Taipei, Oct. 29 (CNA) World No. 1 female golfer Ko Jin-young of South Korea and seven other of the world's top 10 female golfers are among the 81 competitors from 10 countries to participate in the 2019 Taiwan Swinging Skirts Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), which kicks off in New Taipei Thursday.
In addition to Ko, British Open Champion Hinako Shibuno of Japan, world No. 2 Park Sung-hyun from South Korea and defending champion Nelly Korda of the U.S. will also compete in the tournament which runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 at at Miramar Golf Country Club, according to the Taipei City-based Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation (SSGF).
With a total purse of US$2.2 million, the richest female golf event in Taiwan has gained in popularity since its was founded in 2011, SSGF Chairman Johnson Wang told reporters at a Thursday press event to promote the upcoming tourney.
Wang said the SSGF expects the final day of play to attract more than 50,000 spectators, up from 32,000 in 2018, to set a new Asian LPGA event record, Wang added.
Meanwhile, a total of 15 Taiwanese female golfers are also taking part in the 72-hole-contest, including two of the nation's top ranking women golfers, Teresa Lu (No. 81) and Hsu Wei-ling (92), according to SSGF.
Speaking during the press event, Hsu, who finished sixth last year, said she would take advantage of that experience to perform better this year.
Shibuno, who in August became the second Japanese player to win the Women's British Open, told the press that she will do her best and is looking to finish in the top 10 in the Taiwan tournament.
Now in its ninth year, the championship was first held in New Taipei City in 2011 and returned to Taiwan after being held in California from 2014-2016.