Pro Golf Weekly

Primer: 2018 TOTO Japan Classic – History, TV, Field, Odds

The fifth leg of the LPGA’s six-tournament Asian Swing takes the professional women’s golf tour to Shiga, Japan for the 46th playing of the TOTO Japan Classic.

TOTO Japan Classic
Yani Tseng during the second round of the TOTO Japan Classic at the Kintetsu Kashikojima CC on November 7, 2015 in Shima, Japan. Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images

World No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 So Yeon Ryu will headline a 78-player field at Seta Golf Club which also includes top-10 ranked stars Minjee Lee (5), Lexi Thompson (7), Brooke Henderson (8), Shanshan Feng (9) and Jin-Young Ko (10).

Americans Danielle Kang and Nelly Korda, the two most recent winners in Asia, will also tee it up this week, as will familiar names such as Marina Alex, In Gee Chun, Nasa Hataoka, Sei Young Kim, Pernilla Lindberg, Annie Park, Angela Stanford, and Lydia Ko.


THE SKINNY

Tournament: TOTO Japan Classic
Dates: Nov. 2-4, 2018
Where: Shiga, Japan
Course: Seta Golf Club
Distance: Par 721, 6608 yards
Format: 78 players, 54 holes, no cut, stroke play
Purse: $1,500,000
Winning Share: $225,000
Defending Champion: Shanshan Feng
Marquee Players: Feng, Ariya Jutanugarn, So Yeon Ryu, Minjee Lee, Brooke Henderson, Shanshan Feng, Jin-Young Ko, Danielle Kang, Nelly Korda, Marina Alex, In Gee Chun, Nasa Hataoka, Sei Young Kim, Pernilla Lindberg, Annie Park, Angela Stanford, and Lydia Ko.


TV COVERAGE

Rd1: Thu 11:00 pm – 2:00 am (GOLF)
Rd2: Thu 11:30 pm – 2:30 am (GOLF)
Rd3: Thu 10:30 pm – 1:30 am (GOLF)
All times EST


HISTORY

The TOTO Japan Classic was first played in November 1973, and has been contested as an LPGA tournament every year since.

Shanshan Feng poses with the winner’s check after taking the 2016 title at the Toto Japan Classic. Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

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. Chinese Shashan Femng has won the last two editions.

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.

RECENT WINNERS
2017: Shanshan Feng (-19)
2016: Shanshan Feng (-13)
2015: Sun-Ju Ahn (-16)
2014: Mi Hyang Lee (-11)
2013: Teresa Lu (-14)
2012: Stacy Lewis (-11)


THE FIELD: BY THE NUMBERS

WORLD TOP 10 (7)

There are seven players in the field who are ranked in the Rolex Rankings’ top 10.

  • Ariya Jutanugarn (1)
  • So Yeon Ryu (3)
  • Minjee Lee (5)
  • Lexi Thompson (7)
  • Brooke Henderson (8)
  • Shanshan Feng (9)
  • Jin-Young Ko (10)

2018 LPGA WINNERS (17)

There are 17 players (of 24) in the field who have won in 2018.

  • Marina Alex (Cambia Portland)
  • In Gee Chun (KEB Hana Bank)
  • Danielle Kang (Buick)
  • Nasa Hataoka (Walmart)
  • Brooke Henderson (LOTTE, CP Women’s Open)
  • Eun-Hee Ji (Kia)
  • Sei Young Kim (Thornberry)
  • Jin Young Ko (ISPS Handa Australian Open)
  • Lydia Ko (MEDIHEAL)
  • Nelly Korda (Swinging Skirts)
  • Ariya Jutanugarn (Kingsmill, U.S. Women’s Open, ASI Scottish Open)
  • Minjee Lee (Volvik)
  • Pernilla Lindberg (ANA Inspiration)
  • Annie Park (ShopRite)
  • So Yeon Ryu (Meijer)
  • Angela Stanford (Evian)
  • Thidapa Suwannapura (Marathon)

FORMER TOTO JAPAN CLASSIC WINNERS (5)

There are five past champions in the field this week.

  • Shanshan Feng (2017, 2016)
  • Sun-Ju Ahn (2015)
  • Teresa Lu (2013)
  • Momoko Ueda (2011, 2007)
  • Jiyai Shin (2010, 2008)

FULL FIELD: WORLD RANK & ODDS

TOTO Japan Classic | Seta Golf Club | Shiga, Japan | Nov. 2-4, 2018


Credit: LPGA Tour Media, Getty Images


Kevin Reid

Kevin Reid is a Pro Golf Weekly producer and contributor.

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