The LPGA returns to Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas for the fifth edition of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G on Sept. 9-11. Defending champion and Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng will highlight a stellar field of 144 players who will be competing for a $2 million purse and a $300,000 first-place prize. Tournament officials have called this year’s field the strongest in the event’s history.
Tseng shot a final-round 65 to capture a one-stroke victory over Michelle Wie at last year’s event. Wie is coming off one of her best finishes of the season, as she came up one stroke shy of defending her title at the CN Canadian Women’s Open. It was Wie’s second runner-up finish in 2011.
Joining Tseng and Wie in this year’s field will be 46 of the top 50 players on the 2011 LPGA Official Money List. That includes Rolex Rankings No. 2 Suzann Pettersen and No. 3 Cristie Kerr.
With the Solheim Cup only a couple weeks away, both the U.S. team and the European squad will be well represented at the event. All 12 members of the 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup team will be in the field including former University of Arkansas standout Stacy Lewis. The European team will also have many of its members in Rogers for the tournament including Pettersen, Laura Davies, and 2010 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Azahara Munoz.
The Walmart NW Arkansas Championship will also feature an up-and-coming face in women’s golf. Back-to-back U.S. Amateur Champion Danielle Kang will make her
professional debut at the event, having been granted the final sponsor exemption. The other sponsor’s exemption went to University of Arkansas sophomore Emily Tubert.