2023 LOTTE Championship: How to watch, who’s playing as the LPGA heads to Hawaii

With just one week to go before the year’s first major, the LPGA heads to Oahu, Hawaii, for the 2023 Lotte Championship. This week serves as the final tune-up for next week’s Chevron Championship, which will make its debut at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas. Taking advantage of the playing preparations are 11 major winners, including world No. 7 and two-time LOTTE champion Brooke Henderson, as well as 2014 Evian Championship and world No. 9 Hyo Joo Kim, who’ll look to defend her 2022 title.

The 27-year-old Kim arrives at Hoakalei Country Club in Ewa Beach off a hot start to the 2023 season. In three starts she’s recorded three consecutive top-10 finishes, finishing T-10 (Honda LPGA Thailand), T-8 (HSBC Women’s World Championship) and most recently T-3 at the LA Open. The LOTTE Championship features a $2 million purse, with the winner earning $300,000 plus 500 Race to the CME Globe points. The cut will be made at top 65 and ties after 36 holes.

This year marks the 11th edition of the Lotte Championship, which was was first played in 2012 and known as the Fields Open. The event was originally staged at Ko Olina Golf Club, where Japan’s Ai Miyazato won by four strokes over Meena Lee and Azahara Munoz. Hoakalei CC will host for for the second straight year after being held at Ko Olina GC from 2009-19, and Kapolei Golf Club in 2021. The tournament was not played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

World No. 1 Lydia Ko is sitting out this week, but she holds the 72-hole scoring record for the event. Ko won by seven strokes in 2021, setting the tournament record for largest margin of victory, and her 28-under 260 at Kapolei GC stands as the third-lowest score to par in LPGA history. The tournament’s 18-hole scoring record is 62, recorded by Lizette Salas in the final round in 2013 and Cristie Kerr in the third round in 2017, both at Ko Olina GC. The lowest round at Hoakalei was 6-under 66, recorded last year by Brittany Altomare and Paula Reto in the fourth round, and Hannah Green in the first round.

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How to watch the 2023 LOTTE Championship

You can watch the 2023 LOTTE Championship on Golf Channel, Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Check out the complete TV and streaming schedule:

  • Wednesday, April 12: 7-11 p.m. ET, Golf Channel and Peacock

Thursday, April 13: 7-11 p.m. ET, Golf Channel and PeacockFriday, April 14: 7-11 p.m. ET, Golf Channel and PeacockSaturday, April 15: 7-11 p.m. ET, Golf Channel and Peacock

Who’s playing in the 2023 LOTTE Championship

The 144-player field includes four of the top-10 players on the Rolex Rankings:

  • No. 7 Brooke Henderson

No. 8 Celine BoutierNo. 9 Hyo Joo KimNo. 10 Georgia Hall

Of note, Hall – a former AIG Women’s Open champion – has finished runner-up in her last two starts (LA Open, Drive On Championship). No. 11 In Gee Chun, the reigning KPMG Women’s PGA winner and one of 11 major champions in the field, will also tee it up this week.

Also in the field are three past champions – Henderson (2018, 2019), two-time major winner Cristie Kerr (2017) and Kim (2022) – plus two winners on the LPGA Tour this season in Henderson and France’s Boutier. Boutier returns to the LPGA Tour for the first time since her victory last month at the LPGA Drive On Championship, which made her the winningest French player in LPGA history with three career wins.

More about the 2023 LOTTE Championship field

Rookies galore at Hoakalei: This week will mark this first time this season that all 31 LPGA rookies for 2023 will be in attendance. Leading the way is 10-time JLPGA winner Minami Katsu of Japan, who recently finished T-7 at the DIO Implant LA Open. Thailand’s Natthakritta Vongtaveelap is also back in action for the first time since finishing solo second at the Honda LPGA Thailand in February.

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At home in Hawaii: Allison Corpuz and Mariel Galdiano are looking to capitalize on a home field advantage as the only two golfers in the field from Hawaii. Corpuz, who hails from Kapolei, is starting her second LPGA season and notched a T-3 finish at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in early March. Galdiano, a sponsor invite this week, is in her second season on the Epson Tour.

Epson Tour players seize opportunity: Epson Tour players Gigi Stoll (USA) and Siyun “Swing” Liu (China) played their way into this week’s event, finishing first and second, respectively, in the qualifier. Stoll, who played college golf at Arizona, arrives at Hoakalei CC off her first Epson Tour victory at the Casino Del Sol Golf Classic in Tucson, Arizona. Liu, a Wake Forest University alumna, has made two cuts in four Epson Tour starts in 2023 and is coming off her season-best finish: a T-9 in Tucson.

Past winners of the LOTTE Championship

YEARWINNERSCOREMARGINRUNNERUP2022Hyo Joo Kim (South Korea)11-under 2772 strokesHinako Shibuno (Japan)2021Lydia Ko (New Zealand)28-under 2607 strokesInbee Park (South Korea), Nelly Korda (USA), Sei Young Kim (South Korea), Leona Maguire (Ireland)2020No eventN/AN/AN/A2019Brooke Henderson (Canada)16-under 2724 strokesEun Hee ji (South Korea)2018Brooke Henderson (Canada)12-under 2764 strokesAzahara Munoz (Spain)

Last year at the LOTTE Championship

South Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim opened with consecutive rounds of 67 at Hoakalei Country Club and held on for a two-stroke win over Japan’s Hinako Shibuno for her fifth career LPGA victory. Kim, who shot 72-71 on the weekend and finished at 11-under 277, made bogey on the 17th hole of the final round to shrink her lead to one stroke, but rebounded with a birdie on the final hole to secure the title.

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More about Hoakalei Country Club

Designed by South Africa’s four-time major champion Ernie Els, Hoakalei Golf Club is located in Ewa Beach in Oahu and opened in 2009. The course is built on a former sugar plantation, located adjacent to the former Naval Air Station Barbers Point, and according to Els, the course is designed to take into account the local trade winds, which can greatly affect how it plays. This week’s scorecard yardage is 6,303 yards and plays as a par 72. Hoakalei CC features 112 bunkers and nine water hazards, which come into play on 13 holes.

Fun fact: According to the club, the name Hoakalei means “reflection of a lei” and comes from a Hawaiian legend about the volcano goddess, Pele. Legend says Pele was traveling across the islands with her sister Hi’iaka, in search of her lover, Lohiau. In the story, Hi’iaka crossed the Ewa Plain and saw a reflection of herself in a spring while adorned with garlands of lehua blossoms, thus the inspiration.

The NBC Golf Research Team contributed to this report.

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