Golf

China's teen golfer Muni, 19, has great potential

The world's top women's golfers, including Ariya Jutanugarn, Ryu So Yeon and Park Sung Hyun, will converge at Sentosa for the Feb 28-March 3 HSBC Women's World Championship.

But besides those marquee names, also look out for teenager He Muni of China. At just 19, she has been touted as one with great potential.

Last year, as a rookie on the Symetra Tour - the LPGA's official developmental tour - Muni made the cut in 16 of 21 events and recorded two top-10 finishes, including a win at the Prasco Charity Championship.

She also averaged 3.5 birdies per round played, which was only one less per round than Ariya's 2018 average tally, reported lpga.com.

Muni has also trumped more established players - on social media.

Her Instagram following of 161,000 might still be some distance behind stars such as Michelle Wie (523,000) and Lexi Thompson (396,000).

But she has already overtaken Paula Creamer (162,000), Jessica Korda, Danielle Kang (both 114,000) and her idol Feng Shanshan (4,200), the highest ranked and most accomplished LPGA player from China.

Muni, who earned her LPGA Tour card through the Tour's qualifying tournament last year, received a sponsor's exemption for the HSBC Women's World Championship along with Major winner Catriona Matthew.

And she is looking forward to her debut at Sentosa's New Tanjong Course.

She said: "I've heard many wonderful things about the HSBC Women's World Championship, and to be given the opportunity to compete against the world's best golfers so early on in my career is just a dream come true.

"I'd like to say a huge 'thank you' to HSBC and the tournament.

"As an Asian player, I'm looking forward to competing in what many describe as 'Asia's Major' and hopefully lining up alongside my childhood idol Feng Shanshan."

Matthew, who is competing in her 24th consecutive year on Tour, is a household name in women's golf.

To date, the 49-year-old is the only Scot to win a women's Major following her victory at the 2009 Ricoh Women's British Open.

Besides her four LPGA Tour victories, Matthew has competed in nine Solheim Cups and will captain Team Europe in this year's edition in her home country.

Ahead of her return to Singapore for the HSBC Women's World Championship, she said: "It is such a great event in one of my favourite cities with a world-class field gathered, so I am looking forward to what will be a fantastic week."

Golf