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First LPGA event in China to be played at Imperial Springs
September 9, 2011

The first LPGA Tour event of the fall swing gets underway later this month and early signs indicate the inaugural Chinese tournament is set to be become a classic.

The Imperial Springs LPGA will take place at the Imperial Springs International Summit Club in Conghua, Guangdong Province near Guangzhou, from 29 th September to 2 nd October 2011 and is set to feature some of the game's biggest names. Ninety- eight players have already confirmed their attendance at the tournament, including a local field of 20 players, making the Imperial Springs LPGA the biggest competitor's field on the Asian circuit.

Imperial Springs is the newest addition to the LPGA Tour and is the first of its kind to have a two-day qualifying cut. After 36 holes of competition, the playing field will be reduced to leave 70 players for the final two rounds. That means competition will be intense from the start as players vie for a position in the top of half of the leader board to avoid an early exit.

The tournament can also claim to have one of the biggest purses on the ladies tour with a total prize fund of $2million on offer. The introduction of the cut and a reduced playing field on the final weekend means the overall winner stands to receive a cheque of $300,000, making the Imperial Springs LPGA the most lucrative ladies tournament in Asia.

The tournament marks the return of the LPGA Tour to mainland China (the last event being in 2008) and is once again being organized by IMG, the global leader in sports, fashion and media. The tournament has received a great deal of international interest.

Among those on the player's list include five time major champion and number one for the past 29 weeks in the Rolex world rankings, Yani Tseng from Chinese Taipei who will compete alongside the likes of China's local hero, world number 35, Feng Shan Shan. Growing up and training in Guangzhou and after picking up her first career win in Japan, Shan Shan will be hoping for a good performance in front of her home crowd.

In addition the tournament will welcome three players from the US Solheim Cup, Vicky Hurst, Christina Kim and rookie Ryann O'Toole, along with three European Cup players Anna Nordqvist, Laura Davies and Sandra Gal.

General Manager of Imperial Springs International Summit, Mark E. Holguin, said: "We are very much looking forward to hosting the first-ever Imperial Springs LPGA Tour event. We have worked hard with all our partners to ensure that the tournament is first-class and we hope this year's event will lay the foundations for more success in years to come."

IMG Tournament Director Rob James , said : "For the first year of the tournament we are delighted with the strength of the player's field. In particular it's great to see a strong Chinese contingent looking to make history on home soil and I've no doubt they will receive a warm wave of support over the course of the tournament."

Vice Chairman and Secretary - General of China Golf Association, Zhang Xiaoning said: "Having an LPGA event in China allows our local athletes to participate in high level international competition. It provides a unique opportunity for them to reach the world stage. I hope the players will take this opportunity to strive for their best performance, promoting the sport to China and international fans."

China LPGA Tour Lihong , said: "We are very excited about the upcoming Imperial Springs LPGA tournament and the introduction of this event further strengthens the comprehensive calendar of events on the LPGA Tour. We anticipate an exciting contest from a competitive field and look forward watching the drama unfold later this month."

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