FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IN-FORM KORDA AIMS TO RETAIN TITLE AT SIME DARBY LPGA MALAYSIA
KUALA LUMPUR, 25 October 2016 – Defending champion Jessica Korda will be aiming to become the first golfer in Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia history to successfully defend her title starting this Thursday.
Korda, 23, comes into the tournament as one of the favourites, having hit a purple patch of form at the weekend’s Blue Bay LPGA in China, where she narrowly missed out on the title by one stroke.
But with one of the strongest fields ever assembled at the tournament, she won’t be the only one with an eye on the title and US$ 270,000 winners cheque.
Speaking at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia official press conference this afternoon, defending champion Jessica Korda, world no.1 Lydia Ko, world no. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, world no. 5 Brooke Henderson and Malaysia’s top ranked player, Kelly Tan, all provided an insight into what victory in the prestigious tournament would mean to them.
Said Jesssica Korda:
“I'm just so happy to be here. Malaysia is one of my favorite events of the year. It's nice to see everybody come out and support this event. I hope that everybody comes out and just has a great time, because we do, and we love it here. So just really happy to be back.”
Speaking about her runner up finish last weekend, Korda added:
“Yeah, it was really nice to be in contention again. Things are starting to slowly fall together. I changed coaches last year and have been going through some changes and finally I'm seeing some putts drop, which I haven't for most of this year.”
Asked about her rivalry with Ariya Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko said:
“Ariya has played such great golf throughout the year, and when she won for the first time at Alabama, we kind of all knew it was coming, and sooner than ever. She's just playing so consistently well, even last week, putting herself in contention. I mean, she's just overall a very strong, confident player.
“I know that I've got a lot of work to do these last few events, but for me to just be in this position and have the opportunity to go for the Player of the Year again and all those other things that come at the end of the season, it's been really cool.”
Ariya Jutanugarn said:
“I'm not really worried about the Money List. I feel a lot more confident - I just keep playing and have fun golf and not worry about the Money List. It is good for me to have a chance but I'm not really worried about it. Of course I want to win something because that is really an honor for me but I just want to have fun and be happy on the course and that's what I need to do.”
Kelly Tan said:
“From the first year, Sime Darby has always been a great support with the junior program and helped grow young juniors, and I'm not surprised to see nine girls out here. I just hope and wish everybody the best of luck and a great week.
“I've had a good start of the season this year. Really happy with where I was going, but the last two months have been a little tough but there's a lot of events coming and I'm just trying to cope with the travel. But so far, I'm pretty happy with what I've done this year, and super excited for next year. I'm just going to keep working on the same stuff.”
Asked about her choice of clubs, Brooke Henderson said:
“I switched to a 48-inch driver this year, which is the longest legal limit that you can have on the LPGA Tour. I've always kind of played with longer clubs since I was a little girl, and I found that I'm pretty accurate off the tee. I hit a lot of fairways and I was looking for a little bit of extra length, so I decided to go with the 48-inch driver and see if I could maybe catch up to Ariya over there and maybe have a little bit shorter clubs in the fairways.
Speaking at the press conference, Managing Director of Sime Darby Property, Dato’ Ir. Jauhari Hamidi, said:
“The tournament is delighted to welcome the world’s best female golfers to TPC Kuala Lumpur. We have witnessed some wonderful tournaments over the years, but I’m confident that 2016 will turn out to be a particularly special year. We look forward to four days of intense competition and excitement on course and a lot of fun off it. We wish all the players the very best of luck and we look forward to crowning a deserving champion on Sunday.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the players from the LPGA Tour for coming to Malaysia and competing in this wonderful event. They are fine ambassadors for the game and fantastic role models for the next generation of golfers here in Malaysia,” continued Dato’ Jauhari.
The Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tees off on the East Course of TPC Kuala Lumpur from 27th October to 30th October. For all the latest updates, visit the tournament website at www.simedarbylpgamalaysia.com. Tournament activities can also be followed on www.facebook.com/SimeDarbyLPGAMalaysia, or via Twitter and Instagram using @SimeDarbyLPGA, #SimeDarbyLPGA, #WomenWithDrive.
*According to the Rolex Official World Golf Rankings as of 24th October