September date set for Shinhan Donghae Open’s return to Korea
THE Shinhan Donghae Open, one of the region’s longest-running golf championships, will return to Korean shores this year.
After its history-making visit to Japan in 2022, the 39th edition of the KRW1.4 billion (about US$1 million) event will be staged over the Ocean Course at Club72 (formerly Sky72) in Yeongjongdo, Incheon from September 7-10.
Sponsored by the Shinhan Financial Group, the event will continue to be tri-sanctioned between the Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour, and Korean Tour for the third time.
Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner & CEO of the Asian Tour, said: “Since its launch in 1981, the Shinhan Donghae Open has been a standout championship in our region, always looking to innovate and break new ground. Shinhan has always looked to evolve with the times and has never been shy about making bold decisions for the betterment of the event. After a highly successful visit to Japan last year, we are looking forward to the tournament returning to its traditional home this season.”
“I am delighted that the Shinhan Donghae Open is returning to Korea this year,” said Jin Ok-dong, Chairman of Shinhan Financial Group.
“It is one of the country’s premier golf events and a highlight every season for Korean golf fans.
“The Shinhan Donghae Open boasts an impressive list of past champions and I am looking forward to handing the trophy to another worthy champion this year.
The competition will no doubt be fierce at a new and challenging venue for the tournament.”
It was in 2019 it became the first tournament to be sanctioned by the Asian, Japan and Korean circuits.
And in a deeply symbolic move last year, the event was held at the Koma Country Club in Japan, the first time, since its inauguration 41 years earlier, that it had been staged outside of Korea.
“This year marks the 39th edition of a long-lasting relationship between the Shinhan Financial Group and the KPGA,” said J.C. Koo, Chairman, KPGA.
“The return to the city of Incheon, which has hosted eleven of the last twelve editions of the Shinhan Donghae Open, with 2022 being the lone exception during the period, is spectacular news for Korean golf fans in the area.
“I have no doubt this event will live up to the proud legacy of great champions such as Jongduk Kim, KJ Choi, Sangmoon Bae, Paul Casey and Byeonghun An, Yoseop Seo, to name a few.”
This year will mark the first time that Club72 has hosted the Shinhan Donghae Open. From 2015 to 2021, the event made its home at Bear’s Best Cheongna. For four years prior to that (2011-2014), the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea was the venue.
As was the case last year, a strong field is guaranteed to assemble at Club72 in September, comprising the leading lights from all three sanctioning Tours.
Among the favourites is likely to be Kazuki Higa, who birdied the final two holes at Koma Country Club last year to triumph. He went on to top the standings in the Japan Golf Tour’s Order of Merit for 2022.
Isao Aoki, Chairman, Japan Golf Tour Organization said: “We are greatly honored and happy that the tournament will be held again this year under the tri-sanctioned arrangement with the Asian Tour, the KPGA.
“Hosting international tournaments like this helps to promote golf tournaments in Asia, and most importantly, it fosters the development of players. We are truly grateful to Shinhan Financial Group for their strong support.
“The Shinhan Donghae Open is one of the leading tournaments in Asia. I strongly hope that the participating players will use this opportunity as a stepping stone to expand their careers onto the global stage.”
The Shinhan Donghae Open will be the Asian Tour’s third visit to Korea in 2023 following the 42nd GS Caltex Maekyung Open Golf Championship (May 4-7) and The 65th Korea Open Golf Championship (June 22-25).