KPMG Women's PGA Championship, Major time

The Sahalee Country Club, designed in 1969 by Ted Robinson and redesigned by Rees Jones in 1996, hosts the event for the second time, following its previous stint in 2016.

by Andrea Gussoni
KPMG Women's PGA Championship, Major time
© Getty Images Sport - Yong Teck Lim / Staff

Roberta Liti is set to make her debut in a Grand Slam tournament as she tees off at the 70th KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the third Major of the women's golf season, taking place from June 20 to 23 at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington.

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, results

Amidst a field that includes virtually the entire world elite, with 29 of the top 30 players in the Rolex Rankings present (excluding Korea's Ye Won Lee at number 28), defending champion Ruoning Yin of China, ranked third, will look to retain her title.

However, all eyes will be on Nelly Korda, ranked number one, and Lilia Vu, ranked number two, who enter the tournament in contrasting circumstances. Korda, following her recent feat of six victories (including five consecutive wins), has faced unexpected setbacks with consecutive missed cuts, including one at a Major (US Women’s Open).

In contrast, Lilia Vu returned last week with a victory at the Meijer LPGA Classic after a two-month hiatus due to injury, and now aims to close the gap of over five points from the top spot she once held. Regardless of recent form, Nelly Korda remains the undisputed favorite, having claimed the first Major of 2024 (The Chevron Championship) and previously winning this event in 2021, though Lilia Vu's prospects have been rising.

Ruoning Yin receives less attention despite two top-ten finishes this year; however, predicting outcomes with such a strong field is always challenging. Among the contenders for the title are the other top-ten players in the world: Celine Boutier, Hannah Green (winner in 2019), Yuka Saso (winner of the US Women’s Open, the second Major), Jin Young Ko, Charley Hull, Rose Zhang, and Minjee Lee.

Notable figures on the LPGA Tour include past winners Brooke M. Henderson (2016), Lydia Ko, Megan Khang, and emerging talents such as Linn Grant and Maja Stark. The Sahalee Country Club, designed in 1969 by Ted Robinson and redesigned by Rees Jones in 1996, hosts the event for the second time, following its previous stint in 2016.

For Roberta Liti, this presents a significant opportunity to gain valuable experience in her first full season on the LPGA Tour, having already finished in the money seven times in her first ten events. The total purse for the championship stands at $10,000,000.

Established in 1955, the tournament was originally exclusive to professionals until the rule was amended in 2005 to include amateurs. Formerly known as the LPGA Championship, the event has undergone multiple name changes before adopting its current title.

Sponsored by KPMG since 2015, the prize money has seen substantial increases in recent years, rising from $4.5 million in 2021 to the current $10 million, consistent with the 2023 edition. Nine past winners are in the field, including mentioned contenders like Korda, Ruoning, Green, and Henderson, alongside Sei-Young Kim (2020), Danielle Kang (2017), Cristie Kerr (2010), Anna Nordqvist (2009), and Yani Tseng (2008, 2011), the only multiple-time winner still active.

Mickey Wright holds the record with four victories, followed by Kathy Whitworth, Nancy Lopez, Patty Sheehan, Se Ri Pak, and Inbee Park with three each. Annika Sorenstam and Inbee Park are the only players to have achieved consecutive wins twice, joined once by Juli Inkster, Patty Sheehan, and Mickey Wright.