Five former winners join strong Korean field at Dana Open
A total of 17 Korean golfers, five of them former champions, will compete at this year's Dana Open, starting Thursday in Sylvania, Ohio.
The competitive field includes 2019 champion Kim Sei-young, 2017 champion Kim In-kyung, 2015 champion Chella Choi, 2012 champion Ryu So-yeon and 2010 champion Choi Na-yeon, who all return to the Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio in a bid to repeat their past success.
The most recent Korean winner is Kim Sei-young, who marked her first top 10 finish of the season last week at the CP Women's Open.
The Dana Open is one of the LPGA Tour’s longest-standing events, originally established in 1984 as the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic. This year marks the 37th edition of the tournament.
With No. 1 Nelly Korda of the United States and No. 2 Ko Jin-young not joining the field, No. 3 Minjee Lee of Australia leads as one of seven top-10 golfers at Highland Meadows Golf Club, which also includes two-time Dana Open winner No. 4 Lydia Ko of New Zealand and two-time major champion No. 5 Brooke Henderson, 11-time LPGA Tour winner No. 7 Lexi Thompson and defending champion No. 9 Nasa Hataoka.
World No. 8 Kim Hyo-joo is the highest-ranked Korean going into the Dana Open.
Park Se-ri has the most Dana Open victories with five titles, having won in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2007, and holds the 72-hole scoring record of 23-under-par.
Choi Hye-jin is also part of the Korean contingent and goes into the Dana Open in good form after finishing second at the CP Women’s Open to mark her best result so far this season.
Last week, Choi carded only two bogies throughout the four days, carding her first on the first day on the par-3, eighth, then her second on the first hole on moving day.
She had a bogeyless round on Friday and Sunday, but her second round performance was what saw her tie for the runner-up spot after she smashed through with two eagles and four birdies.
After one bogey and six birdies on Saturday, Choi headed into the final round tied for first, but she kept quiet on Sunday until the par-3 15th, when she finally pulled off her first birdie of the day.
Despite adding another on the last hole, Choi was one shy of clinching her first-ever LPGA trophy.
Choi only joined the LPGA Tour this year, after finishing tied for eighth in the LPGA Q-Series last December to join An and Hong Ye-eun in qualifying for the Tour.
Choi has not missed a single cut in her 18 competitions this season, of which she has 15 top-10 finishes including a third place finish at the U.S. Women's Open this June, and another third place finish at the Lotte Championship in April.
The Dana Open tees off Thursday at Sylvania, Ohio.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]