LPGA - Hana Bank Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Friday, October 29th through Sunday, October 31st
SITE: Sky 72 Golf Club (Ocean Course), Incheon, South Korea
COURSE ARCHITECT: Steve Nicklaus (2005)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 6,490
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 372 yds10 - Par 4 387 yds
2 - Par 4 366 yds11 - Par 4 380 yds
3 - Par 3 175 yds12 - Par 3 153 yds
4 - Par 5 550 yds13 - Par 4 325 yds
5 - Par 4 399 yds14 - Par 5 486 yds
6 - Par 4 341 yds15 - Par 4 340 yds
7 - Par 4 410 yds16 - Par 5 527 yds
8 - Par 3 148 yds17 - Par 3 181 yds
9 - Par 5 547 yds18 - Par 4 403 yds
36 3,308 yds36 3,182 yds
Annual:  9th
Television:  Golf Channel - Friday/Sunday -- 12-2 p.m. (et) - taped
Defending Champion:  Na Yeon Choi
Runner-Up:  Yani Tseng, Maria Hjorth
Tournament Record:  200 (Grace Park, 2004)
36-Hole Record:  135 (Grace Park, Kate Golden, 2004; Jin Joo Hong, 2006)
18-Hole Record:  62 (Gloria Park, 2003 - Nine Bridges Golf Club)
Course Record:  66 (Katherine Hull, 2008; Anna Grzebien, Meaghan
  Francella, 2009)
9-Hole Record:  29 (Gloria Park, 2003)
Total Purse:  $1,800,000
Shares:  1st Place - $270,000; 2nd Place - $164,385; 3rd Place - $119,250
2009 Finish
Na Yeon Choi206Jiyai Shin213
Yani Tseng207Brittany Lang214
Maria Hjorth207Anna Nordqvist214
Ran Hong210Se Ri Pak214
Song-Hee Kim212Inbee Park214
Past LPGA Hana Bank Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009Na Yeon Choi (206) -- Yani Tseng, Maria Hjorth
2008Candie Kung (210) -- Katherine Hull
2007#Suzann Pettersen (141) -- Eun-Hee Ji
2006Jin Joo Hong (205) -- Jeong Jang
2005Jee Young Lee (211) -- Carin Koch, Mi Hyun Kim
2004Grace Park (200) -- Annika Sorenstam, Carin Koch
2003Shi Hyun Ahn (204) -- Gloria Park, Se Ri Pak, Laura Davies, Grace Park
2002Se Ri Pak (213) -- Carin Koch
2001Tournament was canceled in the aftermath of September 11th

# - Weather-Shortened

Note:Formerly called CJ Nine Bridges Classic (2001-05), KOLON-Hana Bank
Championship (2006), Hana Bank KOLON Championship (2007-09).

Top Contenders in the Field
Na Yeon Choi---------T-14T-11T-8T-22Won
Maria HjorthT-45T-57---T-43T-13T-12---T-2
Jiyai Shin------------T-4T-23T-176th
Brittany Lang------------T-25T-31T-9T-7
Inbee Park---------------T-40T-38T-7
Jee Young Lee---------WonT-6T-18T-3T-11
Juli Inkster---------------------T-11
Meena Lee---------T-51T-63T-8T-58T-15
Seon Hwa Lee------------T-22T-3T-46T-23
Jimin Kang---T-33T-65T-55---T-52T-7T-25
Paula Creamer---------T-23T-6---T-9T-25
Eun-Hee Ji---------------2nddqT-29
Hee-Won HanT-18T-33T-26T-10T-13---T-3T-34
Katherine Hull---------60th------2ndT-37
Cristie KerrT-60------------T-8---T-44
Shi Hyun Ahn---WonT-4T-10T-22T-8---T-54
Jin Joo Hong------------WonT-56T-60T-58
Suzann Pettersen---T-6------T-9WonT-34---
Michelle Wie---69th------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Jiyai Shin
Darkhorse - Brittany Lincicome
Last Week's Pick to Win (Michelle Wie) - Finished tied for 32nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Mika Miyazato) - Finished tied for 3rd
The LPGA Tour remains in the Far East this week for the second of three straight events in Asia. Jimin Kang won the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia last week. This week's event is the LPGA Hana Bank Championship in South Korea and features only 74 players. The purse increased $100,000 from last year to $1.8 million, with the winner receiving $270,000.

Eight of the top 10 players in the world are in the field, including world No. 1 Cristie Kerr. She is joined by Jiyai Shin (2), 2006 champion Suzann Pettersen (4), defending champion Na Yeon Choi (6), Michelle Wie (7), Song-Hee Kim (8), In Kyung Kim (9) and Paula Creamer (10). Shin currently leads the money list by $62,454 over Choi.

Last year, Choi birdied the 18th hole in the final round to capture her second win of 2009. Playing in her native South Korea, Choi fired a five-under 67 in the final round and finished at 10-under 206, one shot ahead of Yani Tseng and Maria Hjorth. Choi was one of four players with at least two victories in 2009, joining Shin, Lorena Ochoa and Anna Nordqvist.

In 2008, Candie Kung carded a three-under 69 in the final round to win by one stroke over Katherine Hull. Kung completed her first LPGA Tour title in five years at six-under 210.

In 2007, gusting winds prevented players from putting on the greens at Mauna Ocean Golf & Resort and officials were forced to cancel the final round and declare Pettersen the winner. It was the fourth of five wins in 2007 for Pettersen. She shot rounds of 69-72 to finish two rounds at three-under 141. She never teed off Sunday before being declared the winner.

In 2006, Jin Joo Hong closed with a two-under 70 in the final round to win by three strokes over Jeong Jang. Hong, a member of the Korean LPGA Tour, was making her first career start on the LPGA Tour. Despite a double-bogey on the final hole, she finished at 11-under 205 and became the second straight Korean LPGA member, and third in five years, to win the title. She also became the fifth straight Korean to win the event.

South Korean Jee Young Lee completed a wire-to-wire win in 2005 for her first LPGA Tour victory. Lee opened with a tournament-low 65 in the first round and closed with a pair of 73s to end the tournament at five-under 211.

Local favorite Grace Park birdied three of her final four holes in the final round in 2004 to pull away and win by five strokes. Park completed the event with a tournament-record score of 16-under 200.

In 2003, Shi Hyun Ahn made her debut on the LPGA Tour in impressive fashion, as she led from start to finish en route to a three-shot win.

The event was originally set to debut in 2001, but was canceled in the aftermath of September 11th.

No American has ever won the tournament. Brittany Lang and Christina Kim tied for seventh place in both of the last two years, respectively and Cristie Kerr tied for 8th in 2007. In contrast, there have been six Korean winners of this event in its eight-year history.

There have been five holes-in-one in tournament history, the last coming in 2009 when Vicky Hurst aced the 12th hole during the opening round. Kerr made the first ace in 2002, followed by Lorena Ochoa in 2004 and Christina Kim and Joo Mi Kim in 2007.

2002 champion Se Ri Pak is the all-time money leader at the event with $500,800 in earnings. Pak tied for seventh last year and has participated in seven tournaments.

The tournament is being staged at the Ocean Course at Sky 72 Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, for the third straight year. The first four years of the event were held at Nine Bridges Golf Club before moving to Mauna Ocean Golf & Resort in 2006-07.

The LPGA Tour heads to Japan next week for the Mizuno Classic, where Bo Bae Song captured the 2009 title.

10/26 15:18:29 ET

As of October 26, 2010, at 03:18 PM ET