Lee Min-jee, Lydia Ko, Tawatanakit… LPGA stars rain down on Incheon

World No. 7 Lee Minjee Lee (27) of Australia, World No. 9 Lydia Ko (26) of New Zealand, and 2021 Rookie of the Year Patty Tawatanakit (24-Thailand). The stars of the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour will meet Korean fans. The stage is set for the Hana Financial Group Championship on the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour on April 21 at BearsBest Cheongna (par 72-6712 yards) in Incheon.

With a total prize pool of 1.5 billion won, the tournament is second only to the Hanwha Classic (1.7 billion won) in August. In particular, it is held as part of the Ladies Asian Tour Series organized by the Asian Golf Leaders Forum. This has attracted a number of foreign players, most notably Lee Min-ji and Lydia Ko, who are sponsored by Hana Financial Group. With nine career wins under her belt, Lee is the favorite to win the tournament, having won the previous event, the Kroger Queen City Championship. Lee’s main weapon is her ruler-accurate iron shots, and she leads the field with a 74.17% green percentage.

Former World No. 1 Lydia Ko, who has 19 career wins, has cooled off a bit this year. Since tying for sixth at the Honda Thailand in February, she has missed the cut four times in 14 tournaments and hasn’t had a top-10 finish. However, with a strong showing in Korea, it will be interesting to see if he can break out of his slump. She is no stranger to Korean courses, having tied for fifth at the event in 2021 and won the LPGA Tour’s BMW Ladies Championship here last year.

It will also be interesting to see if 2021 LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year Tawatanakit, the “Female DeShambo,” brings her long game to the table. She won her debut major, the ANA Inspiration, with a four-round average drive of 323 yards. However, he has struggled this year with two top-10 finishes and five missed cuts in 18 events. Her driving distance this season is 259.80 yards (63rd).

LPGA player Hye Jin Choi (24, Lotte) will also be looking for a win. Choi won the KLPGA Tour’s Lotte Open in June at the same venue as this tournament. Also traveling to Korea are veteran Sakura Yokomine (JPN), who has 23 career wins on the Japanese Women’s Professional Golf Tour, and long-hitting Bianca Pagdanganan (PIL), who led the LPGA Tour in driving distance in 2020.스포츠토토

The KLPGA Tour players include Lee Ye-won (20-KB Financial Group), who leads the season in money and points, defending champion Kim Soo-ji (27-Dongbu E&C), Park Ji-young (27-Korea Land Trust) and Park Min-ji (25-NH Investment & Securities). Lee and Park are separated by about 70 million won in prize money and eight grand prize points, so a fierce battle for the lead is expected.

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