New Zealand’s Lydia Ko got off to a great start at the Sentosa Golf Course in Singapore early on Thursday with four birdies and a bogey to be 3-under par, five shots behind outright leader World number two Inbee Park.
Playing in the HSBC Women’s World Championship, the first tournament of a two-event swing through Asia and the first tournament in Asia since November 2019, the current World number seven picked up a couple of nice early birdies on the 2nd and 3rd holes.
Ko then birdied the 8th and was on a run with her playing partners Park and Minjee Lee. But as Park continued to shoot birdie after birdie, Ko couldn’t go with the Korean, dropping a shot at 12 and picking it back up again at 13 before finishing par on all the remaining holes.
The story of the day was 2019 champion Sung Hyun Park who finished with a 6-over 78, to finish the day in last place.
The first day of play followed a unique launch event yesterday where five of the best women players helped Sentosa Golf Club in demonstrating how golf courses can make a significant difference through reducing carbon and protecting endangered species to help reverse climate disruption.
Recently named ‘The World’s Best Golf Club’ and ‘The World’s Best Eco-Friendly Golf Facility’ at World’s Golf Awards, Sentosa is calling for golf clubs around the world to pick up the mantle on sustainability.
It was the first golf club in the world to join the UN Sports for Climate Action and is spearheading a call to action for the golf industry to respond to climate change titled ‘GAME ON.’ The initiative highlights that it is time for golf to act upon the issue of climate change and unite the game’s key stakeholders with the wider golfing community to implement new modern processes to the betterment of the environment.
World No.1 Jin Young Ko, Olympic gold medallist and World No.2 Inbee Park, World No. 10 Minjee Lee, former World No.1 Lydia Ko and Major winner Georgia Hall took time out of their preparations for ‘Asia’s Major’ to learn more about Sentosa Golf Club’s sustainability endeavours and initiatives that included electric car charging, a sustainable herb garden, removal of plastics, hand removal of weeds to minimise the use of pesticides, state of the art irrigation equipment for water management, lithium battery-powered golf carts and bee colonisation.
The five golfers, with more than 50 LPGA titles between them, visited the Club’s bee sanctuary and witnessed how the Club minimises the use of pesticides with every employee hand-picking a minimum of 15 weeds a day.
“Often the press call at the start of the tournament is just about us golfers, so I absolutely loved the opportunity to shine a light on Sentosa Golf Club’s innovative sustainability efforts,” Ko said during the launch.
“I think it sets a great example to other golf clubs and should motivate all of us to do better in this area of our lives.”
Olfert De Wit, Interim CEO of HSBC Singapore said they are delighted to be hosting the HSBC Women’s World Championship again and thrilled to highlight the sustainability work of Sentosa Golf Club.
“We are thrilled to highlight the sustainability work of our hosts, Sentosa Golf Club, who really are ‘Game-Changers’ and who share our commitment to ensure a thriving and resilient future for the planet,” De Wit said.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to launch our tournament week than to showcase the example that Sentosa is setting to golf clubs around the world.”
Andrew Johnston, General Manager/Director of Agronomy and Resident Golf Course Designer at Sentosa Golf Club, said the club is always thrilled to welcome the LPGA stars back to their Club.
“Love seeing how they tackle the challenges of The Tanjong Course,” Johnston said.
“We are very proud of our sustainability programme, so we are very thankful to HSBC and all of the players for taking time out today to learn more and highlight it in this way.”