Celltrion ready to join LAT series with inaugural event slated for
New Zealand in 2024
New Zealand's Lydia Ko teeing off at the inaugural Simone Asia Pacific Cup
◾Kiwi Lydia Ko set to play host on new event on home soil
◾Celltrion to join forces with AGLF to grow the game of women’s golf in Asia Pacific
Women’s golf in New Zealand received a major boost after Asia Golf Leaders Forum (AGLF) announced they will be staging a new tournament in the South Pacific island as part of the Ladies Asian Tour (LAT) Series in 2024.
South Korean biopharmaceutical giant Celltrion will come on board as the title sponsor and hosted by Kiwi pride Lydia Ko, the world number four and two-time major winner.
This newest development comes after an agreement was made between AGLF, New Zealand Golf Association and Ko at the AGLF Summit Meeting which took place in conjunction with this week’s inaugural Simone Asia Pacific Cup in Jakarta.
Further details on the tournament dates and prize money will be announced later.
AGLF President Jungtae Kim said, "We are happy to announce that AGLF will be hosting a new LAT Series tournament in New Zealand in 2024. This is certainly a welcome development for AGLF as we are already feeling buoyed by the successful staging of the inaugural Simone Asia Pacific Cup at Pondok Indah Golf Course, the first LAT Series event held outside South Korea."
Jungjin Seo, Honorary President of Celltrion, said the decision to title sponsor the tournament in New Zealand came after he was inspired by what Eunkwan Kenny Park, President of Simone Group, has done to spark the development of women’s golf in Indonesia.
Seo intends to do the same in Oceania continent where his company has a business interest.
"I'm deeply inspired by President Park's effort in giving back to society. He established his company's branch in Indonesia 25 years ago had since transformed it into a renowned global handbag company.
"At Celltrion, we're also doing a lot of business in the Oceania region and would also like to give back to its society by supporting golf tournaments," said Seo.
Celltrion has long been a staunch supporter of women’s golf in Korea. It has been sponsoring the Celltrion Queens Masters on the KLPGA Tour for four years now. The tournament carries a prize fund of KRW100,000,000.
Hyung Mo Kang, President of the Asia Pacific Golf Platform (APGP) welcomed the news and said: “We've already scheduled our next LAT Series event, ‘Hana Financial Group Singapore Women's Open’ in Singapore in December. Now that we have Celltrion joining us, AGLF's LAT Series is set to take another big step forward in the development of professional women's golf in the region."
This season’s LAT Series commenced in June with the 'DB Group 36th Korea Women Open’, followed by this week’s Simone Asia Pacific Cup.
The two other events lined up later this year include the KRW1,500,000,000 Hana Financial Group Championship, which is major event of the KLPGA Tour, at Bears Best Chungra Golf Club from September 29-October 2 and the Hana Financial Group Singapore Women’s Open.
LAT Series will expand to eight tournaments in 2023 with the addition of existing national Opens of Thailand and the Philippines. When the New Zealand event takes off in 2024, LAT Series is set to get even better with a 10-tournament schedule.
AGLF also announced during its summit meeting that the current AGLF executives will hold their positions for three years and has established its committee with the participating golf association members.
The forum has also appointed Aesook Kim from KPS and Lyn Yeo as its advisors. Kim represents Jiyae Shin and Sunwoo Bae in Japan, and is also KLPGA's official member (ID#: 35) while Yeo is a strong advocate of junior golf development in Singapore.