01 February 18 The Straits Times by JONATHAN WONG
Having made history by becoming the first Chinese golfer to ascend to the No. 1 world ranking, Feng Shanshan will seek another record when she competes at this year's HSBC Women's World Championship.
The 28-year-old yesterday confirmed her participation at the March 1-4 tournament and believes she can become the first Chinese winner of the LPGA Tour-sanctioned event in Singapore which began in 2008.
In a press statement, Feng, who finished tied-third in the season-opener last week in the Bahamas and captured a Tour-leading three titles last term, said: "I had a great end to 2017 and then took a bit of time off to rest and I'm now raring to go again.
"It was good to get back out on course again last week in the Bahamas and I'm really looking forward to playing back in Asia.
"That's where I feel most at home and I guess it's no surprise that that's where I play my best golf.
"It's (the HSBC event) always super-competitive and you need to be at the top of your game to win it.
"Hopefully I can bring my best game this year."
The US$1.5 million (S$1.96 million) tournament at the Sentosa Golf Club has been dominated by South Koreans in recent years. Former world No. 1 Park In Bee won in 2015 and last year and compatriot Jang Ha Na triumphed in 2016.
Other Asian winners are Ai Miyazato of Japan (2010) and Korean Shin Ji Yai (2009), both also former world No. 1s. Another former top-ranked player in the stellar field at the New Tanjong Course this year will be Cristie Kerr. The 40-year-old American won twice last year and has 20 LPGA titles.
She said she hoped to carry that momentum into this term but added: "Singapore's always tough though. The conditions are challenging and it's always a very strong field, but I'm looking forward to getting back out there and giving it my best shot."
This year's HSBC event will include all five reigning Major champions - the second time in four years it has drawn such a line-up - and include stars like Lexi Thompson, Ariya Jutanugarn and Lydia Ko.
Korean pop group Monsta X are the headline act for the Saturday Music Festival during the event.
• Tickets are available at www.hsbcgolf.com/womens