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LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship Preview, Pairings, and More

A big congratulations goes out to the Republic of Korea for winning the UL International Crown.  They played like champions from beginning to end. The best team won!

Like Team USA did the last time this event was played, they were victorious under immense pressure to win in front of their home fans. This sets up a great match in 2020, when the two favorites will go head to head on a neutral court.

Image result for lpga keb hana bank championship

This week the LPGA moves to South Korea for the playing of the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship. Jin Young Ko will be trying to successfully defend the title she won last year when her 19 under par score of 269, was two strokes better than runner-up Sung Hyun Park. For Ko (a non LPGA member at the time) it was her first win on the LPGA tour.

This is the first of five tournaments on the current "Asian Swing". It is also the start of a six week stretch (without a break) where the season will conclude with the playing of the CME Group Tour Championship.

Image result for ji young ko wins keb
Jin Young Ko will be trying to successfully defend her title.

This will be tournament #27 of 32 on the 2018 LPGA schedule. 

Here are the key details:

Course:  Sky 72 Golf Club Ocean Course
Location:  Incheon, South Korea
Defending Champion:  Jin Young Ko
Winning Score:  68-67-66-68 = 269 (-19)

Final Field:  78 players
Par: 36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,316
Purse:  $2,000,000

My strength of field rating is  70.5% (down from 75.5% last year). Thirty-six of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List (not used for this event) and 38 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. A number of top Korean players are not in the field this week in their home country. Those players include: So Yeon Ryu, I.K. Kim, and Inbee Park. Other players not teeing it up this week include: Georgia Hall, Austin Ernst, Mirim Lee, Stacy Lewis (maternity), Gerina Piller (maternity), and Suzann Pettersen (maternity). Although this being a limited field event lowers my field rating (lack of depth), there are some highly ranked players from other tours which brings my rating back up. They include:
  • Hye Jin Choi (#16 in the Rolex Rankings)
  • Jeongeun Lee (18)
  • Ji Hyun Oh (#34)
  • Seon Woo Bae (#49)
  • Seung Hyun Lee (#51)
  • Ha Na Jang (#54)
  • Da Yeon Lee (#57)
  • Ji Hyun Kim (#59)
  • So Young Lee (60)
  • Ji-Hyun Kim (#70)
  • Jeong Min Cho (#77)
  • A Lim Kim (81)
  • Ji Yeong Kim (#92)
Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
GC October 11  1:30 PM  - 5:30 PM ET (Tape)
GC October 12 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM ET (Tape)
GC October 13 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM ET (Tape)
GC October 14 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM ET (Tape)

There is a 13 hour time difference between ET and Incheon.

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
1- Sung Hyun Park - World's #1 player needs a solid finish to stay there
2- Ariya Jutanugarn - A win here could put her on top of rankings
3- Lexi Thompson - Still looking for that first win of 2018

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- In Gee Chun - Has played well here before
2- Brooke Henderson - Always in the mix
3- Jin Young Ko - Looking to wrap up Rookie of the Year award

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Hye Jin Choi - Yes, she could win this
2- Jodi Ewart Shadoff - Still searching for that first win
3- Bronte Law - My upset special

This Week's Trivia Question:
In the previous 16 years that this tournament has been held, only one American player has won. Can you name her?

For the answer to this week's trivia question press here.

Here are the final results:
1 In Gee Chun -16 F
2 Charley Hull -13 F
3 Sung Hyun Park -12 F
3 Minjee Lee -12 F
3 Ariya Jutanugarn -12 F
3 Danielle Kang -12 F
7 Jin Young Ko -11 F
8 Nasa Hataoka -10 F
8 Seon Woo Bae -10 F
10 Nelly Korda -9 F
11 Carlota Ciganda -8 F
11 Lydia Ko -8 F
13 Lexi Thompson -7 F
14 Ji Yeong2 Kim -6 F
14 Jeongeun6 Lee -6 F
14 Mi Hyang Lee -6 F
14 Ji Hyun Kim -6 F
14 Brooke Henderson -6 F
19 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -5 F
19 Sandra Gal -5 F
21 Moriya Jutanugarn -4 F
21 Sei Young Kim -4 F
21 Hye Jin Choi -4 F
21 Bronte Law -4 F
21 Azahara Munoz -4 F
21 Jeong Min Cho -4 F

Be sure to check back here daily for any LPGA news or updates.  They will be posted here at the bottom of this blog. 
Tournament results will be posted here at the end of each round. Links to all Women's Tour scoreboards can be found on the right side of this page 
(or on pull down menu on mobile website).


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