SANTA ROSA CITY, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The China LPGA Tour will expand its footprint significantly on Thursday when the ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters tees off south-east of Manila.
The 80,000 U.S. dollars tournament, a co-sanctioned 54-hole event with the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour (LPGT) and TLPGA, is being staged at The Country Club, a 6,303-yard, par-72, Tom Weiskopf-designed venue in Laguna province about 50 kilometers from the capital.
After previously co-sanctioning overseas events in Australia and Thailand, Jennifer Lee, China LPGA Tour managing director, said with the country's close proximity and long history in golf it just made sense to stage an event in the Philippines.
"For the players, playing abroad is international travel. The players like to go abroad with the CLPGA Tour and this fits in with China's 'Belt and Road' initiative to expand the national market in Southeast Asia," she said.
"Through this cooperation the LPGT players can earn Rolex world ranking points and compete against a strong lineup. This is just the beginning."
The ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters is the penultimate event of the year for both the CLPGA Tour and the LPGT, a five-year-old circuit that is staging 11 tournaments in 2017.
Colo Ventosa, general manager of organizer Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, said the fledging tour had been growing steadily since its 2013 launch when six events were held. This season concludes with the ICTSI South Forbes Ladies Invitational, December 19-21.
"We're very happy with how our tour has grown, in terms of tournaments and players as well," said Ventosa. "It is our goal to help our lady pros and amateurs hone their skills on our circuit to prepare them to compete in other tours.