The next major of 2019 is almost upon us so here’s everything you need to know about the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, including which players to look out for this year.
By Charlotte Ibbetson
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will take place at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, from 20 – 23 June. Cancel your plans and get ready for another exciting major weekend …
The Championship is much more than just a major, with a serious focus to develop, advance and empower women on and off the golf course – an objective we fully support.
Just behind the US Women’s Open, the Women’s PGA Championship is the second-longest running tournament in LPGA history. Founded in 1955, the event was titled the LPGA Championship before changing its name in 2015 to become the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
Five times’s a charm in Minnesota
This will be the fifth time that a women's major has been played in the state of Minnesota. Whilst it’s the first time that Hazeltine National Golf Club has hosted the championship, the club is well-versed at welcoming major tournaments, having played host to the PGA Championship, US Women’s Open, US Open, US Senior Open and the Ryder Cup.
Michelle Wie controversy
Unlike the US Open and the British Open, amateur golfers are not permitted to play in the Women’s PGA Championship. That ruling was controversially revoked in 2005 to allow a then 15-year-old amateur Michelle Wie to compete, who at the time had made the cut in all five majors that she had played in. The decision lead to huge amounts of criticism, with many claiming that the move was solely to attract more media coverage and sell more tickets.
Since the first-ever KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the tournament has produced 22 international champions from nine different countries. This year, 2019 champion Sung Hyun Park will return to try to defend her title.
Who to put your money on?
The international contingent is certainly one to watch this year. Fresh off a career-best season in 2018, Minjee Lee will have her sights set on becoming the second Australian to win the Championship since Karrie Webb in 2001. She amassed 12 top 10s in 2018 and her fourth career victory, but she’s yet to claim a major. Amy Yang and Jeongeun Lee6 will be looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Koreans Sung Hyun Park, Inbee Park and Se Ri Pak. Yang has had four top 10 finishes in the Championship whilst Lee6 has put herself in contention in majors before, at the 2017 US. Women’s Open and 2018 Evian Championship. Sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn are also ones to watch. Ariya has proved time and again that her game is built for the biggest stage in the game, but sister Moriya isn’t too far behind. She claimed her first win in April 2018, but has it sparked a confidence to take her game to the next level?
With all of that said, Europe has plenty of contenders in the field this year. Ones to watch? We'll be following France's Celine Boutier, Carlota Ciganda from Spain and England's Georgia Hall, Charley Hull and Jodi Ewart Shadoff – not forgetting, of course, Bronte Law, especially after her win at the Pure Silk Championship in May.
Whatever happens next weekend, we’re definitely in for a treat …
Image credit: Getty Images / Hunter Martin / Stringer