Sorenstam set to play in China

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Sweden's internationally acclaimed golfer Annika Sorenstam will take part when China hosts its first Ladies European Tour event later this year.

The Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open 2008, with a prize money of about R23 million, will be held at Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club from October 31 to November 2.

The tournament is sanctioned by the China Golf Association, Ladies Asian Golf Tour and the Ladies European Tour.

"We're delighted that the Ladies European Tour is coming to China," said Zhang Xiao-ning, deputy chairman and secretary general of the China Golf Association.

"And we're particularly proud that one of the all time great players in women's golf, Annika Sorenstam, will compete.

"It presents Chinese lady pros with some really tough competition and will be a great motivation for them to raise their performance to the highest level."

Alex Armas, executive director of the Ladies European Tour hailed the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open 2008 as a big step forward in the Tour's growth internationally.

"It's our first event ever in China and will be a historic occasion for us," said Armas.

"At a time of year when the weather in Europe is turning against us, it's important to be able to extend the Tour's season and give our players an opportunity to come here to compete at Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club, which is truly a world-class venue."