The third Major Championship of the year, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, takes place at Kemper Lakes Golf Club, 60 kilometres north of Chicago, from Thursday 28th June to Sunday 1st July.
The prize money of US$3,650,000 will make it the third richest event in women’s golf, behind only the US Women’s Open and the Evian Championship. The course this week will play at 6,741 yards and will be a stern test for a field which boasts 19 of the top 20 players on the Rolex Women’s World Rankings. For the third time in as many years, each of the top 100 players on the LPGA Official Money List are included in the 156-player field, which also features 29 major champions.
Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, who sits atop the LPGA Official Money List, World No. 1-ranked and three-time Champion Inbee Park, and defending champion Danielle Kang, are among the headline names. Last year, American Kang’s dramatic birdie on the 72nd and final hole edged Brooke Henderson, who was the defending champion, by a single stroke.
Jenny Haglund of Sweden and Klara Spilkova of the Czech Republic, who won the Lalla Meryem Cup in 2018 and 2017 respectively, have both accepted special exemptions to compete this week.
Haglund turned professional in 2016 after playing collegiately at Southern Methodist University, where she was a four-year all-conference selection and is the Mustangs’ all-time scoring leader (73.55). Haglund finished second in the 2016 LET Access Series Order of Merit rankings. As a result, she was promoted to the Ladies European Tour.
“I am very thankful for this opportunity and I really look forward to playing in another major at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship,” said Haglund. “Last year, I played my way into the Ricoh Women’s British Open and it was just awesome. I turn 25 this week, so it is safe to say I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present.”
In April, Haglund earned her first career Ladies European Tour title at the 2018 Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco. Following her playoff victory, Haglund rose from 276 to 204 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and is now ranked 190 in the world. Haglund currently sits atop the official money list for both the LET and the Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s official development tour and “Road to the LPGA,” where she has a win at the 2018 Symetra Classic and two additional top-five finishes this season.
Spilkova rose to prominence in 2017 as the first Czech Republic-born player to win a professional event when she captured the title at the Lalla Meryem Cup at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Morocco and she will be making her third consecutive appearance in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
10 THAT WANT TO DO IT AGAIN
Ten former KPMG Women’s PGA Champions are in the field this week in Chicago: Laura Davies (1994, 1996), Shanshan Feng (2012), Brooke Henderson (2016), Juli Inkster (1999, 2000), Danielle Kang (2017), Cristie Kerr (2010), Inbee Park (2013, ’14, ‘15), Anna Nordqvist (2009), Yani Tseng (2008, 2011) and Karrie Webb (2001).
THE POWER OF 3
Three players – Ariya Jutanugarn, Inbee Park and Charley Hull – have posted top-10 finishes in both of the first two major championships of the season, the ANA Inspiration and U.S. Women’s Open. A closer look at their performances:
|Player||ANA Inspiration||U.S. Women’s Open|
THE VIEW FROM THE SUMMIT
Enhancing Championship Week is Wednesday’s 4th Annual KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, which will be hosted on-site at Kemper Lakes. The event brings together highly accomplished leaders in business, politics, sports and the media to inspire the next generation of women leaders. KPMG U.S. Chairman and CEO Lynne Doughtie, 66th U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Navy Admiral Michelle Howard are the keynote speakers, while Olympic medalists Nancy Kerrigan and Hilary Knight will share their relevant experiences gained as world-class athletes.
Net proceeds from the Championship and Summit fund the KPMG Future Leaders Program. This Program affords top female high school seniors across the United States the opportunity to enhance their personal growth through college scholarships, a leadership development retreat at Stanford University, a mentoring relationship with a woman business leader, and an introduction to golf.