Top Storylines for the Wegmans LPGA Championship

Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Se Ri Pak of South Korea hits her tee shot on the second hole during the second round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship at Locust Hill Country Club on June 8, 2012 in Pittsford, New York.

Week of June 3, 2013
Wegmans LPGA Championship
Locust Hill Country Club
Pittsford, New York

 

Top Storylines

Major Focus
The second major of the year kicks off this week at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, New York. The Wegmans LPGA Championship is the second-longest running tournament in LPGA history, surpassed only by the U.S. Women’s Open. The winner of the 2013 Wegmans LPGA Championship will etch their name next to many LPGA greats including Mickey Wright (1963), Kathy Whitworth (1967, 1971, 1975), Nancy Lopez (1978, 1985, 1989), Patty Sheehan (1983, 1984, 1993) and Annika Sorenstam (2003-2005). 

This year, the LPGA Tour has five majors on the schedule as The Evian joins the major lineup in September. Prior to closing out the majors schedule in France, players will have two additional chances for major titles at the U.S. Women’s Open held at Sebonack Golf Club on Long Island in June and at the RICOH Women’s British Open at St. Andrews. The Tour will return to the ‘birthplace of golf’ for the second time in August and will be the last event before the focus shifts to the “sixth” major event of the 2013 LPGA season – the Solheim Cup.

All eyes will be focused on women’s golf in August for the 13th playing of The Solheim Cup. The U.S. and European teams will square off at Colorado Golf Club outside Denver on Aug. 16-18 to see if on home soil, the Americans can dramatically reclaim the Cup after losing in a tight match to Europe in Ireland two years ago.

 

A Chinese repeat?
A year ago, Rolex Rankings No. 8 Shanshan Feng became the first player from China to win on the LPGA Tour at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. The native of Guangzhou, China overcame a three-stroke deficit in last year’s final round on Sunday, firing the low round of the week with a 5-under 67 to claim a two-shot victory over Japan’s Mika Miyazato.

Feng looked to put herself on a good track for her title defense following a strong performance at last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer. The 23-year-old carried a three-shot lead into Sunday’s final round and despite a disappointing 4-over 75 on the final day of the event, she still managed to finish runner-up -- her best finish so far in 2013.

Feng’s major victory in 2012 made an immediate impact on her home country of 1.3 billion people. For the first time in her career, Feng was nominated for an award that honors the top Chinese athlete in a non-Olympic sport and she won it. With golf set to be a part of the Olympics in 2016 and the success of 14-year-old Guan Tianlang, who is from the same hometown as Feng, the expectation is that the interest in the sport will only grow in China.

 

Crazy Eights
The number eight could be a special one for LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame member Karrie Webb this week. The 38-year-old is seeking her eighth career major victory at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Webb captured career victory No. 39 last week at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. She now ranks 11th in all-time LPGA Tour victories and has the most wins of any active player on Tour right now.

Last week’s win was her first LPGA Tour victory in more than two years and it was an emotional one for the Australian, who dedicated the win to her grandmother, Marion Webb.

“She talked to me on the phone and said she didn't want me to come home, and that I had to win one for her," a teary-eyed Webb said after the victory.

Webb is one of six LPGA players to complete the Career Grand Slam and she holds the distinction of being the lone LPGA player to complete the Super Career Grand Slam, which is to capture all five majors that were available for her to win throughout her career. Of her seven major titles, only one came at the LPGA Championship. Webb won this event back in 2001 when she defeated Laura Diaz by two strokes at DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware.

 

Major Dominance
The LPGA Tour has been Golf’s Global Tour for a number of years now but in recent history, the Tour’s major championships have belonged to one section of the globe – Asia.

Each of the last eight major titles has been won by an Asian-born player. So the question now is: Will that streak continue this week at the Wegmans LPGA Championship?

South Korean Inbee Park kicked off the 2013 majors’ schedule with a victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship back in April. The Wegmans LPGA Championship marks the second of five majors that will be played this year with the addition of The Evian as the fifth and final major in September.

Stacy Lewis was the last non-Asian player to win a major title at the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship. Since the start of 2010, the only three non-Asian players to win major titles were Americans - Lewis, Cristie Kerr (2010 LPGA Championship) and Paula Creamer (2010 U.S. Women’s Open).

 

Quick facts
June 6 – June 9
Wegmans LPGA Championship
Locust Hill Country Club
Pittsford, New York

Field: 144 (138 touring professionals, five LPGA T&CP Championship winners, 1 amateur)
Par:  36-36, 72
Yardage: 6,532
Purse: $2,250,000
Winner:  $337,500
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Defending champion: Shanshan Feng

TV Times
Golf Channel
June 6  12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
June 7  12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
June 8  3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
June 9  3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
All times Eastern

 

This week’s field information: Wegmans LPGA Championship

2013 LPGA Tour rookies (17)
Chie Arimura    Sara-Maude Juneau
Julia Boland Moriya Jutanugarn
Katie Burnett Sue Kim
Lauren Doughtie Caroline Masson
Paz Echeverria  Lisa McCloskey
Breanna Elliott Kayla Mortellaro
Austin Ernst  Brooke Pancake
Daniela Iacobelli Nicole Smith
Felicity Johnson  

