of the sky­line, many of the world’s best fe­male golfers were thrilled to play a brand new lay­out.

The par 72 course was set up to an of­fi­cial yardage of 6,108m for the tour­na­ment, av­er­ag­ing a lit­tle longer than the course’s stan­dard blue tee yardage. The wideopen fair­ways of this Alis­ter MacKen­zie-in­spired de­sign, ap­pealed to the longer hit­ters like Lexi Thomp­son who said, “I hit a lot of driv­ers. It's pretty for­giv­ing off the tee, so it def­i­nitely helped me get into mid to short irons on a few of those holes that I need to be able to stop them. It will def­i­nitely be an ad­van­tage.”

Anna Nordqvist called it a “bomber’s par­adise”. Which prob­a­bly ex­plained why the leader­board was pep­pered with big-hit­ting names like Ariya Ju­tanu­garn, Sun Hyun Park, Brooke Hen­der­son and Michelle

Wie. The New Tan­jong was play­ing hard and fast, and to­gether with the windy con­di­tions, pre­sented a myr­iad of chal­lenges. Michelle Wie who put up a stel­lar per­for­mance at 14-un­der said, “The golf course is tough. I think it has a lot of run-off ar­eas, so you have to be smart out here.”

Nordqvist shared, “Yeah, you get a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing out there. The wind picked up on our back nine and it was re­ally hard to judge the wind. Felt like I hit a lot of good shots and they just kind of seemed to go through the wind. Ended up ei­ther miss­ing the green or hav­ing a long lag putt.”

World No. 1 Ly­dia Ko how­ever, pre­dicted that it would all come down to the putting. “The greens have very sub­tle un­du­la­tions, so even though it might not be a very long putt, it could break three dif­fer­ent ways. So the per­son that nor­mally holes a putt is go­ing to end up on top and I think that's go­ing to be the case again this week.”

Ly­dia Ko called it. In­bee Park, who has a rep­u­ta­tion for mak­ing putts, went on to bag 23 birdies over the tour­na­ment, se­cur­ing the cov­eted cham­pi­onship ti­tle. Love it or hate it, the New Tan­jong cer­tainly show­cased some re­mark­able golf from the world’s best.

Mo Martin, win­ner of the Women’s Bri­tish Open in 2014, summed up her ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the course say­ing, “It's play­ing hard and fast, which is great. We've got some el­e­va­tion changes. I think it's very aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing too. It's nice up on the par three 4th, where you have a great view of the city. You can see the wa­ter, so it's gor­geous. I have to give a shout out to the su­per­in­ten­dent and the grounds crew here, be­cause to be able to have a course that's a cou­ple months old, to be play­ing like this and to be some­what re­cep­tive, is phe­nom­e­nal. I didn't see a seam out there all day, so they have done a re­ally, re­ally good job.”

The New Tan­jong Course

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