The 2018 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open will be played at Adelaide’s Kooyonga Golf Club from February 15-18, and after her explosive last-day charge lit up the huge Royal Adelaide crowd this year, defending champion Ha Na Jang has already committed to defend the Patricia Bridges Bowl.

“I had such an unbelievable experience in Adelaide – I can’t wait to come back and play again,” Jang said.

The effervescent Jang, 25, made a huge splash in the final round at a windswept Royal Adelaide this year, making three birdies and a memorable eagle in her final six holes to forge clear of a huge pack to win her fourth LPGA Tour title.

The Korean was clearly emotional when thanking fans at the time, most notably the raucous “Jang Gang”, who roared their support.

“It was one of my favourite moments to play so well for the crowds and I’ll never forget how they all got behind me and cheered me to victory,” she said.

Golf Australia’s tournament director Trevor Herden said securing the signature of such a fan favourite was a real boon for all involved.

“Ha Na was stunning in February – nobody who was at Royal Adelaide will ever forget that sensational finish,” Herden said. “That, along with her exuberant personality, is exactly what her huge Aussie fan base will hope to see again.”

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Further enhancing the tournament’s growing reputation, Dr Haruhisa Handa has confirmed that ISPS will act as the naming rights sponsor for a ninth consecutive year.

After the announcement, ISPS Handa international executive director Midori Miyazaki said: “Dr Handa and the International Sports Promotion Society were thrilled with the reception of the Women’s Australian Open in Adelaide in the past two years. This event platform, alongside our long-standing and solid partnership with Golf Australia, allows us to amplify our message about the power of sport in creating hope, inspiring change and breaking down barriers.”

Herden said the increased level of ISPS Handa investment and support were imperative to the tournament’s ability to keep growing and looked forward to extending the relationship.

South Australian Minister for Tourism and Recreation and Sport Leon Bignell was delighted to announce the ongoing commitment of the LPGA Tour and ISPS Handa, which have contributed to the Open’s success as a world-class event.

“After great editions at The Grange and Royal Adelaide Golf Clubs in the past two years, I am confident the 2018 Open at Kooyonga Golf Club will deliver exceptional results for the event and our state,” Bignell said.

“We have spent an additional $70 million marketing South Australia interstate and overseas and major events like the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open contribute to our reputation as a world-class sporting destination.

“Events like the Open also continue to shine a spotlight on women’s sport – which we support at all levels, from grassroots to elite.”