KirkwoodGolf: Sanya Ladies Open previews -- Camille Chevalier remains focused on first trip to China

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sanya Ladies Open previews -- Camille Chevalier remains focused on first trip to China

Simin Feng and Camille Chevalier
Camille Chevalier remains focused on first trip to China

Sanya, China – 15th November 2017: Last week’s Hero Women’s Indian Open champion Camille Chevalier has received hundreds of messages from well-wishers following her maiden win at DLF Golf and Country Club on Sunday, but she doesn’t plan to read them until she returns home to France.
The 23-year-old LET rookie from Aix-en-Provence is determined to stay fit and focused throughout the Sanya Ladies Open, which gets underway at Yalong Bay Golf Club in Sanya, Hainan Island, from Friday.
“Since I won in India, I can play in Dubai and next year I will play in the Evian Championship, so I’m happy about that,” she said.
“I have time to celebrate and party when I go home next week. For now, I’m going to focus on this tournament and do the same as last week: focus on every shot.”
This is Camille’s first visit to China and she is enjoying her stay in Sanya on Hainan Island, which is known as the ‘Hawaii of China.’
“I think China is really cool and I like the beautiful nature here, as well as in India, because it’s very different from European nature, with different flowers, green mountains and pristine vegetation, as well as the sandy beaches. I don’t know the course well yet, but it is well maintained and I am looking forward to playing and placing my shots wisely, which is what I did well last week.”
This will be the eighth consecutive Sanya Ladies Open at Yalong Bay Golf Club, which is hosting its 18th professional golf tournament in total.
While Camille is playing in the event for the first time, fellow rising star Simin Feng, is playing in her third Sanya Ladies Open.
The 22-year-old, originally from Beijing, recorded a best finish of tied 31st in the tournament in 2015 and she said: “It is like China’s paradise here and a great tourist destination. This year, we have made it a home as we have bought a house on the island, so I am really enjoying my time here. My goal is to play as well as I can. It’s my last event of the year so I will put in everything I have. I’ve been doing some mental training so I’m trying to be more aggressive and more decisive with my shots.”
Camille and Simin joined fellow tournament invitees Victoria Lovelady, Emma Nilsson and Valdis Thora Jonsdottir for a photoshoot at the Ritz Carlton Sanya on Tuesday ahead of the tournament, which has attracted 126 competitors from 27 different countries and is tri-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour, the China Golf Association and the Ladies Asian Golf Tour.

Lee-Anne Pace
‘Queen of Hainan’ looking for hat-trick
Lee-Anne Pace is known as the ‘Queen of Hainan’ by the Chinese media after three wins on the tropical island, at the 2010 and 2013 Sanya Ladies Open, as well as at the Blue Bay LPGA in 2014.
This weekend presents a third opportunity for Pace to lift the Sanya Ladies Open trophy at Yalong Bay Golf Club, which is hosting the championship for the eighth time. Speaking ahead of the three-day tournament, which starts on Friday, she said: “It’s always nice to be back in a place where you’ve won before and I really like the golf course. It’s fun to play, so it will be an exciting week. It’s almost like being on holiday here and at the same time, you play golf and make a living.”
When asked the secret to her success in China, where she also won the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open in 2010, she said: “It’s funny because at home there’s a course with similar grass and I always seem to play well there as well, San Lameer, which is very similar: a resort course and very relaxed. Maybe it suits my personality… off the golf course!
“I’d like to win again and I think I have a chance. I’ve been playing really well lately and getting better and better as the weeks have gone by. I’m putting well, so I’ll hopefully get the ball in the hole.”
Pace, the 2010 Order of Merit winner, who won five titles on the LET that year and added three more in 2013, before winning the SA Open at San Lameer Golf Club in 2014, will be targeting her 10th LET title this weekend.
However, there’s another player looking for a hat-trick: Xiyu Lin from China, who won the title in 2014 and 2015.
Lin, who represented China at the 2016 Olympic Games, said: “I’m happy to play this event eight times in a row. I made some nice breakthroughs here over the years, so I called it my ‘Happy Land’. This year, I didn’t consider my form to be at its best, but I tried to recover to my previous standard. Hopefully, I will find my good vibes here and enjoy the whole week.”
The 2016 winner Supamas Sangchan from Thailand has also returned to defend. The other former winners were Australian France Bondad in 2011 and Cassandra Kirkland from France, in 2012, whom the LET lost to cancer earlier this year

Camille Chevalier, Simin Feng, Victoria Lovelady, Emma Nilsson and Valdis Thora Jonsdottir enjoying their warm-up for the Sanya Ladies Open in Hainan.