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Top players ready for Grand China Air LPGA event
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The widely anticipated Grand China Air LPGA is set to tee off today at Hainan West Coast Golf Club.

Sixty-three of the world's best players, including the leading 51 players on the LPGA Official Money List this year, compete for $1.8 million during the three-day event.

It is the first time the LPGA has staged an event in China and is the richest tournament on the LPGA's annual end-of-year Asian swing.

The inaugural Grand China Air LPGA features Rolex Rankings world number two Annika Sorenstam of Sweden, Chinese Taipei's third-ranked Tseng Ya-ni, the 2008 McDonald's LPGA Championship winner, and Norwegian Suzann Pettersen, who is fourth in the world.

The line-up also includes 2008 United States Women's Open champion Park In-bee of South Korea, Sweden's Helen Alfredsson, Koreans Lee Seon Hwa and Choi Na Yeon and the United States' Cristie Kerr. All five players are ranked in the top 10 on the current LPGA Official Money List.

Among the others in the field are Morgan Pressel, Pak Se Ri and Juli Inkster, plus Koreans Jang Jeong, Ji Eun Hee, and Kim Song Hee and Angela Park of Brazil, the last four of whom are in the LPGA's top-15 money winners this season. Eight Chinese professionals and four invitations also participate in the first-ever LPGA event in China.

Unique opening

Rising Chinese star Feng Shanshan and glamour girl Morgan Pressel, fresh off her thrilling victory in last weekend's Kapalua LPGA Classic, were among the players who enjoyed an exclusive Grand China Air charter flight direct from Hawaii to Haikou on Tuesday, ensuring they had a restful journey to China.

At Haikou Meilan International Airport, the two young players blasted drives from the wing of a 737 jumbo jet, launching the inaugural Grand China Air LPGA.

Feng, in just her first season on the LPGA Tour, was impressed by the unique tournament opening.

"My first year on the LPGA Tour has certainly been a season of new experiences, but this was something I had never imagined I would be doing.

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