Golf

S'pore golfer Shannon Tan to tee off in prestigious KLPGA event

Star-studded field includes Olympic bronze medallist Lydia Ko and Major winner Minjee Lee

Singapore national golfer Shannon Tan will be part of an international contingent that will compete at the prestigious Hana Financial Group Championship in South Korea this week. 

This is the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Korea that international golfers will be welcomed back to the 1.5 billion Korean won (S$1.72 million) tournament, which is into its second edition and gets underway at the Adonis Country Club in Pocheon, Gyeonggi-do from Sept 30 to Oct 3.

The Hana Financial Group Championship is part of the Ladies Asian Tour (LAT) Series and is organised by the Asia Golf Leaders Forum, a non-profit organisation founded in 2020 to help advance women’s golf in Asia. 

Tan will tee off in a star-studded field which includes Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medallist Lydia Ko of New Zealand, world No. 10 and Major winner Minjee Lee of Australia, and American Yealimi Noh, who made her Solheim Cup debut earlier this month.

The 17-year-old is among a group of promising young golfers from Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia who are invited by the Hana Financial Group to compete in the tournament. 

This initiative is part of the KLPGA’s "Asia Prospects" campaign, in line with its “Vision 2028” and “Leap Towards Global No. 1 Tour” ambitions.

The "Asia Prospects" campaign provides the new generation of female golfers with the opportunity to compete in an international tournament amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has scuppered many international sporting events in Asia.

Tan said: "It is great that I am able to get the Invitation for this KLPGA event and I am very grateful to be able to travel and participate in such a major event during this time where travelling is restricted and tournaments are limited."

New Zealander Ko has been enjoying a good run of form this year, winning the Lotte Championship in April and clinching the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. She also has eight top-10 finishes this season. 

A keen advocate of women’s golf, the 24-year-old said: “Women’s golf in Asia has been growing and growing over generations. We’ve had so many influential role models in the past and, as players, we are trying to make it a little bit better for our future generations too. Women’s golf in Asia is only going to keep becoming more popular and stronger.”

The Hana Financial Group Championship will be held without spectators, and stringent Covid-19 management measures will be put in place.

Mask wearing is mandatory, and all players and officials must maintain strict social distancing. Players who enter the tournament venue must submit their Covid-19 PCR test result within 72 hours of their first visit to the tournament venue.

Golf