Two tours meet in Guangzhou

Updated 2018-03-29 11:42:04 China Daily

Shi Yuting will be out to show why she's one of China's most promising female golfers when the CTBC Ladies Classic tees off on Thursday in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province.

Co-sanctioned by the China LPGA Tour and the Taiwan LPGA Tour, the tournament at Dragon Lake Country Club has attracted a field of 136 players from 14 countries and regions, vying for 800,000 yuan (6,800) in prize money.

"I'm so glad to see that the cross-Straits golf exchange is going on. Players from the two tours are getting to know each other very well," said Cheng Mei-chi, chairwoman of the TLPGA.

"I hope women from across the Straits will work together and achieve good results on the international stage."

Shi was impressive in the past two CTBC Ladies Classic events in Taipei, and with this year's tournament moving to the mainland, she hopes the extra motivation will spur her game.

"CTBC has been supporting golfers and tournaments for many years, and I'm honored to be one of the beneficiaries," said the 20-year-old, who finished 11th last year and third in 2016.

"Playing here will help me gain more support. I will try to keep my composure, play solid rounds and get a better result than in the previous tournaments."

Shi said her sponsor has done much to increase her awareness and maturity, especially with its efforts in helping impoverished children and vulnerable groups.

Shi, who won the 2015 USLPGA Tour qualification event and booked a full ticket for the tour after winning the 2016 CLPGA Tour order of merit, is touted as a favorite this week - but she's not alone.

Luo Ying, 25, the U.S. college standout from Shenzhen, is also poised to win her first pro victory on a course near her hometown.

Luo had nine birdies in the second round en route to a runner-up finish to Thailand's Chonlada Chayanun at last week's Hengqin Phoenix Orient Golf Challenge.

Luo, who idolizes Feng Shanshan, China's world No 1 female golfer and a Guangzhou native, is eager to take the crown in Feng's hometown.

"This field is tougher than last week," she said. "I have practiced a lot of chipping and putting on the greens to be ready."

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Hsieh Yu-ling, who is also sponsored by CTBC, said she has become accustomed to traveling across the Straits to compete on the mainland.

"Though I grew up in Taiwan, I take the mainland as my second home as my grandparents were born in Central China's Zhejiang province," said the 26-year-old.

"That's why I can relax on the course here."

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