LPGA Returns to Los Angeles for the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open
The LPGA is returning to Los Angeles with a new tournament at Wilshire Country Club, tournament organizers announced today. The HUGEL-JTBC LA Open will debut the week of April 16-22, 2018, at Wilshire Country Club, which is located in downtown Los Angeles in the heart of Hollywood. The tournament will feature 144 of the world’s best female professionals competing over four rounds for a share of the $1.5 million purse.
Founded in 1919 and set in the historic Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, Wilshire is a links course designed by Norman Macbeth. The course has hosted tournaments on the LPGA, PGA Tour and Champions Tour.
“Wilshire Country Club is a strong proponent of women’s golf and our members are honored and excited about today’s announcement,” said David Damus, President of Wilshire Country Club. “Hosting the LPGA at Wilshire is a great opportunity for golf enthusiasts throughout Southern California to witness the best female golfers in the world.”
This is the LPGA’s first return to Los Angeles in more than a decade. The tour’s Office Depot Championship was held at various Los Angeles courses from 2001 to 2005. Wilshire hosted the 2001 event that was won by Annika Sorenstam. The HUGEL-JTBC LA Open will be the third of the four tournaments held in California in 2018, joining the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, the Kia Classic in Carlsbad and a tournament in San Francisco.
“We’re very excited to take the LPGA back to Los Angeles and historic Wilshire Country Club, adding to the Tour’s already prominent presence in Southern California,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “We want to thank our good friends at HUGEL, JTBC and Eiger Marketing Group for providing us the opportunity to bring the stars of golf’s global tour to the heart of Hollywood and put on a show in one of the largest broadcast markets in the world.”
HUGEL is the South Korea-based maker of beauty products, including botulinum toxin product (commonly known as “botox.”) Founded in 2001, it exports botulinum toxin product Botulax to 24 countries including Japan, Thailand and Vietnam and plans to enter the U.S. market in future.
“HUGEL and JTBC are very excited to sponsor a new tournament in downtown L.A. and bring it to historic Wilshire Country Club,” said Tournament Chairman Sung Bum Hong, who is also Founder of HUGEL, and President/CEO of Shanghai Seouleaguer Hospital. “I hope this tournament will provide a valuable opportunity for female professional players to show their best talents and abilities, and hope to do my part to make it into one of the prominent tournaments on the LPGA tour.”
JTBC, a Korean broadcasting company that is part of the JoongAng Group, owns multiple channels that consist of comprehensive, golf-specialized and other various genres. JoongAng Group is a multi-media company that covers all categories of culture including printed media, television, entertainment and leisure. JTBC is also the LPGA’s Korean television rights holder and previously sponsored multiple events in Portland, Virginia and Arizona.
The HUGEL-JTBC LA Open is owned and operated by Eiger Marketing Group (EMG), a global marketing and event management agency. EMG also owns and operates the annual LPGA tournament in Atlantic City, as well as a number of other sporting and lifestyle events throughout the year.
“We’re excited to be part of the LPGA’s return to Los Angeles and look forward to engaging with community, business and civic leaders to put on a world-class event,” said JS Kang, tournament director of the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open.