In this week's Stats and Stuff, Ward Clayton breaks down the LPGA HanaBank Championship
Choi’s winning ways at home
Na Yeon Choi is searching for her first victory of 2011 and third consecutive in the LPGA HanaBank Championship this week in South Korea.
Choi has had great success in her homeland tournament, never finishing worse than a tie for 22nd and winning the last two years at the Sky 72 Golf Club (with matching scores of 10-under-par 206). She is currently riding a streak of four consecutive rounds in the 60s on the course. In 2009, Choi defeated Yani Tseng and Maria Hjorth by one stroke and last year she beat Vicky Hurst by two.
A look at Choi’s record in the Hana Bank Championship:
Solheim Cup success
This week’s HanaBank Championship field includes 19 of the 24 members of the Solheim Cup teams from two weeks ago in Ireland. They should be listed among the favorites because in the 11 LPGA Tour events following the Solheim Cup, a Solheim Cup team member has won eight times.
Participants this week include Paula Creamer, Vicky Hurst, Juli Inkster, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lang, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Ryann O’Toole, Morgan Pressel, Angela Stanford and Michelle Wie from the United States team and Sandra Gal, Sophie Gustafson, Maria Hjorth, Catriona Matthew, Azahara Munoz, Anna Nordqvist, Suzann Pettersen and Karen Stupples from the International team.
Hurst’s best career finish
Last year’s runner-up finish to Na Yeon Choi was the best finish of Vicky Hurst’s professional career. She has finished tied for 15th and second in her two career starts at the HanaBank Championship. She also shared the first-round lead last year with a 68, her only career lead or co-lead after a round.
HanaBank’s big facility
The Sky 72 Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea is the largest golf course in Northeast Asia. It includes 72 holes and the Dream Golf Range, a round-shaped practice range with 300 tee areas. The range was listed in 2006 as the world’s largest all-around practice range by the Guinness Book of Records.
Thompson family’s big month
Not only did Alexis Thompson become the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history at the Navistar LPGA Classic on September 18, but her family has also joined her in the golf headlines this fall.
Brother Curtis, an 18-year-old freshman on the LSU team, finished second on his team and 32nd overall in his first college tournament in early September and then shot 68 to tie for first in an individual, 18-hole tournament with Centenary.
Older brother Nicholas has moved to 61st on the Nationwide Tour money list. Nicholas, 28, is trying to get into the top 60 and qualify for the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship. The top 25 earn PGA Tour cards for 2012.
Alexis will be an LPGA Tour member in 2012.
This will be the second worldwide professional event in South Korea within the last three weeks. Jay Don Blake won the Songdo IBD Championship on the Champions Tour in Songdo City in mid-September…There are numerous birthdays for World Golf Hall of Fame members in October: Annika Sorenstam will be 41 on Oct. 9; Beth Daniel 55 on Oct. 14; Chako Higuchi 66 on Oct. 13; and Patty Sheehan 55 on Oct. 27.
Topics: LPGA KEB • HanaBank Championship