SINGAPORE - Instead of their typical sponsor-rich polo tees and shorts, world No. 1 Park In Bee, Suzann Pettersen (No. 2), Feng Shanshan (No. 6) and Paula Creamer (No. 11) amused and bemused a press conference in distinct Asian attire.
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Read the press release from HSBC Women's Champions 2014:
WORLD'S BEST GOLFERS DISPLAY WARRIOR SPIRIT FOR SINGAPORE SHOWDOWN
Golfing elite gather for "Asia's Major" as HSBC Women's Champions gets underway
The unique event involved World Number 1 Inbee Park (South Korea), World Number 2 Suzann Pettersen (Norway), World Number 6 China's Shanshan Feng and World Number 11 American golfer Paula Creamer.
Dressed in their striking warrior ensembles, the golfers put on a show of strength as they prepared for one of the toughest tests in world golf at Sentosa Golf Club.
Aiming to assert her authority as the world's top-ranked player is Park, who enthused: "We all know how tough this tournament is so it makes a lot of sense for us to adopt these warrior personalities as we get ready to go into battle. We all love coming here to Singapore but make no mistake this is serious business and a challenge which lives up to its billing as 'Asia's Major'.
"The Serapong Course is the best course in Singapore and requires you to be extremely precise with bunkers and water at every turn but if you want to be the best, you have to embrace a challenge like this, not shirk from it. As ever, this is a world class field and I'll be going all out to win the trophy."
As the only LPGA-sanctioned event held in Singapore, the US$1.4 million tournament has consistently attracted stellar fields since its inception in 2008. The 2014 event proves to be no exception, with all the top ten ranked players confirming their participation alongside 53 other world elites.
Building on the overwhelming success of last year's event, the tournament returns to the acclaimed Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club (SGC), and will take place from 27th February to 2nd March 2014.
Giles Morgan, HSBC's Global Head of Sponsorship and Events, said: "HSBC Women's Champions is our flagship women's event and one of the toughest challenges in world golf. The qualification criteria and the course ensure this is a true test of champions and you only need to look at the quality of the field to see that this is a challenge that the players embrace with open arms.
"HSBC is committed to opening up the world of golf and over the last seven years, HSBC Women's Champions tournament has emerged as a truly world-class event, becoming increasingly important for the world of golf and for the bank. We are extremely proud in creating the best women's golf event staged in Asia and one of the best in the world."
Pettersen, energised by her recent victory at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship 2013, said: "I have very fond memories of Singapore and am hopeful about my chances here this year, having ended 2013 on such a good note. Still, every competitor here is extremely skilled and I'm expecting a tough fight.
"If you want to be the best you have to compete on the biggest stage and as 'Asia's Major' this tournament really is a challenge we relish."
The launch of the tournament this year sees the four golfers don martial arts outfits from various cultures to demonstrate the fortitude and strength within the female competitors and celebrate Singapore's cultural diversity.
"In 2008, our aim was to create a tournament in Singapore which would showcase the very best in women's golf and as we prepare for the 2014 showdown with all ten of the top ten players in the world playing it really feels like we've achieved that ambition. It promises to be another memorable week," said Guy Harvey-Samuel, Group General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Singapore.
"The HSBC Women's Champions is an important event and initiative for us to connect with our customers, colleagues, and the community in Singapore. Underpinning HSBC support of golf is future talent and we are thrilled local player Amanda Tan has the opportunity to compete against the best in the world", he added.
In concluding, Robbie Henchman, Senior Vice President of IMG, remarked: "The photo call was a terrific way of kicking off the tournament as it allowed us to simultaneously promote some of the very best in women's golf and showcase the multi-cultural diversity of Singapore. The quality of the field is testament to the huge success and recognition this tournament has gained over the years and IMG is very pleased to play a part in it once again."
For more information on the HSBC Women's Champions 2014, please visit http://www.hsbcgolf.com.