KPMG Women's PGA Championship Preview
Fresh off a thrilling victory on Sunday at the Meijer LPGA Classic, Nelly Korda heads to Atlanta Athletic Club in search of her first major title at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
The 22-year-old American is among the favourites at the esteemed Highland Course, where Jerry Pate, Larry Nelson, David Toms and Keegan Bradley have won majors, while Betsy King claimed the US Women's Open at the neighbouring Riverside Course in 1990. This is a fitting stage for a championship that boasts a purse of $4.3 million.
Sei Young Kim defends the title she won brilliantly at Aronimink in October, but many eyes will be on three-time champion Inbee Park, who is determined to further enhance her legendary status on the LPGA Tour.
World number one Jin Young Ko made a triumphant return to the circuit after the pandemic lockdown by winning the CME Group Tour Championship in December, and is a likely contender here in Georgia.
Coming into the week, new US Women's Open champion Yuka Saso is likely to draw attention, with her picturesque and powerful swing attracting many admirers at Olympic Club. Likewise, ANA Inspiration winner Patty Tavatanakit is another player with an exceptional technique who could prove to be a dominant figure in the years to come.
The effervescent Shanshan Feng showed encouraging form at the US Open, as did former Women's PGA champion Brooke Henderson, who is expected to be a major factor in Atlanta. Other recent winners in the field include Australia's Hannah Green, Sung Hyun Park, and Danielle Kang.
Elsewhere, Lexi Thompson will be desperately keen to rebound from her crushing finish at Olympic, with Ally Ewing and Jessica Korda other hopefuls from the United States.
For Europe, Mel Reid enjoyed a strong start to her US Open, while Anna Nordqvist, Georgia Hall and Charley Hull recorded positive finishes at the weekend, providing a boost to European Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew.
However, most intriguingly could be the chances of Ireland's Leona Maguire who finished second on Sunday, pushing Nelly Korda all the way.
The 26-year-old, who spent 135 weeks as the world's top ranked amateur, is looking ahead to the Women's PGA, saying: "This week is going to be huge heading into a major. I knew I was playing some great golf. It's a huge confidence boost for the rest of the season. All in all, my game is in really good shape and I feel like this was really good preparation heading into a major week."
Much like the men's PGA Championship, the Women's PGA boasts a deep field, with 99 of the top 100 players from the LPGA’s 2021 money list competing for the trophy.
When you consider that depth of talent, the players in form, and the iconic venue, this championship is set to be another memorable chapter in the ongoing summer of major golf.
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