                                                                                   

Rolex Rankings
Top 10/10
Top 23/25

2013 LPGA Official Money List
Top 10: 10/10
Top 20: 25/25
Top 50: 50/50

Past Champions
2012 Shanshan Feng 1995 Kelly Robbins 1978 Nancy Lopez
2011 Yani Tseng 1994 Laura Davies 1977 Chako Higuchi
2010 Cristie Kerr  1993 Patty Sheehan 1976 Betty Burfeindt
2009 Anna Nordqvist 1992 Betsy King 1975 Kathy Whitworth
2008 Yani Tseng  1991 Meg Mallon 1974 Sandra Haynie
2007 Suzann Pettersen 1990 Beth Daniel 1973 Mary Mills
2006 Se Ri Pak 1989 Nancy Lopez  1972 Kathy Ahern
2005 Annika Sorenstam 1988 Sherri Turner  1971 Kathy Whitworth
2004 Annika Sorenstam 1987 Jane Geddes 1970 Shirley Englehorn
2003 Annika Sorenstam 1986 Pat Bradley   1969 Betsy Rawls
2002 Se Ri Pak 1985 Nancy Lopez 1968 Sandra Post
2001  Karrie Webb 1984 Patty Sheehan 1967 Kathy Whitworth
2000 Juli Inkster 1983 Patty Sheehan 1966 Gloria Ehret
1999 Juli Inkster 1982 Jan Stephenson 1965 Sandra Haynie
1998 Se Ri Pak 1981 Donna Caponi  1964 Mary Mills
1997 Christa Johnson 1980 Sally Little 1963 Mickey Wright
1996 Laura Davies 1979 Donna Caponi    

                                       

Press conference & media events schedule
Tuesday, June 4  
2:45 p.m.  Stacy Lewis – Rolex Rankings No. 2
3 p.m.  Cristie Kerr – 2010 Wegmans LPGA Championship winner
3:45 p.m. Shanshan Feng – 2012 Wegmans LPGA Championship winner
   
Wednesday, June 5  
10:30 a.m. Karrie Webb – LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member
  Won her 39th LPGA event at last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic
11 a.m. Meg Mallon – 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup Team Captain
11:30 a.m. Suzann Pettersen - 2007 Wegmans LPGA Championship winner
1:30 p.m.  Yani Tseng – Young player male or female to win five majors
2:15 p.m. Reigning LPGA Major Winners in a Joint Press Conference
  Inbee Park – 2013 Kraft Nabisco Championship
  Jiyai Shin – 2012 RICOH Women’s British Open
  Na Yeon Choi – 2012 U.S. Women’s Open
*Times are approximate and subject to change (all times are local in Pittsford, N.Y.)

 

Symetra Tour current player and alum factoids

The LPGA Tour is set to make its return to Rochester, N.Y. this week for the Wegmans LPGA Championship and a large contingent of Symetra Tour alums will be amongst the 144-player field.

Cristie Kerr, the 2010 Wegmans LPGA Championship winner, highlights the list of alums scheduled to compete this year. The 16-time LPGA Tour winner won the 2010 championship by 12-strokes which marked the largest margin of victory in tournament history.

Another Symetra Tour alum to watch-out for this week is Karrie Webb who is coming off her 39th career LPGA Tour victory at last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer. The Hall of Famer played on the Symetra Tour in 1995 where she divided her time between the Road to the LPGA and the Ladies European Tour.

Also scheduled to compete this week are Paz Echeverria and Sue Kim who have both played in a number of events on the Symetra Tour this season. Chile native Echeverria has played in three Symetra Tour events in 2013 and posted a season-best T18 at the Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara Bay. On the LPGA Tour, Echeverria is in the midst of her rookie season where she notched a season-best T34 at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.

Despite only playing in four events this season on the Symetra Tour, Kim has propelled to No. 5 on the current Volvik Race for the Card standings after two top-five finishes. She also ranks inside the top-10 in four statistical categories including birdies, rounds under par, scoring average, and putting average. This year on the LPGA Tour, Kim has played in two events and posted a season-best T34 at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.

The current standings in the Volvik Race for the Card are as follows (the top-10 on the season-ending money list earn their LPGA Tour card)  1. Jaclyn Sweeney of Bradenton, Fla., $24,046; 2. Melissa Eaton of Port Shepstone, S. Africa, $21,306; 3. Giulia Molinaro of Treviso, Italy, $18,506; 4. Christine Song of Fullerton, Calif., $18,406; 5. Sue Kim of Langley, British Columbia, $16,916; 6. Courtney Massey of Gold Coast, Australia, $16,710; 7. Laura Kueny of Whitehall, Mich., $16,585; 8. Alena Sharp of Hamilton, Ontario, $16,489; 9. Caroline Westrup of Ahus, Sweden, $13,444; 10. Isabelle Boineau of Marseille, France, $13,188

Topics: Storylines, KPMG Women's PGA Championship

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