Golf

Ariya headlines sister acts at Sentosa

Women's world No. 1 golfer to be here for HSBC Women's World C'ship with her sister Moriya and the Korda siblings

Women's world No. 1 golfer Ariya Jutanugarn will be in Singapore to vie for the 2019 HSBC Women's World Championship along with her sister Moriya, it was announced on Friday.

The Thai siblings are one of two sister pairs to confirm their participation for the Feb 28 - March 3 event at Sentosa Golf Club's New Tanjong Course, the other being Jessica and Nelly Korda.

Ariya, 22, had an outstanding year in which she reclaimed the world No. 1 spot in July. She won three titles this year, including a second career Major at the US Women's Open.

Besides topping the LPGA money list, she also completed a clean sweep of all the top 2018 LPGA accolades, which included the Rolex Player of the Year award and the Rolex Annika Major award, which recognises the player with the most outstanding record in all five Major championships during the season.

She also bagged the inaugural Leaders Top 10 trophy for accumulating the most top-10 finishes on the LPGA Tour (17), the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average (69.415) and the Race to the CME Globe trophy.

Said Ariya: "I am very proud of what I have achieved in 2018, but I'm going to keep working very hard to keep improving in 2019. The HSBC Women’s World Championship is one of my favourite events to go to each year as it feels like such a major event.

"It always attracts one of the strongest fields and Sentosa is such a great venue that it is definitely a tournament I would love to win. Moriya and I also enjoy lots of support when we play in Singapore, so it feels a bit like a home event for us and we can’t wait to return there next year."

Moriya, 24, has continued to show steady improvement over the past two years, securing 19 top-10 finishes and claiming her first LPGA title at the Hugel-JTBC LA Open in April. With her win, she joined Ariya in the top 10 of the Rolex Women’s World Rankings – making them the only sisters to accomplish that on the LPGA tour.

Joining the Jutanugarn sisters at the US$1.5-million (S$2m) tournament are the Korda sisters, who became the third set of sisters to both win LPGA titles after Nelly, 20, secured her maiden LPGA win at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship in October.

Since joining the LPGA Tour last year, Nelly has secured 12 top-10 finishes, including a runner-up finish at this year’s HSBC Women’s World Championship.

She said: “I’m definitely excited to return to Singapore for the HSBC Women’s World Championship after finishing second at the tournament earlier this year. Although I was so disappointed not to win, after leading such a big event going into the final round, I know I learnt so much from the experience and now I can’t wait to get back to Sentosa and have another go next year.”

Despite missing out on the earlier part of the 2018 season after undergoing jaw surgery, Jessica Korda, 25, started off her season with a bang, winning the Honda LPGA Thailand with a tournament record of 25-under par, on her first start of the 2018 tour, for her fifth career victory.

Defending champion Michelle Wie, 29, had announced in July that she will be back next year.

Tickets to the HSBC Women’s World Championship 2019 are on sale, with golf fans able to enjoy early bird discounts of up to 20 per cent off regular ticket prices. For more information, www.hsbcgolf.com/womens

HSBC Women's World ChampionshipARIYA JUTANUGARNMoriya JutanugarnNelly KordaJessica KordaMichelle Wie