The second oldest Major in the history of women’s golf but a “poor” relation in terms of prize money, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has decided to change gear on the eve of its 68th edition. The prize-money is thus doubled, going from 4.5 to 9 million dollars. The future winner will leave Congressional (Maryland) with a nice check for $1.35 million. The French Céline Boutier (photo), Perrine Delacour, Pauline Roussin-Bouchard and Agathe Laisné are involved in this 3rd Grand Slam tournament of the season.
At the stage ofUSGA (United States Golf Association), which dramatically increased the US Open prize pool last week at Brookline, from $12.5 million to $17.5 million, the PGA of Americain agreement with KPMGthe title of the sponsor, and the LPGAannounces doubled prize-money for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Stuck until then at 4.5 million – the smallest endowment of the five women’s Majors – it is now 9 million dollars (just behind theUS Women’s Open10 millions).
Victorious in 2021, Nelly Korda left with a nice check for $675,000. The future winner this Sunday will see her bank account increase by an additional 1.35 million dollars. A great leap forward therefore for this 68th edition organized at Congress Country Clubone of the most exclusive places in the United States where Rory McIlroy had unlocked his counter in Major in 2011 at the US Open with an incredible -16.
— LPGA (@LPGA) June 20, 2022
Created in 1955, the Women’s PGA Championship had several sponsor titles (Mazda, McDonald’s, AIG, Coca-Cola, Wegmans, etc.) before signing a lease in 2015 with KPMG, an Anglo-Dutch network of audit firms and consultancy present in more than 150 countries. For several years now, the PGA of America has chosen sites that have already hosted male Majors: Atlanta Athletic Club (in 2021), theAronimink Golf ClubIHazeltine National Golf Clubthe Kemper Lakes Golf, Olympia Fields Country Club or Sahalee Golf Club.
This year, the Congressional, based in Bethesda (Maryland), is hosting the event. Featuring two courses (Blue Course and Gold Course), this KPMG Women’s PGA Championship 2022 will be played on par 72 of the Blue Course (par 71 when the men have to challenge it) 6,246 yards long for these ladies. Built in 1924 to allow many members of the American Congress to satisfy their passion (presidents Eisenhower and obama were members), it has been revamped several times (in 1957, 1989, 2006) and again recently from February 2019 by Andre Green.
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Defending champion, as we said, the American Nelly Korda, who lost last weekend in the play-off at the Meijer LPGA Classic against her compatriot Jennifer Kupcho (and the Irish Leona Maguire, also beaten), will be one of the big favorites in her own succession. The daughter of the former Czech tennis player Petr Kordapresented in April with a blood clot in her left arm, did not return to competition until the beginning of June, despite finishing 8th at the US Open won by the Australian Minjee Lee.
Among the 156 players present (including eight PGA professionals), we should also mention the South Korean Inbee Park11th in the world and triple crowned in this tournament (between 2013 and 2015), the Canadian Brooke M. Hendersonwinner of June 12 ShopRite Classic LPGAbut also the dreaded Jin Young Koworld n°1, 13 times winner on the LPGA (including two Majors the same year, ANA Inspiration and Evian Championship 2019).
27th start in Major for Céline Boutier
Residents of the world’s top 20, only the American Danielle Kangwinner in 2017 but forfeited with a worrying spinal injury, and the South Korean Minji Park (18th) font defect. Remember that the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has often been the scene of a first success in Major as was the case for Nelly Korda in 2021 but also for the Sid-Korean Sei young Kim in 2020, for Australia Hannah Green in 2019 at Hazeltine, or for Brooke M. Henderson in 2016.
So do the French women have a chance? 19th in the world, Celine Boutier is certainly the one who can actually achieve a first success in Major. The Francilienne living in Dallas (Texas), who did not miss a single cut in 2022 on the LPGA Tour, has just taken 4th place in the Herringbone Championship at the beginning of April and she finished 7th in the last KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. She will take this Thursday the start of her 27th Major since 2013!
For his sixth personal PGA Championship, Perrine Delacour will for her part try to break the glass ceiling, she who has certainly crossed the coupe four times but has never done better than a 46th place (in 2021). Great first on the other hand in a PGA Championship for Pauline Roussin-Bouchard and Agathe Laisne, respectively 144th and 381st in the world. The former didn’t make the cut at the US Open two weeks ago at pine needles while the second, a rookie like Roussin-Bouchard on the US Circuit, is still looking for a first cut in a Major after four failures, each time as an amateur: Evian Championship 2015 and 2017, British 2018 and US Open 2020.
Photo: Getty via AFPMichael Reaves