Allisen Corpuz first competed in the LOTTE Championship as an amateur in 2016, advancing through the Monday Qualifier at age 18 before missing the cut. She was already well known in her native Hawaii as an elite golfer, qualifying for her first USGA championship at age 10 and winning the 2014 Hawaii State Open.
Now a 24-year-old LPGA Tour rookie, Corpuz made a statement in her LOTTE professional debut. Her opening-round 2-under 70 at Hoakalei Country Club put the field’s only kamaʻāina, or Hawaiian resident, into a tie for 13th.
“Playing in this event is so special to me. It's definitely an event that I came out to when I was growing up every year,” said Corpuz. “Especially since one of my close friends, Megan Khang, when she got on tour a couple years ago, (I) came out and followed her for a couple rounds. It's just really special to have a lot of friends and family out here supporting me as well.”
Corpuz, who grew up just 15 minutes from Hoakalei, certainly put her local advantage to use on Wednesday. With winds gusting up to 30 mph, the University of Southern California graduate relied on that innate knowledge of how to manage the Hawaiian weather conditions.
“Just being able to flight my shots a little better, just kind of being a little better at clubbing,” said Corpuz. “Just kind of knowing how the ball will react on these types of greens was really helpful.”