The two-day Ryder Cup-style event features the Feng Shanshan Team, comprising six female pros and seven male amateurs, against the Liang Wenchong Team, made up of six male pros and seven female amateurs.
BEIJING, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- The rising young stars of the China LPGA Tour will get the opportunity to test their mettle against some top talent this week under the guidance of former world No. 1 Feng Shanshan when the Sina Cup tees off Friday in Beijing.
With the backing of Sina.com, a golf media organization in China, the two-day Ryder Cup-style event features the Feng Shanshan Team, comprising six female pros and seven male amateurs, against the Liang Wenchong Team, made up of six male pros and seven female amateurs.
With the (Beijing) Shadow Creek Golf Club serving as the battleground, the two non-playing captains will guide their charges through two sessions on the first day (six fourballs in the morning and six foursomes in the afternoon), followed by 12 singles matches on Saturday.
Each captain must field six pros and six amateurs per session. In the first and second sessions, each team will feature one pro and one amateur. For the final session, the singles, the same-sex players compete against each other.
Feng, the world No. 26 who has won 22 times since turning pro in 2007, is making her debut as a captain. Along with vice-captains Michael Dickie and Li Jiayun, she is leading a team that includes Zhang Weiwei, the reigning CLPGA Tour Order of Merit champion, teenage sensation Yin Ruoning, a three-time winner on the CLPGA Tour this year, and Liu Yan, Du Mohan, Zhang Yunjieand Zhang Jienalin. The male amateurs include Wu Suowei, Yu Yanhao, Peng Bo, Tang Junyi, Chen Peicheng, Zhou Ziqin and Ding Wenyi.
"Preparing for an event as a player I have always started with myself. As a captain, I need to plan as a whole and ensure my players play to the best of their ability," said Feng on Thursday during a practice session at the par-71 Nicklaus Design layout.
"For the fourball matches, I would pair an aggressive player with a steady player. If some players knew each other and were comfortable out there and recommended that they play together I would take that into consideration. So far, there are one or two teams like that."
Fellow Guangdong native Liang, one of the early pioneers of China golf along with Zhang Lianwei and Chen Jun, is overseeing a team that includes Liu Yanwei, Zhang Huilin, Xiao Bowen, Chao Haimeng, Zhuang Zhu and Fan Shiyu. Outside of Liu, a regular on the Asian Tour, all of the male pros have won events in China. The female amateurs are Cao Yijing, Lu Yuwen, Li Jieni, Deng Jingfan, Lu Jingwen, Yin Xiaowen and Fan Shuang Shuang.
As a veteran of such team events as the World Cup, Dynasty Cup and Royal Cup, Liang called the Sina Cup a "good platform for Chinese players" to help in their development.
"The Shanshan Team is very strong. Since the CLPGA Tour returned from lockdown, three events have already been in the books. All the ladies in her team are good players. They have already shot some low scores and have some high finishes. We have to work on a plan carefully to have a good competition against them," he said.
"For myself, I must encourage our male players. Most of them (five out of the six players) haven't played any events so far this year. Hopefully, this first event can motivate them to play excellent and earn points for the team.
"The first two sessions are key. If you lead after those you can have a great advantage going into the singles matches where we are evenly matched and very close."
The vice-captains for the Liang Wenchong Team are Gu Cuilin and Wang Xinying.
(Beijing) Shadow Creek is a par-71 Nicklaus Design layout that plays a 7,157-yard course for men and 6,135 yards for women. ■