After a week off to rest and regroup, the LPGA Tour descends upon a locale this week that has become a player favorite.
The Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., will host the Kingsmill Championship Hosted by JTBC for the 10th consecutive year, with Cristie Kerr returning as the defending champion. Kerr has earned three of her 16 career LPGA victories at the resort’s River Course, as she also won the tournament in 2009 and 2005.
Kerr had her hands full with 2007 Kingsmill champion Suzann Pettersen last year, besting the Norwegian on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff after sinking a two-footer for par. The last seven champions have posted at least three rounds in the 60s en route to the winner’s circle, and this year should be no different.
Another victory for her this week, and they may need to rename the event the Cristie Kerr Invitational. Players love the par-71, 6,379-yard course and have won with double-digit under-par totals each of the last six years.
Kerr will have to contend with the likes of Stacy Lewis, Lydia Ko, Paula Creamer, Lexi Thompson and Karrie Webb – who won the tournament in 2006 – among others. Se Ri Pak (2004) is another past Kingsmill champion in the field this week, so the player roster is loaded with talent once again at the $1.3 million event.
The Kingsmill Resort is owned by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, a resorts management company based in Greenwood, Colo., and owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz. Xanterra is the largest national and state park concessioner in the country, owning famous parks such as Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Canyon National Park.
Players will likely make the trek to Busch Gardens Amusement Park this week, so stay tuned to “Social Scene” for photos. It is a fun and festive tournament hosted at a lovely resort where hospitality is job one for the staff.
With great golf on a top-notch course, big crowds and birdies galore, the Kingsmill Championship has something for everyone. Golf Channel will be there to bring four rounds of coverage to fans not lucky enough to see it in person.
The Kingsmill Championship begins a four-week run for the LPGA that includes trips to Alabama, New Jersey and Ontario, and there is a heap of money up for grabs in the coming weeks. Ten events into the 2014 slate, LPGA players will begin looking to make moves in the standings as summer approaches, and it all begins this week.