Hana Financial Group to sponsor LPGA tournament in Korea for next three years
LPGA Hana Bank Championship to be held October 25-31, 2010
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., February 8, 2010 – The LPGA today announces that Hana Financial Group will title sponsor an LPGA tournament for the next three years, starting this October. The LPGA Hana Bank Championship, a 54-hole official money event, will be held October 29-31, 2010 in the greater Seoul, South Korea area and feature a purse of $1.8 million.
“Hana Bank is focused on expanding internationally with localized strategies devised to fit the needs of a particular audience, something that the LPGA aspires to as well,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “The Hana Financial Group is a great partner for us, and we're fortunate to have them on-board for the next several years as we open our arms to LPGA fans around the world. We thank Hana Financial Group and IMG, the tournament organizers, for their support of the LPGA.”
Today's announcement comes on the heels of the LPGA adding the Sybase Match Play Championship to its 2010 Tour schedule. The complete 2010 LPGA schedule can be found at LPGA.com.
For the past four years, Hana Bank has title sponsored an LPGA tournament, won last year by Na Yeon Choi, a rising Korean star on the LPGA Tour, in an exciting shootout that wasn't decided until the 18th hole of the final round. The 2011 tournament will be held October 10-16, with the 2012 event maintaining the same week in the LPGA Tour schedule.
“Hana Financial Group is excited to expand our partnership with the LPGA by becoming the sole title sponsor for the LPGA Hana Bank Championship beginning this year and through 2012,” said Mr. Young Ho Lim, Senior Executive Vice President, Hana Financial Group. “We are committed to our tradition of supporting the game of women's golf in Korea, and we are confident that joint efforts with the LPGA will help young talents in Korea grow to become globally recognized role models.”
The tournament will feature 69 players, with slots for 50 of the LPGA Tour's top players. Scheduled for late October, the LPGA Hana Bank Championship will help build global excitement for the LPGA Tour as it embarks on the final stretch of the season and the crowning of the LPGA's coveted Rolex Player of the Year, Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year and Vare Trophy titles. “Hana Financial Group is proud to sponsor the LPGA Hana Bank Championship during this exciting period of the year,” Lim said.
LPGA Tour member Hee Young Park expressed, “I am thrilled about Hana Financial Group and the LPGA making such a great agreement. As one of the players sponsored by Hana Financial Group, I appreciate that they made a big decision to keep supporting women's golf." Added In-Kyung Kim, in her third year of sponsorship by Hana Financial Group: “I am so proud that they are hosting a tournament this year. I congratulate both Hana Financial Group and the LPGA for their refreshed alliance.”
Hana Bank is a subsidiary of Hana Financial Group, a holding company which reported $38.5 billion in revenues in 2008. The financial organization recently initiated a globalization drive aimed at creating an `Asian Belt' by building strong overseas networks in China and Southeast Asian countries.
“It is a great honor for IMG to partner with Hana Financial Group and the LPGA to stage the LPGA Hana Bank Championship and continue this rich tradition in Korea,” stated Robbie Henchman, Senior Vice President and Director of Golf Asia-Pacific of IMG. “IMG has been part of the LPGA tradition in Korea since 2002, when Hall-of-Famer Se Ri Pak won the inaugural LPGA Korea tournament.
“IMG is very excited that Hana Financial Group will be continuing this LPGA Korea tradition by supporting the tournament as the title sponsor through 2012. We are confident that with Hana Financial Group's full support of this event, we shall collectively bring to Korea the highest quality golf tournament the country has seen to date. By operating the LPGA Hana Bank Championship, IMG now organizes LPGA events in Thailand, Singapore, and Korea, which demonstrates the strong relationship we have with the LPGA as well as IMG's leadership and broad reach in the Asia market.”
The LPGA, IMG and Hana Financial Group will announce the venue for the LPGA Hana Bank Championship at a later date.