The LPGA Tour heads to the East Coast for the second playing of the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va. The Kingsmill Resort, River Course welcomes a field comprised of 144 elite LPGA players who will contend for a $1.3 million purse and a $195,000 first-place prize.
Last year’s event ended in dramatic fashion as Jiyai Shin and Paula Creamer battled through nine playoff holes before Shin took the victory Monday morning. The two were sent into extra holes after Creamer missed a par opportunity on the 72nd hole to seal the win at the end of regulation on Sunday. After going par-for-par on the the 18th hole eight times in a row with darkness creeping in, the two players decided to continue Monday morning. They resumed the playoff on the 16th hole and after similar approach shots, Creamer three-putted to make bogey on the hole, giving Shin an easy putt for par to take the win. Shin went on to win the season’s final major, the RICOH Women’s British Open, the following week and started her 2013 campaign with her 11th career LPGA win at the season-opener in Australia.
Creamer enters this week with five top-20 finishes so far this season, including a season-best third-place finish at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. The eight-year veteran on Tour has 18 top-10s since her last win at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open.
The chase for the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Rankings continues to be a focal point this week as well. With her win last week in Texas, Inbee Park took a tighter grip on the top spot ranking, but her pursuers seem to be playing consistently solid golf and make a case that she’s not completely safe. Current No. 2 and former No. 1 Stacy Lewis trails Park by .99 average points and leads the LPGA Tour in top-10 finishes with six. She has said that losing the title may give her the spark she needs to get back into the winner’s circle where she’s found herself twice already this season.
The Kingsmill Championship has an earlier slot this season and is the first of four LPGA tournaments played in May, with the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic and ShopRite LPGA Classic.