South Korean golfer Kim Hyo-joo will try to win her second consecutive victory and her first win of the season at the Lotte Championship to take place on Thursday at Hoakalei Country Club in Hawaii. The 28-year-old has hoisted her fifth LPGA Tour trophy at the 2022 Lotte Championship, but she has never succeeded in defending the title.
LPGA picked three players to watch at the Lotte Championship, one of which was Kim Hyo-joo. “Kim has barely missed her sixth LPGA Tour win at the DIP Implant LA Open […] Kim may find the final push she needs to vault her to the top of the leaderboard [at the Lotte Championship,]” the LPGA stated. Indeed, Kim has been showing good shots this season. So far, she has recorded three consecutive top-10 finishes this season, tying for third place at the DIO Implant LA Open, which finished on April 3 and finishing T-10 at the Honda LPGA Thailand and T-8 at the HSBC Women’s World Championship.
That the world’s top-ranking players are sitting out this week presents a good winning chance for Kim. Six of the top 10 players will not participate in the Lotte Championship, including World No. 1 Lydia Ko of New Zealand, No. 2 Nelly Korda of the U.S., and No. 3 Ko Jin-young of South Korea, to prepare for the Chevron Championship 2023 to take place on April 20, the first major LPGA tournament of the year.
Han Hee-won, a commentator, forecasted Kim’s victory at the Lotte Championship. “A competition near the Hawaiian coast is always a windy one. Kim has maintained consistent performance. Considering good shots Kim has been showing lately, Kim will be able to deliver good results,” Han said.
“Like many people, I hope to defend my title at the Lotte Championship,” Kim said. “Personally, I like to play in Hawaii. I will do my best to show good performance.”