The LPGA returns to China this week for the first time since 2019 for the third edition of the Buick LPGA Shanghai. Danielle Kang, winner of the event in 2018 and 2019, returns to Qizhong Garden Golf Club to try for a Shanghai trifecta.
The event had been canceled the past three seasons due to ongoing COVID-19-related restrictions.
The field in Shanghai consists of 62 LPGA players, 15 players from the China Golf Association and four sponsor invites competing for a $2.1 million purse in the 72-hole, no-cut event. Four players inside the top 10 of the Rolex Rankings are in the field.
Some on the LPGA have raised concerns in the past about the tour continuing to compete in China. Amy Olson told Golfweek two years ago that she didn’t feel it was safe there for players. Olson said too many have turned a blind eye to the mass imprisonment and persecution of the Uyghurs by the Chinese government in the Xinjiang province. What’s more, Olson continued, Chinese officials weren’t transparent with what was happening in their hospitals and within their borders during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As an organization that stands up for women’s rights and has fought day in and day out for those rights,’’ said Olson, who is currently on maternity leave, “what China has done flies directly in the face of everything we stand for.”
Like Olson, Angela Stanford has made a personal commitment not to compete in China or Saudi Arabia due to human rights concerns.
Shanghai is the first of four events on the LPGA’s Asia swing, with the tour heading to South Korea next for the BMW Ladies Championship, followed by a return to Malaysia for the Maybank Championship and a final stop in Japan for the Toto Japan Classic.
Here’s a closer look at the field: