Williamsburg, Va., is back on the map for the LPGA Tour as it welcomes a 144-player field competing for a $1.3 million purse at the Kingsmill Championship. The River Course was previously home to the Michelob ULTRA Kingsmill Championship, which was founded in 2003 and was on the tournament schedule for seven years. After a two-year break, it returns for the 2012 season and will be final stop before the Tour heads over to the United Kingdom for the season’s final Major.
Rolex Rankings No. 10 Cristie Kerr, the 2005 and 2009 Michelob ULTRA at Kingsmill Champion, is the most recent winner at vaunted River Course at Kingsmill Resort. She opened with rounds of 69, 63, and 66 but was in a four-way tie for the lead before a birdie on 15 in the final round pulled her ahead. She closed with a 1-under 70 to finish at 16-under 268, just one stroke ahead of I.K. Kim. Kerr returns to the course looking to earn her fifth top-10 finish of the season with includes a T4 at the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola, T9 at the U.S. Women’s Open, T4 at the LPGA Lotte Championship Presented by J Golf and T6 at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup.
Others slated to be in the field this week include the CN Canadian Women’s Open runner-up Inbee Park and Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis.
Park is in the midst of her most successful year on the LPGA Tour having eight consecutive top-10s including her win at the Evian Masters Presented by Societe Generale. She tallied her third runner-up finish of the season in Canada where she claimed the $300,000 first-place prize due to the winner’s amateur status. Park now leads the 2012 LPGA official money list with earnings at $1,419,940.
Lewis leads the Tour in top-10 finishes with her 11th one coming after a T6 at the CN Canadian Women’s Open along with Anna Nordqvist at the Vancouver Golf Club. She also leads the Rolex Player of the Year race with 146 points with Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng trailing behind by 26 points.
Six other top-10 finishers at the CN Canadian Women’s Open will join Park and Lewis in this week’s field including Jiyai Shin, Chella Choi, Anna Nordqvist, Haeji Kang, Jane Rah and Vicky Hurst.