The fourth leg of the LPGA’s five-tournament Asian Swing takes the professional women’s golf tour to Omitama, Ibaraki, Japan for the 45th playing of the TOTO Japan Classic.
World No. 1 So Yeon Ryu and No. 3 Lexi Thompson will headline a 78-player field at Taiheyo Club which also includes American stars Michelle Wie and Stacy Lewis.
The TOTO Japan Classic was first played in November 1973, and has been contested as an LPGA tournament every year since.
The tournament has had various names and sponsors throughout its history. Its current title sponsor is Toto Ltd. – a Japanese bathroom products supplier.
LPGA legend Annika Sorenstam won the tournament for five consecutive years from 2001-2005, and is the tournament’s all-time money winner.
The Japanese tournament is contested over 54-holes with no cut, and limited to 78-players. The purse was $1.5 million with the winner receiving $225k.
NAME: TOTO Japan Classic
COURSE: Taiheyo Club – Minori Course
WHERE: Ibaraki, Japan
DISTANCE: 6,608 Yards, Par 72
FIELD: 78 players
FORMAT: 54-hole stroke play/no cut
TOTAL PURSE: $1,500,000
WINNING SHARE: $225,000
2016 WINNER: Shanshan Feng (China)
2016 RUNNER-UP: Ha Na Jang (Korea)
GOLF CHANNEL COVERAGE
ROUND 1: THU 11:00 PM – 2:00 AM
ROUND 2: FRI 11:30 PM – 2:30 AM
ROUND 3: SAT 10:30 PM – 1:30 AM
2016 WINNER IN JAPAN
In 2016, China’s Shanshan Feng followed up her win in Malaysia at the Sime Darby LPGA with a three-round 13 under to capture the TOTO Japan Classic by one stroke over Korea’s Ha Na Jang.
The win was the sixth of her career and brought her season-earnings to that point to $1,416,301.
Feng will once again be in the field at Taiheyo Club, as will six other former tournament winners, headlined by Lewis (2012).
RECENT TOTO JAPAN CLASSIC WINNERS
2016: Shanshan Feng (-17)
2015: Sun-Ju Ahn (-16)
2014: Mi Hyang Lee (-11)
2013: Teresa Lu (-14)
2012: Stacy Lewis (-11)
2011: Momoko Ueda (-19)
2010: Jiyai Shin (-18)
THE FIELD: BY THE NUMBERS
2017 LPGA WINNERS (12)
There are 12 players in the field who have won in 2017.
Brooke Henderson (Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open)
Lexi Thompson (Kingsmill Championship, Indy Women in Tech Championship)
Anna Nordqvist (Bank of Hope Founders Cup, The Evian Championship)
So Yeon Ryu (ANA Inspiration, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship)
Shanshan Feng (LPGA Volvik Championship)
Ariya Jutanugarn (Manulife LPGA Classic)
Eun-Hee Ji (Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship)
Danielle Kang (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship)
Sei Young Kim (Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Match Play)
Mi Hyang Lee (Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open)
Stacy Lewis (Cambia Portland Classic)
Haru Nomura (Volunteers of America Texas Shootout)
FORMER TOTO JAPAN CLASSIC WINNERS (7)
There are six past champions in the field this week.
Shanshan Feng (2016)
Sun-Ju Ahn (2015)
Mi Hyang Lee (2014)
Teresa Lu (2013)
Stacy Lewis (2012)
Momoko Ueda (2011, 2007)
Jiyai Shin (2010, 2008)
Credit: LPGA Communications, Getty Images