A quick look at this week’s Kingsmill Championship:
- Cristie Kerr: With six top-10 finishes (including three wins) in nine starts at the Kingsmill Championship, Kerr is always a favorite. Combined with her new son and friends whom she stays with, Kerr is even more primed for a good finish. She is paired with two 2014 winners in the first two rounds – Jessica Korda and Karrie Webb (two wins).
- The course: The River Course at Kingsmill Resort has been praised by the field as a major venue. Built on the banks of the James River in Williamsburg, Va., the course will give a spotlight to course architect Pete Dye for the second consecutive week. His TPC Sawgrass course was the site of The Players Championship last week on the PGA Tour.
- Lots of pro golf: This will be the 32nd time that a professional event has been played on the River Course. The PGA Tour played there from 1981-2002, and this marks the 10th year that the LPGA has played the Kingsmill Championship here.
- Big-name winners: Of the 32 times a pro event has been held here, big names have prevailed. They include Fuzzy Zoeller, Lanny Wadkins, David Duval, Se Ri Pak, Karrie Webb, Suzann Pettersen, Annika Sorenstam and Kerr.
- Top-ranked players: With her victory two weeks ago at the North Texas LPGA Shootout, Stacy Lewis enters this week’s event ranked No. 2 in the world and is the highest ranked player in the field. No. 1 Inbee Park is not playing. No. 3 Lydia Ko and No. 4 Suzann Pettersen are also entered. Lewis is paired with Pettersen and former No. 1 Yani Tseng. Ko is paired with Paula Creamer and Christina Kim.
- Proximity to Pinehurst: Kingsmill is located approximately four hours north of Pinehurst, N.C., the site of the U.S. Women’s Open in one month. Some players made a site visit traveling to Kingsmill and others will stop by the Sandhills en route to next week’s Airbus Mobile Bay LPGA Classic in Alabama. The Women’s Open is scheduled June 19-22, the week after the men play Pinehurst No. 2.
- Teenagers: Two teens have already won this season – Ko and Lexi Thompson. The field this week includes three others in American amateur Ashlan Ramsey, England’s Charley Hull and China’s Xi Yu Lin.
- Playoffs: The last two Kingsmill Championships have offered multiple extra holes to determine the champion. Jiyai Shin beat Paula Creamer in nine holes two years ago and Kerr beat Pettersen in two holes last year.
- American top 10: Four Americans are ranked in the top 10 of the Rolex Women’s World Rankings (Lewis at No. 2, Thompson at No. 6, Creamer at No. 9 and Kerr at No. 10). The only other country with multiple top-10 players is South Korea (Park at No. 1 and So Yeon Ryu at No. 8).