The LPGA Tour returns to Oahu this week for the LOTTE Championship, where Canadian Brooke Henderson is the back-to-back defending champion. Here’s everything you need to know about the event.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Brooke Henderson shot 16-under-par 272 in 2019 to defeat Eun-Hee Ji by four shots and successfully defend her 2018 title.
COURSE: The picturesque course at Kapolei Golf Club opened in 1996 and was designed by Ted Robinson. The layout features elevated greens, 80 bunkers and five lakes.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Back-to-back defending champion Brooke Henderson returns to Hawaii for the first time since 2019 after last year’s event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 23-year-old clearly enjoys this week’s event and, in addition to her two victories, shared 11th place in 2017 and 10th place in 2016.
Henderson is, however, experiencing a slight dip in form by her lofty standards and hasn’t added to her nine LPGA Tour titles since claiming the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give in June of 2019.
RIGHT: Henderson won successive titles at Kapolei in 2018/19. PHOTO: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.
Former champion Minjee Lee claimed the title at nearby Ko Olina in 2016 and has quite an impressive record at this event over the years, sharing 13th place in 2015 and 3rd in 2019.
The 24-year-old – who owns five LPGA Tour titles and 53 top-10s – has only made two starts this year, however she’s wasted no time clicking back into gear, sharing 5th place at the Kia Classic and finishing T25th at the ANA Inspiration two weeks ago.
Lee looks as though she’s added some distance to her tee shots this season, averaging 248 metres compared to last year’s 230 metres.
72-HOLE RECORD: American Cristie Kerr reached 20-under-par 268 in 2017 to defeat Lydia Ko and South Korean duo Su Yeon Jang and In Gee Chun by two shots.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Minjee Lee (2016).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Hannah Green, Katherine Kirk, Minjee Lee, Su Oh, Gabriela Ruffels and Sarah Jane Smith.
Round 1: Thursday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9am –1pm)
Round 2: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 3:30pm –5:30pm)
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 2:30pm – 3:30pm)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9am – 1pm)
*AEST, check local guides