Annika Sorenstam of Sweden, one of the most successful female golfers in history, arrived in Taiwan yesterday to compete in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Invitational.
Accompanied by her mother, the former world No. 1 female golfer arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to a warm welcome by her fans, to whom she said “thank you” in Chinese.
Sorenstam, who is visiting for the first time, said she was very excited to be in Taiwan, where world No. 1 player Yani Tseng hails from.
“I look forward to spending some time with her [Tseng],” Sorenstam said.
“It’s going to be a great week and I look forward to it,” she added.
If the opportunity arises, she would like to visit Taiwan’s famous night markets, she said.
Aside from Sorenstam, 2010 US Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer of the US also arrived yesterday.
Park Se-ri, Shin Ji-yai and Choi Na-yeon of South Korea and Christie Kerr of the US are already in the county preparing for the event.
A charity skins game will be played tomorrow at the Miramar Golf and Country Club in Linkou District, New Taipei City, to be followed by a 54-hole invitational play by 95 players over three rounds from Friday to Sunday, organizers said.
Competitors will vie for US$100,000 in prize money, half of which will be donated to charity. The tournament, which has a total purse of US$1.01 million this year, has become an official leg for both the Taiwan Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Tour.
Swinging Skirts is a private organization made up of both male and female amateur golfers, although professional players are also invited to attend. Its members wear skirts or kilts when they play, and all competitors, caddies and course referees are expected to do the same during the tournament.