The world-renowned Blackstone course at Mission Hills in Haikou, Hainan Province. Photo: Courtesy of Mission Hills Group

On March 9, the third edition of the World Ladies Championship was held at Mission Hills in Haikou, Hainan Province, drawing the world’s attention to this top golf destination.

In the "three-in-one" special format, including a team section, an individual section and an amateur section, the world No.1 player Inbee Park, from South Korea, won the championship and a prize of $75,000. Her rival, the world second-ranked Suzann Pettersen, won the second prize.

Forged by the China Golf Association and Mission Hills Group, the World Ladies Championship drew the participation of professional players worldwide. They were lured by $600,000 in prize money, and a chance to play on Mission Hills’ signature Blackstone Course.

Since its inception in 2012, the tournament has mirrored the high standards of the men’s game, and has become a milestone in promoting women’s golf. Not only does the tournament present the sport at its highest level to fans in China, it also provides a chance for the top players from the Asia-Pacific region and Europe to compete against each other.

Feng Shanshan, a 25-year-old Chinese players, is now ranked number six worldwide, jumping up six ranks since the beginning of the tournament. She is the best-ranked amongst Chinese players.

Although Feng felt some regrets about her performance, she was generally happy with the result. "Thanks to my team for giving me courage," she said. In previous World Ladies Championships, Feng ranked among the top three in the individual competition.

Zhang Xiaoning, the director general of the Multi-Ball Games Administrative Center of the General Administration of Sport of China, said, "An event of this scale significantly spurs the development of ladies’ golf in China and beyond."

Sitting on a bed of dormant ancient lava rock, Million Hills, a world-class ecological leisure resort in Haikou, is where the famous Blackstone course is located. This 7,808-yard (7,140-meter) golf course covers 350 acres (142 hectares), with a striking view of trees, rocks, lakes and wetlands; the lava rock walls and village ruins created years ago remain as a testament to the site’s past. As a premiere tournament venue, the course draws constant visits from both amateur and professional golf players from around the world.
SOURCE: Global Times

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