Pattaya is preparing to welcome the cream of international women’s golf in February when the Honda LPGA comes to town. The annual tournament is one of the Pattaya’s biggest annual sporting events, attracting not just the best of the world’s women golfers but also huge international crowds. This year, the event will be staged at the Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course between February 21st and 24th.

The 72-hole stroke play tournament has a world class field featuring the top 60 players from women’s golf. In total, there is $1.5mn in prize money as well as a new Honda CRV for any player lucky enough to shoot a hole in one. Best of all for spectators, there will be no cut so all the players will compete every day.

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Over the past decade, women’s golf has grown in stature to stand equally beside the men’s game. This is particularly so in Asia, which has produced a number of exceptional golfers including the undisputed number one, Taiwan’s Yani Tseng. Miss Tseng has won five major championships and has won the Honda LPGA for the past two years. She is the hot favourite to win in Pattaya next month where she has a big fan base. She will however face stiff competition from a top flight field who are sure to fight hole by hole for the title. One of those challengers is the South Korean star Ya-Yeon Choi, the holder of the US Women’s Open title and ranked number two in the world.

All ten of the world’s best players are scheduled to compete in the Honda LPGA, so expect to see fierce competitive spirit and some exceptional golf over the tournament’s four days. Of those ten players, no fewer than eight were born in Asia which epitomises the outstanding strength of women’s golf in the region.

As of yet, at the very top, there are no Thai players but many commentators feel that there are two outstanding Thai ladies on the cusp of breaking into the big time and they just happen to be sisters. Moriya and Ariya Jutanugarn, aged 18 and 17 respectively, are widely touted as global superstars of the future as indicated by their recent signing by IMG, one of the biggest names in sports management. Both girls will be on the field in Pattaya and they are likely to attract huge support for the partisan local crowd. Both girls will start their pro careers this year and a strong finish in Pattaya would certainly launch them in style.

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