Big time golf returns to the state of Minnesota this week for the 65th staging of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club.
The 156-player field will compete for a $3.85 million purse, including a $577,500 payday, with the chance to hoist the LPGA’s biggest and best looking trophy.
Headlining the field this week will be each the season’s 13 winners, including defending champion Sung Hyun Park (HSBC Women’s World), and last week’s Miejer LPGA winner Brooke Henderson, who edged Lydia Ko to win her first major in 2016.
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is the season’s third (of five) major, and the 16th event of the 32-tournament LPGA season.
Tournament: KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
Dates: June 20-23, 2019
Where: Chaska, Minn.
Course: Hazeltine National Golf Club
Distance: Par 36-36-72, 6807 yards
Architect: Robert Trent Jones
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $577,500
Defending Champion: Sung Hyun Park
TV & Online
Rd 1: Thu 11:00 am-3:00 pm (GOLF)
Rd 2: Fri 11:00 am-3:00 pm (GOLF)
Rd 3: Sat 03:00 pm-6:00 pm (NBC)
Rd 4: Sun 03:00 pm-6:00 pm (NBC)
The third major of the LPGA season is also one of the Tour’s major mainstays, ranking second in longevity after first being staged in 1955. Current title sponsor KPMG came on board in 2015 with a vision for taking the event to some of the nation’s most proven championship venues.
With Hazeltine as the tournament venue this season, it means the Minnesota club will play host to its second major PGA of America event in four years (2016 Ryder Cup). It will also mark the third straight KPMG Women’s PGA contested in America’s heartland, as Illinois played host the previous two editions (Kemper Lakes 2018, Olympia Fields 2017).
Westchester Country Club (New York), and Sahalee Country Club, just outside of Seattle, were the other host courses in the KPMG era, which recently extended its run as title sponsor through at least 2023.
Many of the most iconic names in women’s golf have their names engraved on the silver trophy, including Mickey Wright, who’s legacy as one of the LPGA’s all-time great champions is tied to the Women’s PGA (known as the LPGA Championship from its founding up until 2014.)
Wright won the title four times, all in a six-year span – with her first in 1958, back-to-back in 1960 and ’61, and then her final title two years later in 1963.
Five more of the all-time LPGA greats each won the title three times including Nancy Lopez, Se Ri Pak, Annika Sorenstam, Kathy Whitworth and, most recently, Inbee Park. Park and Sorenstam won their titles in three consecutive years.
Other marquee names to have won the LPGA major include Betsy Rawls, Beth Daniel, Betsy King, Juli Inkster, Laura Davies and Cristie Kerr.
Recent superstars to win the KPMG include Sung Hyun Park (2018) and Brooke Henderson (2016).
With the ANA Inspiration and the U.S. Women’s Open already in the books for 2019, the two remaining majors after this week are: the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship.
History: Tournament Titles
2015-19: KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
2011-14: Wegmans LPGA Championship
2010-10: LPGA Championship presented by Wegmans
2004-09: McDonald’s LPGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola
2001-03: McDonald’s LPGA Championship presented by AIG
1994-00: McDonald’s LPGA Championship
1987-93: Mazda LPGA Championship
1973-86: LPGA Championship
1971-72: Eve-LPGA Championship
1955-70: LPGA Championship
History: Recent Winners
2018: Sung Hyun Park (-10)
2017: Danielle Kang (-13)
2016: Brooke Henderson (-6)
2015: Inbee Park (-19)
2014: Inbee Park (-11)
2013: Inbee Park (-5)
2012: Shanshan Feng (-6)
2011: Yani Tseng (-19)
4 – Mickey Wright (1958, 1960-61, 1963)
3 – Kathy Whitworth (1967, 1971, 1975)
3 – Nancy Lopez (1978, 1985, 1989)
3 – Se Ri Pak (1998, 2002, 2006)
3 – Annika Sorenstam (2003, 2004, 2005)
3 – Inbee Park (2013, 2014, 2015)
267 – Betsy King (1992)
-19 – Inbee Park (2015)
-19 – Yani Tseng (2011)
-19 – Cristie Kerr (2010)
South Korean star Sung Hyun Park posted a final-round 3-under 69 at Kemper Lakes Golf Club and then edged Nasa Hataoka and So Yeon Ryu in a playoff to capture the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
Starting the day four back of overnight leader Ryu, the 24-year old Park was flawless, finishing her final day in Chicago with three birdies en route to a four-day score of 10-under par.
After a 20-foot birdie on the 16th by Ryu, it seemed like Park’s flawless effort would be for naught, as the 27-year old Korean went up two with two to play. But an errant tee shot by Ryu on the par-3 17th found the water, leading to a costly double bogey, and a three-way logjam on top.
On the first sudden-death hole, No. 18, Hataoka was eliminated as the two Koreans made birdie. Playing the par-4 16th for playoff hole No. 2, Ryu was away and slid her 20-foot birdie putt just to the left of the cup.
Park didn’t miss hers, and when it dropped the normally stoic Korean broke down in tears.
Final Top 5
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Sung Hyun Park -10 (-3)*
2. So Yeon Ryu -10 (+1)
2. Nasa Hataoka -10 (-8)
4. Jessica Korda -7 (-4)
4. Angel Yin -7 (-1)
Full Field and Odds
The betting favorites this week include the LPGA’s three most recent winners in Brooke Henderson (Meijer LPGA Classic), Lexi Thompson (ShopRite LPGA Classic), and Jeong-Eun Lee6 (U.S. Women’s Open). The top-three picks, each of whom is ranked in the world top-10, were listed at 11-1.
Rounding out the top-5 betting favorites were world No. 1 Jin Young Ko who was 14-1, just ahead of world No. 3 Minjee Lee and world No. 9 So Yeon Ryu at 16-1.
Top-5 Betting Favorites
1. Brooke Henderson (11-1)
1. Jeong-Eun Lee6 (11-1)
1. Lexi Thompson (11-1)
4. Jin Young Ko (14-1)
5. Minjee Lee (16-1)
5. So Yeon Ryu (16-1)
Field: Odds To Win
KPMG Women’s PGA Championship . Chaska, Minn . Hazeltine National Golf Club
Carey Hoffman contributed to this preview of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship