According to Danielle Kang, she’s right at home in the LPGA’s return to Hawaii as the LOTTE Championship tees off on Wednesday at Kapolei Golf Club.
“I love it here. I’ve been here for over a week actually, so I had a little girls’ trip out here and enjoyed every bit of Hawaii,” said Kang. “I feel like I belong here. I want to move here. So I just — I come here and I just feel relaxed and I feel ready to go. It’s kind of the serenity that you can’t feel in certain places. I feel really calm and right where I need to be.”
Kang will enter the tournament ranked fifth in the Rolex Rankings and will bring awareness into her eighth appearance in the event as the former UCLA star and 2017 Women’s PGA Championship winner has been working to improve the mental side of the game.
“I’ve been feeling a little anxious about certain things and there is nothing going on on the golf course. I have a putt for par I’m anxious for something. It’s just creating an unrealistic fear, unrealistic doubts,” said Kang. “So those are the things I’m working on and trying to be the person that I am and figure out how I feel and the way I used to feel.”
Kang said the feelings of doubt have crept in since 2020, as she claimed they haven’t helped or hurt her performances but have become more magnified over the past couple of months.
“I’ve won a tournament feeling the way I felt and I’ve lost a tournament feeling the way I felt,” said the five-time LPGA Tour winner. “So I don’t look at it as a positive or a negative, more so that it’s making me – gives me that little twisted feel and I don’t like that. I want to be able to be in control of how I feel.
While balancing any doubts within herself, Kang says she’s becoming more comfortable as she figures her way around a new course at Kapolei, finding that it’s more of a second-shot golf course, but she’s up for the windy conditions the week is sure to bring.
“If the conditions are calm I believe that your second shots will be more controlled and there will be lower scores. The greens are really nice and pure and just rolling at a nice speed, not too aggressive, not too timid,” said Kang. “But we’ll see. I mean, I don’t know. I believe it is tougher than Ko Olina depending on how it plays though.”
Kang tees off alongside LPGA Tour winners Georgia Hall and Nasa Hataoka of No. 1 at 8:17 a.m. on Wednesday. Television coverage for all four rounds will run from 1pm-5pm HST on the Golf Channel.