The Lotte Championship: LPGA Tournament in Hawaii

The Lotte Championship is held in Hawaii. Tournament winners like Suzzan Pettersen are invited to dance the hula at their trophy presentation. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images 

The Lotte Championship is a women's professional golf tournament on the LPGA Tour. It has been played annually in Hawaii during the spring portion of the tour's schedule since 2012. The stroke-play event, which is played over four days, consists of four rounds of 18 holes for a total of 72 holes in the tournament. The tournament field is made up of 144 golfers; there is a cut following the second round.

One major difference between the Lotte Championship and all other tournaments on the LPGA tour is its schedule. The Lotte Championship tournament is played Wednesday through Saturday, whereas other LPGA tournaments (and most other pro tournaments) take place on a Thursday-Sunday schedule.

This scheduling difference relates to the tournament's title sponsor, the Lotte Group. The Lotte Group is a conglomerate with headquarters in South Korea and Japan. The event's Wednesday-Saturday schedule on Hawaiian time fits best with the needs of the company's South Korean television partners. 

2020 Lotte Championship

  • When: April 15-18, 2020 (Saturday finish)
  • Where: Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii

Winners of the Lotte Championship

In 2018, Brooke Henderson scored a final-round 69 and pulled away to a four-stroke victory. Her winning score was 12-under 276. It was Henderson's sixth career win on the LPGA Tour. The runner-up was Azahara Muñoz. 

The full list of winners, dating back to the first year of the tournament, is as follows:

Year Winner Score
2019 Brooke Henderson 272
2018 Brooke Henderson 276
2017 Cristie Kerr 268
2016 Minjee Lee 272
2015 Sei Young Kim 277
2014 Michelle Wie 274
2013 Suzann Pettersen 269
2012 Ai Miyazato 276

The Golf Course of the Lotte Championship

Ko Olina Golf Club is located in Kapolei, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. It is west of Honolulu via Interstate H-1. The golf course is about 30 minutes away from the Honolulu airport.

For the Lotte Championship, the LPGA sets up Ko Olina as a par-72 playing around 6,400 yards. The course opened in 1990 and was designed by golf course architect Ted Robinson. As part of the Ko Olina Resort, the golf club is open to the public.

Ko Olina has been the site of this tournament every year of the event's existence. Ko Olina previously hosted three other professional tournaments: the Fields Open and Hawaiian Ladies Open (both on the LPGA Tour), and the Champions Tour's Ko Olina Senior Invitational.

Lotte Championship Scoring Records

The 18-hole tournament scoring record is 62, 10-under par at Ko Olina. That score was first recorded by Lizette Salas in the fourth round in 2013 and matched by Cristie Kerr in the third round in 2017. Kerr won the tournament, but Salas lost in a playoff.

The 72-hole scoring record is 269 (19-under-par), recorded by Salas in 2013 and by the golfer who beat Salas in a playoff that year to win the tournament, Suzann Pettersen.

The tournament's largest margin of victory is four strokes, achieved by Ai Miyazato in 2012 and Brooke Henderson in 2018.

Fun Facts About the Lotte Championship

  • During the trophy presentation, tournament winners are draped with a lei and invited to dance the hula with Hawaiian dancers. This tradition usually produces some funny video of golfers who typically appear embarrassed by their lack of hula skills.
  • Sei Young Kim, an LPGA rookie in 2015, won the tournament that year with two great shots that followed one bad one. On the 72nd hole, Kim hit her tee shot into water. But she then chipped in from off the green to tie Inbee Park. Then, on the first playoff hole, Kim holed-out a 150-yard shot from the fairway to win the trophy.
  • Michelle Wie's first (and so far only) win in her home state of Hawaii happened at the Lotte Championship in 2014.
  • When Brooke Henderson became the first two-time and first back-to-back winner in 2019, she also tied Sandra Post with the most LPGA victories by a Canadian — it was Henderson's eighth win.