The prestigious Hana Financial Group Championship is back for its second edition and for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea, international golfers will be welcomed back to the tournament, which gets underway at the Adonis Country Club in Pocheon, Gyeonggi-do, from September 30 – October 3.
The Hana Financial Group Championship offers a lucrative prize purse of KRW 1.5 billion (approximately US$1.2 million). It is part of the Ladies Asian Tour (LAT) Series, organised by the Asia Golf Leaders Forum, a non-profit organisation founded last year to help advance women’s golf in Asia,
The tournament has already confirmed the participation of several of the world’s leading women’s golfers, including New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games bronze medallist, world number 10 Minjee Lee of Australia, who clinched her first Major title in France in July, and American Yealimi Noh, who made her Solheim Cup debut earlier this month.
In line with the KLPGA’s “Vision 2028” and “Leap Towards Global No. 1 Tour” ambitions and as part of its ‘Asia Prospects’ campaign, Hana Financial Group is also extending its invitation to promising Asian young golfers from Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia to compete in the tournament.
This campaign provides the new generation of emerging female golf stars with the opportunity to compete in an international tournament amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has scuppered the sporting schedules of many international events in Asia.
Singapore’s Shannon Tan, Malaysia’s Norezrine Alisa and Noraishah Alisa along with Thailand’s Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong, Jaravee Boonchant and Onkanok Soisuwan have accepted their invitations and will tee off next Thursday.
Apart from showcasing world-class golf action, the Hana Financial Group Championship is committed to being an eco-friendly golf tournament with environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) values that align with the group’s ‘Big Step For Tomorrow’ campaign.
A variety of recycled and eco-friendly products will be introduced to ensure the tournament remains at the forefront of sustainability efforts. In collaboration with local Korean designer Ha-neul Kim, plastic vases will be upcycled using scrap material and defective masks, thrown away at factories.
The vases will be used as tee markers for each hole, conveying the message that ‘trash can be recycled, and new life can emerge. These vases will then be distributed to participating players, reiterating the importance of ESG practice.
Live plants will form the backdrop of the tournament’s eco photo wall and be placed in the upcycled vases once the tournament is over. The tournament will provide eco-friendly water bottles made from paper and sugar canes produced by social innovation companies from the ‘Hana Social Bench Academy’ – a Hana Financial Group program that fosters social innovation entrepreneurs.
As part of its recycling efforts, major equipment and tools used throughout the tournament, such as advertising boards and fences, will be re-used for the Hana Bank Invitational, held from October 21.
Like last year, the tournament will hold a charity event where Hana Financial Group will match the donation amount from participating players again. If a player donates 1% of their prize earnings, Hana Financial Group will match it and contribute an additional 30 million won to the local community.
Other charity opportunities at the tournament include the ‘birdie’ and ‘eagle’ donation holes, where players commit a certain amount of money for every birdie or eagle they record in selected holes. There will also be a fun ESG golf quiz game featuring the tournament players set to air on Hana Financial Group’s official YouTube channel, ‘Hana TV’.
The Hana Financial Group Championship will be held without spectators, and stringent COVID-19 management measures will be in place to ensure it remains safe for all involved. 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.
As part of its measures, the ‘Hana Total Management Platform’ has also been developed to record visitors’ body temperatures during QR check-ins to the tournament venue. These records will be privately stored and used for future tournaments. It can efficiently manage the flow of visitors while building a secure database.
Hana Financial Group Championship Tournament Director, Paul Park said: “Being the first international tournament in Korea since the Covid-19 outbreak, the Hana Financial Group Championship has taken thorough and extensive precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the players, caddies, and event officials. In particular, a separate hotel and shuttle bus has been prepared to be exclusively used for players coming in from overseas.
“As the second tournament in the 2021 LAT series and the biggest major tournament in Asia, the Hana Financial Group Championship will be broadcast internationally for golf fans to enjoy all over the world. For the future development of golf in Asia, we thank you for your interest and viewership in the tournament.”
About Hana Financial Group Championship
The tournament made its debut on the LPGA Tour in 2006 as the KEB Hana Bank Championship until 2018. It paved the way for KLPGA tour stars and past champions, including Na-yeon Choi (2009,2010), Amy Yang (2013), Kyu-jung Baek (2014), Jin-young Ko (2017) and In-gee Chun (2018), to advance their careers on the LPGA tour. In 2019, the tournament became part of the KLPGA schedule as its focus shifted to revitalising women’s golf in Asia. Ha-na Jang became the tournament’s first champion that year. The Hana Financial Group Championship joined the Ladies Asian Tour series in 2020, where Na-rin An clinched the championship with a record winning total of eight-under-par 280. As a ‘major tournament in Asia’ that seeks to develop and revitalise Asian women’s golf, the Hana Financial Group Championship will be broadcast live throughout 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
About Hana Financial Group
Hana Financial Group has its roots in South Korea, founded in 1971 as Korea Investment & Finance Corporation, the country’s first finance company solely funded by private capital. Founded on principles of integrity and pioneering entrepreneurship, it has grown from two branches in Korea to over 840 branches in 24 countries across the globe – Korea’s largest overseas network – managing in excess of KRW 360 trillion in assets (as of December 2018). The Group envisions realising a premier financial service network, to be a market leader with greater synergy among its subsidiaries in banking, securities, credit cards, capital, and insurance. The Group has set its sights on being the world’s most trusted premier financial group driven by customer experience. This move has seen substantial investments in China, Indonesia – where it is ranked in the top 20 banks – and Vietnam – where it now owns 15% of BIDV, the country’s largest lender – as it also moves into the fintech space.
For more information: http://www.hanafn.com
About Ladies Asian Tour Series
Ladies Asian Tour (LAT) Series is a group of ladies’ professional golf tournaments in Asia for Asian ladies’ golfers created by coalition among sanctioning bodies in the region of Asia. The purpose of Ladies Asian Tour (LAT) Series is to create Asian’s own series by not interfering sanctioning bodies in this region but promote Ladies’ golf at the more competitive level in order to secure more fans on Ladies Asian Tour (LAT) series. Hana Financial Group Championship will be the second official event of Ladies Asian Tour Series 2021.
About Asia Golf Leaders Forum
Asia Golf Leaders Forum (AGLF) is a non-profit organization, led by four founders Mr. Jung-Tai Kim of Hana Financial Group, Mr. Gwang-Soo Hur of Korea Golf Association (KGA), Mr. Sang-Yeol Kim of Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA), and Mr. Kenny Park of Simone in 2020. With a mutual understanding with the R&A and golf associations in Asia such as Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, AGLF’s mission is to unite all the Asian golf associations and create synergies to boost Asian golf to a global arena. Together with corporate partners, AGLF is working to establish and grow Asian’s own series of women’s golf by co-developing with existing tournaments or establish new tournaments in countries across Asia. R&A has put its support behind AGLF and LAT for this new milestone in Asian Golf.