NEW YORK -- KPMG, the PGA of America, and the LPGA on Thursday announced the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, and the creation of a multi-faceted program focused on the development, advancement, and empowerment of women on and off the golf course. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, broadcast in partnership with NBC and Golf Channel, brings together a world-class, annual major golf championship with a women’s leadership summit and an ongoing community initiative to inspire and develop new generations of female leaders.
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will continue the rich tradition of the LPGA Championship and will rotate annually among prestigious courses in major metropolitan markets. In its first year, the Championship will be held June 8-14, 2015 at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., with a purse among the highest in women’s golf at $3.5 million. The Championship will be operated by the PGA of America in close collaboration with the LPGA.
“KPMG is proud to take on this groundbreaking sponsorship and to work with the LPGA, the PGA of America and NBC to inspire today’s and tomorrow’s women leaders,” said John Veihmeyer, Global Chairman of KPMG. “This collaboration will not only bring women’s golf to new audiences -- it also creates opportunities to expand women’s leadership on and off the course, empowering today’s women leaders and cultivating the next-generation of female leaders.”
“This is a landmark moment for the PGA of America as we partner with KPMG and the LPGA to embrace an historic Championship and focus on the advancement of women,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “We look forward to teaming with the LPGA to make the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship the can’t-miss week for female leaders. Together, we believe this Championship – broadcast to millions around the world – will energize new audiences in our collective effort to grow the game.”
The LPGA Championship began in 1955, five years after the birth of the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Past champions include legendary players Mickey Wright, Betsy Rawls, Kathy Whitworth, Nancy Lopez, Juli Inkster, Annika Sorenstam and Se Ri Pak.
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship field of 156 will include the top eight finishers from the previous year’s LPGA Teaching & Club Professional National Championship, including PGA of America women members if they rank among the eight positions.
“The LPGA Championship has a very proud 60-year tradition and I couldn’t be more excited to carry this forward in an even bigger way with the partnership of KPMG, the PGA of America and NBC. The Championship will now reach even greater levels of global exposure, player opportunities, and community impact,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “This event will change lives – both for the female professionals that will compete in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, and for the women it will impact in both the women’s leadership summit and community initiative.”
“With this new partnership between the LPGA, the PGA of America and KPMG, NBC and Golf Channel will be able to raise the profile of this Championship including broadcast coverage of the weekend action on NBC,” said Molly Solomon, Executive Producer for Golf Channel, part of NBC Sports Group. “In addition, we will have a robust lineup of features across our coverage that will showcase the role golf has in the business world, the advancement of professional women and highlights from the women’s leadership summit and community initiative associated with this Championship.”
KPMG will spearhead the women’s leadership summit hosted on-site during Championship week, bringing together top women leaders in business, politics, sports and society to network, learn and give back. KPMG also will manage the ongoing community initiative to provide today’s top women leaders the opportunity to cultivate the next generation of female leaders and equip them with the leadership skills, networks, and confidence through scholarships, training, and internship and mentoring programs.
KPMG, the PGA and the LPGA will create an advisory board of exemplary female leaders to shape the strategic direction of the women’s leadership summit and community initiative.
Here’s what they're saying:
"I think it's tremendous that KPMG is stepping up with the PGA of America and the LPGA Tour to create the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. Women's golf deserves to have a complement to the men's PGA Championship and exciting to see this happening for the future of the game. And as a father of two girls, I love KPMG's focus through the summit and charitable programs on developing the next generation of women leaders."
Annika Sorenstam (LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member and 3-time winner of the LPGA Championship)
"The majors in our sport are so "big." They present big challenges, big moments and can have a big impact on the careers of players and the history of the sport. This new partnership between the LPGA, PGA of America and KPMG is “big” in every way. The women on Tour are being given a special gift in the form of huge prize money, greater exposure and a bigger career impact. And just as exciting for me is KPMG’s focus on making sure this major also creates “big moments” for women outside of the game as well, especially in business. I am very happy for everyone involved!"
Nancy Lopez (LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member and 3-time winner of the LPGA Championship)
"I am so excited to see the LPGA Championship take another huge leap forward! For me, it has always been a special event that every player strives to win. But now, with the addition of network television, the awesome jump in prize money, and the rotation of world-class venues-plus the opportunity to impact women in golf and in business-this is big time! I am so proud for all the women on the LPGA. From the start, this major has always relied on the support and belief of corporate sponsors. Companies like Mazda, McDonalds and Wegmans have been there for us in supporting the women's game and we can't thank them enough for the foundation they have built."
Karrie Webb (LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member, LPGA Board of Directors Member and 2001 winner of the LPGA Championship)
"As someone who loves the tradition of the game, it will be tough to see the name change away from “LPGA Championship”, but it’s comforting that the traditions, legacy, and opportunities for our members will still remain. For younger players on Tour, they can be confident that this tremendous Championship will continue for decades to come, and be bigger and better than ever before."
Dottie Pepper (17-time LPGA winner and PGA of America Board Member)
"In my unique position as an LPGA member and former Tour player who has now joined the PGA of America as a Board Member, I can see the great strides that have been made bringing these two organizations together for this Championship. Each of them is committed to growing the game and growing career opportunities for women. It is very satisfying to know that one of the greatest events in women's golf will now coincide with one of the greatest women's business forums. I'm proud and honored to have witnessed the development of this partnership and I have no doubt that there will be significant impacts on the lives of women, both on and off the golf course."