World No. 1 Jin Young KO, KLPGA No. 1 Hyo Joo KIM among players competing in the first of the newly minted Ladies Asian Tour series, for a total purse of KRW 1.5 billion (US$1.3 million)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – Media OutReach – 3 November 2020 – Hana
Financial Group (Chairman Jung-Tai Kim, www.hanafn.com) has announced that the
2020 KLPGA Hana Financial Group Championship is to be held at the Sky72 Ocean
Course on Yeongjong Island, Incheon this week from 5-8 November 2020.
The Hana Financial Group
(HFG) Championship 2020, which has the largest KLPGA total purse of KRW 1.5
billion (US$1.3million), will be the first tournament of the new Ladies Asian
Tour (LAT) series organized by the Asian Golf Leaders Forum (AGLF). AGLF was
officially launched in January this year to jumpstart Asian women’s golf.
The tournament was
originally scheduled for September 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will now be held this week at Sky72 without spectators at the golf course,
with all safety precautions enforced. The organizing committee of HFG Championship
has decided to proceed with the tournament in this format to provide more
playing opportunities to Korean players in the KLPGA to make up for the number
of domestic tournaments that have been cancelled due to the pandemic.
Global top women golfers to play
The HFG Championship
has confirmed the attendance of some top-ranked players, who are rarely seen in
the KLPGA Tours.
Among the 96 players, 13
major champions in the past four years will compete; this includes the current
world No. 1 Jin Young KO, LPGA Tour Players So Yeon RYU, Jeong Eun LEE6 and Hyo
Other KLPGA players confirmed to be playing are 2019
Hana Financial Group Championship winner Ha Na Jang, Ji Hyun KIM, Hye Rim KIM,
Chae Yoon PARK, Shi Hyun AHN, Ji Hyun OH, Da Hyun LEE, Seung Hyun LEE, Hee Jeong
LIM, Su Yeon JANG and Hye Jin CHOI. Past winners Jin Joo HONG and Na Yeon CHOI
will also be playing.
HFG decided to
prioritize players’ health above all, hence invitations to international
players were not extended after taking into consideration the current COVID-19 pandemic
situation, international travel restrictions and quarantine regulations.
As a result, overseas-based
HFG-sponsored players like Rolex World Ranking No. 5 Minjee LEE, former Rolex
World Ranking Lydia KO, rising star Yealimi NOH and Patty TAVATANAKIT will not
be playing in the HFG Championship. This is so that they can remain in the LPGA
tour to accumulate World Ranking points for the 2021 Olympics.
Propelling Asian women’s golf to the next level
The Hana Financial Group has been a strong
supporter of Asian women’s golf since 2006. With its mission to promote Asian
women’s golf, HFG will also be holding the inaugural Hana Financial Group Singapore
Women’s Open next year, co-sanctioned by the KLPGA and the Singapore Golf Association.
The Singapore Women’s Open will also be part of
the 2021 season of Ladies Asian Tour (LAT) series.
AGLF, the organizer of this new LAT series, is
supported by R&A and is working to collaborate with other Asian countries. Tournaments
confirmed to be joining the LAT series in 2021 include the Korean Women’s Open,
sanctioned by the Korean Golf Association, as well as KLPGA’s Asian
co-sanctioned events in China, Taiwan and Vietnam. The LAT series is expected
to have at least 6 events in 2021 across Asian countries. More details will be
announced at a later date.
2020 Hana Financial Group
Championship will be aired on SBS Golf from 5 November in Korea. Check local
broadcasters for local schedules.
About Hana Financial Group Championship
Hana Financial Group
established the Hana Bank Championship in 2009 and has been successfully
hosting the LPGA Tour’s “Hana Bank Championship” until 2018. The
tournament changed its name to Hana Financial Group Championship in 2019 and
this is the second year under the new name, now part of the Ladies Asian Tour. Throughout the
years, the Championship has been the birthplace of world-class players such as
Mexican golf hero Lorena Ochoa, US-based Juli Inkster, Britain’s Laura Davies,
and Taiwan’s Tseng Yani. It has also enabled Korean players like Jin Joo HONG,
Na Yeon CHOI, Jin Young KO, Kyu Jung BAEK and In Gee CHUN to advance into the
world stage of US LPGA.
Asian Tour Series
Tour is a new tour series organised by the AGLF in 2020. Hana Financial Group
Championship will be the first official event of Ladies Asian Tour Series
2020/2021, and is expected to have at least 6 tournaments in 2021 across Asian
countries, including the new Hana Financial Group Singapore Women’s Open 2021,
a Singapore national event co-sanctioned by the Singapore Golf Association and
Hana Financial Group has its roots
in South Korea, founded in 1971 as Korea Investment & Finance Corporation,
the country’s first finance company solely funded by private capital. Founded
on principles of integrity and pioneering entrepreneurship, it has grown from
two branches in Korea to over 840 branches in 24 countries across the globe —
Korea’s largest overseas network — managing in excess of KRW 360 trillion in
assets (as of December 2018). The Group envisions realizing a premier
financial service network, to be a market leader with greater synergy among its
subsidiaries in banking, securities, credit cards, capital, and insurance. The Group
has set its sights on being the world’s most trusted premier financial group
driven by customer experience. This move has seen substantial investments in
China, Indonesia – where it is ranked in the top 20 banks – and Vietnam – where
it now owns 15% of BIDV, the country’s largest lender – as it also moves into
the fintech space.
For more information: http://www.hanafn.com
Golf Leaders Forum
Leaders Forum (AGLF) is a non-profit corporation, led by four founders Mr.
Jung-Tai Kim of Hana Financial Group, Mr. Gwang-Soo Hur of Korea Golf
Association (KGA), Mr. Sang-Yeol Kim of Korea Ladies Professional Golf
Association (KLPGA), and Mr. Kenny Park of Simone. With a mutual understanding
with the R&A and golf associations in Asia such as Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand,
Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, AGLF’s mission is to unite all the Asian
golf associations and create synergies to boost Asian golf to a global arena. Together
with corporate partners, AGLF is working to establish and grow Asian’s own
series of women’s golf by co-developing with existing tournaments or establish
new tournaments in countries across Asia. R&A has put its support behind
AGLF and LAT for this new milestone in Asian Golf.