The Ko Olina Golf Club in Oahu, Hawaii welcomes 144 players this week to compete for a $1.7 million purse at the LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf. The inaugural event is one of five tournaments added to the LPGA’s 2012 tournament schedule.
The LPGA Tour has traveled to the course previously on nine occasions between 1990-1995 and 2006-2008. Paula Creamer is the most recent champion at Ko Olina Golf Club, defeating Jeong Jang by one stroke in 2008. Both will be in the field this week.
Rolex Rankings No. 15 Sun Young Yoo and No. 5 I.K. Kim are also competing this week after a dramatic finish to the Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Kim will be looking for redemption this week after falling short to Yoo in a one-hole sudden-death playoff.
Other players slated to be in the field this week include Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng – a winner of three of the first six LPGA events in 2012, No. 9 Stacy Lewis and No. 119 Karin Sjodin, who all finished in the top-10 at the season’s first major.
Sjodin made a statement two weeks ago after leading the field along with Tseng heading into the final round. She recorded a career-best tie for fourth and will become a Rolex First-Time Winner should she place first this week.
Tseng hasn’t failed to make a top-10 appearance yet this season. If she continues her winning streak, she will record her 16th career victory and will cross the $1 million mark in season earnings.
As one of three Americans in the top 10 of the Rolex Rankings (No. 10 Paula Creamer and No. 4 Cristie Kerr) Lewis has seen the leaderboard the most this season. She was one of six players to participate in a playoff at the season opener in Australia and has also recorded a tie for fifth at the Honda LPGA Thailand, a tie for 10th at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup and a tie for fourth at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. With just two of six tournaments with American winners, many are hoping to see Lewis and many others on the leaderboard this week.