LPGA adds Taiwan stop next year

Yani Tseng pumps her fist after dropping a birdie putt at No. 8 during the final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

A quick glance down the Rolex Rankings makes it easy to see why the LPGA keeps adding Asian events. The tour will make its debut in Taiwan in October 2011 at Sunrise Golf and Country Club, according to Asian Golf Daily

This move makes sense, given that World No. 5 Yani Tseng became the youngest player to win three majors with her triumph earlier this month at the Ricoh Women’s British Open. Tseng grew up in Taiwan where her father, a distributor for China Petroleum, also owned a driving range and pool hall in Linkou.

“We have been working on securing a Taiwan event all year,” said David Higdon, the LPGA’s chief communications officer, “but certainly Yani’s impressive success this year has fueled interest even more and helped us secure an agreement.”

Higdon wouldn’t confirm the dates or size of the field, but Asian Golf Daily reports the three-year commitment will carry a $2 million purse and feature 80 LPGA players and 10 locals.

“We’re pleased that the event will be held in Sunrise, where Yani was groomed before she rose to fame,” Sunrise chairman Hsu Tien-ya told Asian Golf Daily.

The LPGA’s current fall Asian swing includes events in Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. The tour begins its season in Thailand and Singapore. In 2010, the LPGA schedule featured 14 domestic events. However, at least one sponsor, CVS/pharmacy, won’t be returning.

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