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Best-ever field for Asia's best-ever Ladies' event
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The strongest field of golfers ever seen in Asia rode into town for this week's US$2 million HSBC Women's Champions. The tournament, to be played on the Tanah Merah Country Club's Garden Course from March 5th to the 8th, boasts the richest prize in women's golf in Asia, and with 34 of the world's top 40 players in the line up, has exceeded last year's inaugural event by drawing the deepest pool of talent ever assembled in Asia.

Fans line the fairway at last year's HSBC Women's Champions. The 2009 field will be the strongest ever assembled in Asia. [Andrew Redington/Getty Images]

Fans line the fairway at last year's HSBC Women's Champions. The 2009 field will be the strongest ever assembled in Asia. [Andrew Redington/Getty Images]

More exciting for the region's golf fans is the emergence of a group of exciting young Asian players at the top of the world rankings, including 2008 Major winners Yani Tseng, Inbee Park and Jiyai Shin, who are all just 20 years old.

HSBC's Group Head of Sponsorship Giles Morgan welcomed their arrival in the Lion City: "When we first conceived the idea of a sister tournament to the HSBC Champions in China, we believed Asia was ready and that the world was also ready for a truly top-quality women's tournament here. It was rewarding enough to realise last year that we had successfully brought a genuine world-class women's tournament to Asia. You can see now that we have done it just as the most talented generation of young Asians, possibly in any sport ever, has emerged," Morgan said.

"It's especially rewarding because having created a stage that this new generation can shine on, we're already seeing just how inspiring it is to the young girls on the HSBC junior programmes in Singapore and China," he added.

HSBC's Giles Morgan shares a joke with Morgan Norman at the HSBC Mens' Champions in Shanghai. Daughter to Greg and partner to Sergio Garcia, Morgan has a fair golf pedigree of her own. [David Ferguson]

To celebrate the start of the tournament week, for what was rated by many players and officials as one of the top five events worldwide in women's golf, world number one and defending champion Lorena Ochoa was joined by some of her closest rivals in world number two Yani Tseng of Taiwan, world number four Norwegian Suzann Pettersen and reigning US Open Champion Inbee Park for a trishaw [1] ride beside the Singapore River.

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