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September 24, 2017

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Tseng in ladies' threesome with Creamer

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's Yani Tseng, world No. 2 Suzann Pettersen of Norway and world No. 6 Na Yeon Choi of South Korea will lead the featured pairings on the opening day of the US$2 million Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship.

The three players will be among the last four power-packed groups to tee off Thursday morning.

Tseng, a former world No. 1, will be in a threesome with American Paula Creamer and South Korean Hee Young Park that tees off at 9:30 a.m. from the first tee.

They will be followed 10 minutes later by Pettersen, who is the defending champion, Lexi Thompson of the United States and Ai Miyazato of Japan.

Choi, grouped with world no. 9 Catriona Matthew of Scotland and Michelle Wie of the U.S., will set off at 9:50 a.m.

The final threesome of the day from the first tee, setting off at 10 a.m., will be comprised of Spaniard Beatriz Recari, Japanese Mika Miyazato and Thai Pornanong Phatlum.

With 78 players in the field, groups will be teeing off Thursday from both the first and 10th tees.

Tseng comes into the event looking to recapture some of the form and consistency that kept her ranked in the top 10 in the world from mid-2008 to July 2013.

She is now ranked 25th after suffering through a difficult 2013, in which she has more missed cuts (six) than top-10 finishes (four).

She showed signs of playing better on the first leg of the LPGA Tour's fall Asian swing, the Reignwood LPGA Classic in Beijing, in which she finished sixth, but then struggled at the next stop in Malaysia and finished tied for 32nd at the HanaBank Championship in Korea last week.

Tseng was confident she could perform well on her home turf, saying that her familiarity with the course, one she played on regularly as a teenager, may still give her an edge.

"I'm very used to this course and the strong winds," said the 24-year-old golfer, who finished third at the Taiwan stop on the LPGA Tour last year and won the tournament the year before.

Among earlier Thursday pairings worth noting, Taiwan's Candie Kung will tee off on the 10th hole at 9:10 a.m. Spain's Azahara Munoz will set off from the 10th tee at 9:30 a.m., and Brittany Lang of the U.S. will follow 10 minutes later.

Five of the top 10 players on the LPGA Tour money list -- Pettersen, Recari, Thompson, Choi and Park -- are competing this week at the Sunrise Golf & Country Club in Yangmei.

One-day ticket prices are NT$1,000 (US$34) on Thursday and Friday and NT$2,000 and NT$2,500 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Free shuttle bus service to the course will be available for ticket holders from the high-speed railway's Taoyuan station and Taiwan Railway Administration's Yangmei station starting from 7 a.m. during the Oct. 24-27 tournament.

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