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 - HanaFinancial Group (Chairman Jung-Tai Kim, www.hanafn.com) has announced that the2020 KLPGA Hana Financial Group Championship is to be held at the Sky72 OceanCourse 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 1.5billion (US$1.3million), will be the first tournament of the new Ladies AsianTour (LAT) series organized by the Asian Golf Leaders Forum (AGLF). AGLF wasofficially launched in January this year to jumpstart Asian women's golf.
The tournament wasoriginally 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 Championshiphas decided to proceed with the tournament in this format to provide moreplaying opportunities to Korean players in the KLPGA to make up for the numberof domestic tournaments that have been cancelled due to the pandemic.
Global top women golfers to play
The HFG Championshiphas confirmed the attendance of some top-ranked players, who are rarely seen inthe KLPGA Tours.
Among the 96 players, 13major champions in the past four years will compete; this includes the currentworld No. 1 Jin Young KO, LPGA Tour Players So Yeon RYU, Jeong Eun LEE6 and HyoJoo KIM.
Other KLPGA players confirmed to be playing are 2019Hana 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 JeongLIM, Su Yeon JANG and Hye Jin CHOI. Past winners Jin Joo HONG and Na Yeon CHOIwill also be playing.
HFG decided toprioritize players' health above all, hence invitations to internationalplayers were not extended after taking into consideration the current COVID-19 pandemicsituation, international travel restrictions and quarantine regulations.
As a result, overseas-basedHFG-sponsored players like Rolex World Ranking No. 5 Minjee LEE, former RolexWorld Ranking Lydia KO, rising star Yealimi NOH and Patty TAVATANAKIT will notbe playing in the HFG Championship. This is so that they can remain in the LPGAtour 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 strongsupporter of Asian women's golf since 2006. With its mission to promote Asianwomen's golf, HFG will also be holding the inaugural Hana Financial Group SingaporeWomen's Open next year, co-sanctioned by the KLPGA and the Singapore Golf Association.The Singapore Women's Open will also be part ofthe 2021 season of Ladies Asian Tour (LAT) series.
AGLF, the organizer of this new LAT series, issupported by R&A and is working to collaborate with other Asian countries. Tournamentsconfirmed 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 Asianco-sanctioned events in China, Taiwan and Vietnam. The LAT series is expectedto have at least 6 events in 2021 across Asian countries. More details will beannounced at a later date.
2020 Hana Financial GroupChampionship will be aired on SBS Golf from 5 November in Korea. Check localbroadcasters for local schedules.
About Hana Financial Group Championship
Hana Financial Groupestablished the Hana Bank Championship in 2009 and has been successfullyhosting the LPGA Tour's "Hana Bank Championship" until 2018. Thetournament changed its name to Hana Financial Group Championship in 2019 andthis is the second year under the new name, now part of the Ladies Asian Tour. Throughout theyears, the Championship has been the birthplace of world-class players such asMexican 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 theworld stage of US LPGA.
About LadiesAsian Tour Series
Ladies AsianTour is a new tour series organised by the AGLF in 2020. Hana Financial GroupChampionship will be the first official event of Ladies Asian Tour Series2020/2021, and is expected to have at least 6 tournaments in 2021 across Asiancountries, including the new Hana Financial Group Singapore Women's Open 2021,a Singapore national event co-sanctioned by the Singapore Golf Association andKLPGA.
About HanaFinancial Group
Hana Financial Group has its rootsin South Korea, founded in 1971 as Korea Investment & Finance Corporation,the country's first finance company solely funded by private capital. Foundedon principles of integrity and pioneering entrepreneurship, it has grown fromtwo 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 inassets (as of December 2018). The Group envisions realizing a premierfinancial service network, to be a market leader with greater synergy among itssubsidiaries in banking, securities, credit cards, capital, and insurance. The Grouphas set its sights on being the world's most trusted premier financial groupdriven by customer experience. This move has seen substantial investments inChina, Indonesia - where it is ranked in the top 20 banks - and Vietnam - whereit now owns 15% of BIDV, the country's largest lender - as it also moves intothe fintech space.
For more information: https://www.hanafn.com
About AsiaGolf Leaders Forum
Asia GolfLeaders 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 GolfAssociation (KGA), Mr. Sang-Yeol Kim of Korea Ladies Professional GolfAssociation (KLPGA), and Mr. Kenny Park of Simone. With a mutual understandingwith 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 Asiangolf associations and create synergies to boost Asian golf to a global arena. Togetherwith corporate partners, AGLF is working to establish and grow Asian's ownseries of women's golf by co-developing with existing tournaments or establishnew tournaments in countries across Asia. R&A has put its support behindAGLF and LAT for this new milestone in Asian Golf.