The inaugural edition of the Singapore Women’s Open golf tournament will finally take place next month after being postponed for more than two years as a result of the pandemic.
The tournament will be held at the Tanah Merah Country Club from December 9 to 11. It will be co-sanctioned by the Singapore Golf Association and Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association and will form part of the Ladies Asian Tour (LAT) series. The series, which combines new and existing golf events, was launched in 2020 by the Asia Golf Leaders Forum (AGLF), an initiative led by a group of golf stakeholders in South Korea.
Next month’s tournament will feature a 102-player field and a S$1.1m ($774,000/€793,000) prize purse. Like other LAT series events, it will be title sponsored by the South Korea-based Hana Financial Group, reports Sports Business Journal.
The Mediapro Asia agency is the promoter of the tournament, including managing the sale of sponsorship and media rights.
The Singapore Women’s Open was due to take place for the first time in November 2020 but was cancelled because of the pandemic. The tournament is now set to be the first major international golf event fully open to the general public in Singapore for almost three years.
Singapore hosts two other major annual golf tournaments – the HSBC Women’s World Championship, on the LPGA Tour, and the men’s Singapore Open, on the Asian Tour. Both have taken place in the last two years, but spectator attendance has been restricted by pandemic counter-measures.
SGA president Tan Chong Huat said: “It has been a long two-year wait [but] we are so glad the tournament will finally take place in December. Working hand-in-hand with all the stakeholders, we are fully committed to getting the event off to a great start and set the foundation for all the future editions to come.”
Following the addition of the Singapore Women’s Open, the LAT series is set to expand to seven events next year, including tournaments in Thailand and the Philippines, and 10 in 2024. Organisers have also held discussions with the Japan Golf Association and Japan Ladies Professional Golf Association about adding events in Japan in future seasons.
The LAT and AGLF are being driven by stakeholders in Korea, the strongest market for women’s golf in Asia. Korea has produced many successful female golfers over the past couple of decades. Hana Financial Group and its partners are seeking to capitalise on this by building a new competition platform for women’s talent in Asia. Many of the region’s leading golf associations are part of the initiative, including those from Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia. The Asian office of Scotland-based global golf overseer The R&A is also a member.