The windy, serene and scenic Sentosa Golf Club once again played host to the prestigious HSBC Women’s Champions. The yearly affair, since 2008, saw 63 of the world’s best female golfers descend on the green overlooking the famous Sentosa Cove.
There’s a thing about repeated events being boring. But this isn’t one such instance. Throughout the tournament, action was an intense as ever. With a $1.5 million prize pool up and bragging rights up for grabs, the highest level of golf action occurred over the four days. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the favourites like Lydia Ko or In Bee Park that led the charge, instead underdogs Ha Na Jang, Candie Kung and Amy Yang were vying for top honours, with Ha Na Jang’s breaking the course record en route to claiming top honours.
(Ha Na Jang raising her hand in triumphant victory)
As a fan and recreational player, I really enjoyed the action on course and would definitely recommend checking the replays if you happen to miss the action. Though I could give you a play by pay review of the tournament, you would probably enjoy the commentary from professional sports writers here. That being said, all things HSBC Women’s Champions is sometimes golf and more.
For those who have yet to have the pleasure of visiting the Serapong Course during the HSBC Women’s Champions, it is really a sight to behold. You are met with majestic water body encroached by lush green grass fairways the moment you walk through the entrance to the tournament site. Every hole on course has its own picturesque little setting and continually changing landscapes made tournament viewing all that more enjoyable. Of course, as much as I derived pleasure from enjoying the beautiful gardenscape, the ladies in the tournament were the true attraction of course.
The brilliant thing about watching the HSBC Women’s Champions is that you often have much flexibility when it comes to deciding how you want to spend your time soaking in the action on course. There were a couple different methods used by spectators to catch the action: “follow the group” or “camp at the hole”. The former allowed the legion of fans to follow the progression of the group of 3, which was perfect for experiencing the thrills of Min Jee Lee’s rise to prominence and stellar shots by Suzanne Petersen.
(20 year old star in the making, Min Jee Lee)
As with most years crowd, majority of fans preferred the more sedentary approach as it afforded them not only the opportunity to watch a wider range of players at their own pace, but was also much easier on the legs. Regardless, we tried both techniques and found them to be equally entertaining, with its eclectic mix of outcomes and suspense of seeing who would drop the ball on their closest rivals.
(Suzanne Petersen attempting a long put for birdie)
Personally, I have been a fan to Michelle Wie’s since my adolescent days because of her inherent star quality. And it was not surprising that many of the fans gathered felt the same way too. When semi-retirees in their 60s (mostly men though) are equally partial to a 26 year old stalwart that wasn’t having a fantastic tournament, it shows just how great an appeal she has beyond the fairways. From the look of things, sponsors should rejoice as her continued presence can only help to boost the appeal of the tournament, but hopefully with a better score the next time round. Aussie up-and-comer, MinJee Lee was also a crowd pleaser as well, attracting cheers from fans of various demographics
(Golf’s glamour girl, Michelle Wie)
Apart from on their golf swing, the fashion choices made by many of the players were also on point. As a general trend, Golf has began to embrace a more contemporary approach to fashion. Gone are the days where long bleached trousers and knee length skirts are staple wardrobe option, as more female players preferences have swung towards variations of cropped skirts and floral print drift gear from the latest athletic collections. The consistent theme of bold colours and patterns is also something worth nothing. Several standouts like MinJee Lee, Anna Lundqvist, Ha Na Jang and Michelle Wie took bold wardrobe choices in both ath-leisure and golfer chic outfits, even ‘spotting’ polka dotted decals at one point in the tournament.
(Anna Nordqvist should get extra points for style)
The fashion risks taken definitely paid of in our eyes as the ladies turned the fairways into a runaway. Much to the delight of many of the male spectators, the exorbitantly warm weather also prompted a more casual summer style of figure hugging thigh high shorts. The form fitting outfits perfectly accentuated the well-toned physique of the athletes, which was definitely worth showing off.
(If you have it flaunt it it like Michelle Wie)
Continued in part 2 of our review is the food and entertainment of the HSBC Women’s Champions 2016.
(Photos by Lester Foo/ Loh Guo Pei/ Lemuel Low for WhatsNextSG)