History

The Honda LPGA THAILAND

The Honda LPGA THAILAND is a world-class women’s golf tournament sanctioned by LPGA, organized by BBTV Channel 7 and Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co. Ltd. The inaugural Honda LPGA THAILAND debuts in October 2006 by gathering the world’s top 50 on the LPGA Money List and granting another 10 sponsors invites to compete for 1.3 million USD. Hee-Won Han from South Korea become the first winner of the tournament by recording a four round total 14 under par 202, triumphing over Diana D’Allesio from the United States by 5 strokes.

For the 2nd edition in October 2007, the tournament moved to Siam Country Club Pattaya Old course where Suzann Pettersen of Norway took the lead after the first round and never looked back. She led after each day and finished 21 under par with a four round total of 267, holding off Laura Davies of England.

Unfortunately, in 2008 the LPGA were making adjustments to the tour, so the Honda LPGA THAILAND did not take place. In February 2009, the Honda LPGA THAILAND was back and that year the tournament visited Siam Country Club Pattaya Plantation course, Lorena Ochoa of Mexico played a terrific final round of 6 under 66 to snatch the win away from third round leader Paula Creamer of the US and Park He-Young by 3 strokes.

In 2010, the tournament returned to Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course. Ai Miyazato of Japan started her final round 6 strokes behind the 2007 champion, Suzann Pettersen. In dramatic fashion she drained a 30 foot one putt on the 18th hole to record a 21 under 267 and won the tournament by 1 stroke ahead of Suzann Pettersen.

In 2011, Yani Tseng of Taiwan entered the Honda LPGA THAILAND as one of the hottest player on tour, having won 3 events back to back in 3 weeks. She continued her fine form and finished 1 stroke ahead of In-Kyung Kim and Michelle Wie with a four day total 15 under par 273 and won the tournament in style.

In 2012, the Honda LPGA THAILAND increased its field from 60 players to 70, taking the world’s top 60 from the LPGA money list and adding another 10 sponsor invitations. Yani Tseng was in the mood to repeat her triumph of last year and held off Ai Miyazato to claim her second Honda LPGA THAILAND in a row. This was another dramatic finish with Ai Miyazato and Jiyai Shin birdying the 17th, putting the pressure on Yani Tseng. However the defending champion held her nerve and finished strong to claim her second Honda LPGA THAILAND by 1 stroke over Ai Miyazato, carding a four day total 19 under par 269.

The year of 2013 was the closest a Thai player has ever come to lifting the trophy; Ariya Jutanugarn displayed a maturity far beyond her years. At only 17 years old she had the entire nation behind her. Ariya was the tournament leader going into the final round, chasing her was Inbee Park who began the morning 4 strokes behind but got off to a quick start playing the first 11 holes at 6 under par. Ariya made a hole in one on the 12th hole to take back the lead but then bogeyed the 14th. Inbee Park was the clubhouse leader at 12 under par, leaving the tournament in Ariya Jutanugarn’s hands. It was a heartbreaking moment as she triple bogeyed the 18th, giving Inbee Park the win.

In 2014, Anna Nordqvist of Sweden put together a fine display by taking the first round lead, she never let her guard down. It was the defending champion Inbee Park that kept things interesting however Anna Nordqvist continued to keep a strong hold by shooting a final round 5 under par 68, finishing with a 15 under par 273 to close off an impressive week.

In 2015, Stacy Lewis of the United States was the leader going into the final round. Amy Yang started the day with 2 strokes behind but advanced her way up taking advantage of some mistakes by Stacey Lewis. On the 18th, Amy Yang hit her second shot into the fairway bunker; she held her nerve and played an exquisite shot out to take the tournament away from Stacy Lewis. Amy Yang shot a final round of 3 under par 69 giving her a four round total of 15 under par 273 and finishing ahead of Yani Tseng and Mirim Lee by 2 strokes.

The Honda LPGA THAILAND celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016 with many milestones. First of all, Channel 7 and Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. increased the prize money from 1.5 million USD to 1.6 million USD, breakthough highest prize money on offer for professional female tournament in Thailand. Secondly, the new trophy was introduced which was created by two famous Thai artists: Professor Tavorn Ko-udomvit, Vice President of Art and Culture, Silapakorn University and Associate Professor Ariya Kitticharoenwiwat, instructor at King Mongkut’s institute of technology Ladkrabang. The concept of the trophy was inspired by the relationship between “Human and Nature”. Thirdly, Lexi Thompson shot a final round 4 under par 68 to finish with a 20 under par 268, ahead of In Gee Chun, to become the first American champion of the Honda LPGA THAILAND. Last but not least, Xi Yu Lin from China made a hole-in-one to win a Honda Accord car on the 16th hole for the first time in history of the tournament.

The 11th edition of Honda LPGA THAILAND in 2017 features a pool of talent including World No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, the 20-year-old Thai who is the first to win the major championship. She picked up five LPGA victories in the 2016 season and also won the 2016 Race to CME Globe, Rolex Player of the Year, and Money Title. Lydia Ko, of New Zealand who had four victories in 2016 will return to Honda LPGA THAILAND for the first time as a professional golfer. 19-year-old Canadian, Brooke M. Henderson, picked up her first major - KPMG Women PGA Championships, will also make her first visit to Thailand.

Throughout a decade, Honda LPGA THAILAND continues to grow in popularity each year. The tournament has attracted female golf stars such as Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa, Julie Inkster, Pak Se Ri, Kerrie Web, Inbee Park, Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer and many more. This clearly shows the significance of the Honda LPGA THAILAND to both the players and the fans. Our commitment to inspire youth and give them the opportunity to compete on the world stage has reaped results. There are currently 13 Thai members on the LPGA tour with 9 having full status in 2017. Honda LPGA THAILAND has become an annual highlight on the LPGA Tour, proving with the star-studded fields and the consistent rise in spectators each year. The tournament has always extended its warm hospitality, incorporated Thai culture and traditions into every activity during the week to show off Thailand in the best possible way. Nonetheless, the fund raising event and the activities organized contribute to environmental causes and various foundations with proceeds going to charitable organizations every year.