New LPGA Hawaii Event Is Happening After All (Woot!)
By Stephanie Wei under LPGA


Great news — the “New Hawaii Event” on the LPGA’s 2012 schedule will indeed take place (with a Saturday finish as we suspected). Which also means there might be three new tournaments in North America (again, nice work to Commissioner Mike Whan). Here’s the press release:

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, Jan. 5, 2012 – The LPGA today announced a three-year agreement with LOTTE, one of the most respected industrial conglomerates in Korea and Japan, to return to the Hawaiian Islands with the $1.7 million LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf, beginning in 2012. The tournament, which will be played April 18-21 with a Saturday finish on Oahu, will feature 144 players. The LPGA Lotte Championship Presented by J Golf will be televised by Golf Channel. The tournament venue will be announced in the coming weeks.

“We are honored that such an established and well-respected conglomerate like LOTTE has chosen the LPGA to expand its global platform,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “Together with LOTTE and J Golf, we look forward to returning to the Hawaiian Islands, where our Tour has such a great history of fantastic golf.”

The LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf joins the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Waterloo, Canada and the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Kroger, Owens Corning and O-I as announced events that have been added to the 2012 tournament schedule.

LOTTE, which is already well recognized as one of the most active golf sponsors of Korea, has achieved successful marketing in Asia through the LOTTE Mart KLPGA Open, the LOTTE Cantata KLPGA Open, the LOTTE Mart Women’s Golf Team and the LOTTE Card Women’s Amateur Golf Tournament.

“We are honored to host the LPGA LOTTE Championship in Hawaii and to showcase our business, as well as the world’s best golfers, to a global stage,” said Kag-Gyu Hwang, President of the Global Business Division of LOTTE Corporate Headquarters. “Through this tournament, we will align LOTTE’s tremendous success and prosperity with the LPGA and increase our visibility as Asia’s top global conglomerate.”

LOTTE’s sponsorship of the LPGA marks the company’s first foray into global sports sponsorship outside of Asia.

J Golf, the LPGA’s television rights holder in Korea, will serve as presenting sponsor of the event. J Golf is distributed to 8 million homes in Korea.


No official word yet on the venue. Stay tuned…but what’s important is Whan locked up a new event and sponsor. /slowclap

Here’s the unofficial-official 2012 schedule that was distributed to the players recently:


Feb. 6-12 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open $1.1M (Victoria, AT)
Feb. 13-19 Honda Thailand $1.5M (Thailand)
Feb. 20-26 HSBC Women’s Champions $1.4M (Singapore)
March 12-18 RR Donnelley Founders Cup $1.5M (Phoenix, AZ)
March 19-25 Kia Classic $1.7M (La Costa, CA)
March 26-1 Kraft Nabisco Championship $2.0M (Palm Springs, CA)
April 9-15 Tres Marias (Unlikely – due to safety) $1.2M (Morelia, MX)
April 16-22 New Hawaii Event* TBD
April 23-29 Mobile Bay LPGA Classic $1.2M (Mobile, AL)
April 30-May 6 HSBC Brasil Cup 2012 – Unofficial $0.8M (San Paulo, BR)
May 14-20 Sybase Match Play Championship $1.5M (Gladstone, NJ)
May 28-3 ShopRite LPGA Classic $1.5M (Atlantic City, NJ)
June 4-10 Wegmans LPGA Championship $2.5M (Rochester, NY)
June 18-24 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic $1.3M (Waterloo, ON)
June 25-1 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship $2.0M (Rogers, AR)
July 2-8 U.S. Women’s Open $3.25M (Kohler, WI)
July 23 Evian Masters $3.25M (Evian les Bains, France)
Aug. 6-12 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic $1.3M (Toledo, OH)
Aug. 13-19 Safeway Classic $1.5M (North Plains, OR)
Aug. 20-26 CN Canadian Women’s Open $2.25M (Vancouver, BC)
Aug 27-2 New Domestic Event TBD
Sept. 10-16 Ricoh Women’s British Open $2.75M (Wirral, UK)
Sept. 17-23 Navistar LPGA Classic $1.3M (Prattville, AL)
Oct. 1-7 New China Event TBD
Oct. 8-14 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia $1.9M (Malaysia)
Oct. 15-21 LPGA Hana Bank Championship $1.8M (Korea)
Oct. 22-28 Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship $2.0M (Taiwan)
Oct. 29-4 Mizuno Classic $1.2M (Japan)
Nov. 5-11 Lorena Ochoa Invitational $1.0M (Guadalajara, MX)
Nov. 12-18 CME Group Titleholders $1.5M (Naples, FL)
Dec. 9 Wendy’s 3 Tour Challenge – Unofficial $1.0M (Henderson, NV)