Defending champ Brooke Henderson leads a strong field as the LPGA Tour returns to action this week in Hawaii with the LOTTE Championship. She will be joined by the tournament’s four previous winners in Cristie Kerr (2017), Minjee Lee (2016), Sei Young Kim (2015), and Michelle Wie (2014).
The LOTTE is an event that is staged from Wednesday through Saturday for the benefit of live television back to South Korea.
As we do each week, here’s a round up of information about what to expect this week in Hawaii.
This week’s Primer is powered by Taylormade Golf.
Tournament: LOTTE Championship
Dates: April 17-20, 2019
Where: Kapolei, Hawaii
Course: Ko Olina Golf Club
Distance: Par 72, 6,397 yards
Architect: Ted Robinson
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $300,000
Defending Champion: Brooke Henderson
TV AND ONLINE
The LOTTE Championship is a relatively new event on the LPGA Tour, having been inaugurated during the 2012 season. Cristie Kerr made history in 2017 with a fantastic weekend effort, leading to the lowest overall score of 20-under par 268.
Past winners include Kerr, Henderson, Minjee Lee, Kim Sei-Young, Michelle Wie, Suzann Pettersen and Ai Miyazato.
The title sponsor is LOTTE, a South Korean-Japanese conglomerate most recognized as one of the leading confectionary companies in Asia.
2019: LOTTE Championship
2016-18: LOTTE Championship Presented by Hershey
2015: LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by Hershey
2012-14: LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf
2017: Brooke Henderson (-12)
2017: Cristie Kerr (-20)
2016: Minjee Lee (-16)
2015: Sei Young Kim (-11)
2014: Michelle Wie (-14)
2013: Suzann Pettersen (-19)
2012: Ai Miyazato (-12)
TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS
18 holes: 62 (-10), Lizette Salas (2013); Cristie Kerr (2017)
36 holes: 134 (-10), Five tied; Su-Yeon Jang (2017)
54 holes: 199 (-17), Su-Yeon Jang (2017)
72 holes: 268 (-20), Cristie Kerr (2017)
Brooke Henderson shot a final-round 3-under 69 at Ko Olina Golf Club to capture the LOTTE Championship by four shots over Azahara Munoz.
Following a struggle on the closing holes of the third round, Henderson clung to a one-shot advantage over playing partner Mo Martin to start the day, but the 20-year old Canadian star quickly emerged as the player to beat, after turning in 34 on a day when red numbers were a rarity.
With Martin (78) stumbling down the leaderboard, and the chasing pack stuck in neutral, Henderson cruised home with two birdies against one bogey en route to a four-day mark of 12-under par.
FINAL TOP 5
1 Brooke Henderson -12
2 Azahara Munoz -8
3 Ariya Jutanugarn -7
3 Shanshan Feng -7
3 Inbee Park -7
If Brooke Henderson wants to become the first repeat champion in the history of the LOTTE Championship, she is going to have to overcome a strong field to claim the crown, including five of the season’s seven winners.The field this week will be led by three of the world’s top-5 ranked players in No. 1 Jin-Young Ko, No. 4 Minjee Lee, and No. 5 Nasa Hataoka.
Legendary Korean Inbee Park (No. 7), along with So Yeon Ryu (No. 9) and Nelly Korda (No. 10) are the other top-10 ranked stars.
Other familiar names include Cristie Kerr, Georgia Hall, Moriya Jutanugarn, Carlota Ciganda, Gerina Piller, Paula Creamer, Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie, Lizette Salas, Danielle Kang, and Shanshan Feng.
FULL FIELD & ODDS
Credits: LPGA Tour Media, Getty Images