Hyo Joo Kim, who has gone on to become one of the game’s leading players, won this event last year to claim her first title as an LPGA Tour cardholder although she had won the Evian Masters the previous year.
Kim won the opening event of 2016 but has not been so good since.
Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Ha Na Jang and Stacy Lewis head the field in terms of world ranking, Lexi Thompson the only player from the top five missing from the event.
Ko has been runner-up and 6th in her two outings at this venue and so following her win in New Zealand, her runner-up finish in Adelaide and her 15th place in Singapore she has all the requirements to challenge the defending champion.
Jang has been superb of late with wins in Florida and Singapore and a 4th place finish in Adelaide. She contended here until the final round last year before finishing 13th so there is a lot to like about her chances.
Lewis has the best record of all in this event having won and been twice runner-up in her last two starts here. Lewis finished 9th in her last start in Singapore so in terms of slightly longer odds than the likes of Ko and Jang she may represent value.
Australians in the event are Minjee Lee, Karrie Webb, Sarah-Jane Smith and Sarah Kemp.
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