Let’s chat about golf, friends.
The LPGA is one of those leagues where the action seemingly never stops. As a result, it can be hard to keep up with each and every development in the 2022 Tour. Luckily for those who missed a tournament or two, we at She Plays are here to help you catch up with everything, from Nasa Hataoka’s comeback to Hyo Joo Kim’s hard-earned victory. Here’s what you may have missed so far on the 2022 LPGA Tour.
Winner: Hyo Joo Kim
The Lotte Championship came down to the wire, with Hyo Joo Kim claiming victory by just two strokes over Hinako Shibuno. With her triumph, Kim earned her first victory on this year’s Tour––as well as a windfall of $300,000.
This edition of the Championship was Kim’s tenth attempt at winning. “The records [of my success in the tournament] are not as I expected, as I would expect, and it was a little sad personally for me,” Kim said to the LPGA’s press. “However, I prepared a lot for this year’s championship so it’s all the more meaningful and special for me to win this championship this year.” Kim is 100% percent correct. Her victory is special––and richly deserved––due to the hard work she put in.
Winner: Nasa Hataoka
Nasa Hataoka clinched the LA Open in style last Monday. She ended the competition at 15-under-par––five better than Australian Hannah Green––and posted nothing but 60s throughout, being the only golfer in the tournament to do so. This is her sixth-ever victory on the LPGA Tour.
Interestingly, Hataoka’s win comes days after she fell short of making the cut for the Lotte Championship. After her early exit, which followed two rounds of 75 and 77, it was a bit unclear whether she’d be able to regroup in time for the Open. But she was raring to go in LA, thanks to adjusting her technique just before the competition. If that doesn’t show versatility, what does?
As previously mentioned, Green finished in an impressive second place at 10-under. “It was nice to be a bit more consistent,” she said after the tournament. “I feel like once I get the putter hot, I’m pretty excited to see what’s to come.” Meanwhile, world No. 1 Jin Young Ko had a rough go of it last week, tying for 21st place overall. But fortunately, her bad luck might not last long…
April 28th–May 1st
Less than an hour away from LA, Ko is competing in the JTBC Championship––and by competing, we mean crushing it. She landed at 64 strokes in Round One, a far cry from her 71 at the beginning of the Open. She trails Minjee Lee by just one stroke at the time of writing, meaning that bagging the trophy and winner’s purse in Palos Verdes will be a fight till the end. But even if Ko doesn’t win, it’s great to see her get right back to her best.
Founders Cup and U.S. Open
May 12th–May 15th (FC), June 2nd–5th (USO)
Up next for the women of the LPGA is the Founders Cup, which commences on the 12th of May. But beyond that is the U.S. Open, one of five majors on the yearly tour. Hataoka will hope to build off of her runner-up finish last year, while Kim might look to put another major in her trophy cabinet to pair with her Evian Championship from 2014. And as usual, Ko’s mission is simple: prove why she’s the No. 1 golfer in the league. All three athletes seem to be enjoying good form heading into the remainder of the tour. Now we get to see who can keep it up moving forward.