SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- Handling pressure is nothing new to Inbee Park, who knows she will be in the spotlight next month when she goes for a record fourth straight victory at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club.
“Playing the best courses, with strong fields, while inspiring young golfers, and future business leaders, makes this championship special,” Park said Friday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship official media day at Sahalee.
LPGA Hall of Fame
Park will have even more to look forward to at Sahalee as she closes in on fulfilling the active membership criteria for the LPGA Hall of Fame. She will meet the benchmark of 10 years of active LPGA Tour after the conclusion of the first round of her 10th start this season. She has made seven starts so far in 2016 and is scheduled to play the Kingsmill Championship and the Volvik Championship before teeing it up in Sammamish. Park earned the 27th and final point needed for the point criteria for the Hall of Fame when she won the Vare Trophy last season for low scoring average (69.41). For more information on the criteria for the LPGA Hall of Fame click here.
“I’ve never done anything four times in a row before,” Park added. “Making my 10th start and qualifying for the Hall of Fame will make this really special.”
Microsoft, the iconic multinational technology company based in the Pacific Northwest, has been named a Founding Sponsor of the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit.
“Microsoft’s participation reinforces the stature of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in attracting global companies to be part of this major championship,” said Pete Bevacqua, PGA of America CEO, who was joined at media day by John Veihmeyer, Chairman, KPMG International.
To be held on Wed., June 8 at Sahalee Country Club, the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit brings together today’s most accomplished leaders in business, politics, sports, and the media to inspire the next generation of women leaders.
“The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is a truly unique event – not only in women’s golf – but in all of sports,” said Veihmeyer. “We are using the Championship as a platform to elevate women in business and golf. The KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit is focused on moving more women into the C-suite, and hosting the event in the Seattle market enables us to engage next-generation women leaders in the technology sector.”
It was also announced that Klára Spilková of the Czech Republic has accepted a special exemption to compete next month. Spilková, 21, is the top-ranked player from the Czech Republic in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and at age 16 was the youngest player to receive full membership on the Ladies European Tour. This will be Spilková’s first major- championship appearance in the United States. On track to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Spilková has competed in the past three Ricoh British Open Championships and the 2015 Evian Championship.
Sahalee Country Club
Sahalee Country Club has a rich history of hosting major golf championships (1998 PGA Championship, 2010 U.S. Senior Open) and is widely considered a spectacular setting for spectators. This is the second women’s major golf championship to be contested in Washington State, the first since the 1946 U.S. Women’s Open Championship at Spokane Country Club.
“The LPGA, PGA, and KPMG have brought us to a spectacular venue at Sahalee Country Club,” said So Yeon Ryu, the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open Champion who accompanied her good friend Park to the media day event at Sahalee. “My impression when I stepped up to the first hole was ‘wow!’
Bevacqua said, “I don’t think there is a more beautiful course in the world than Sahalee – it’s exquisite. The PGA wants to be here in the Pacific Northwest – with its great spectator and corporate support – it’s something we want to do more often.”
Besides the world-class golf, golf fans will have a variety of ways to stay entertained. Included in the special attractions are the National “Go Like a Pro” Lesson Zone, where they can demo equipment and receive complimentary 10-minute lessons from local PGA and LPGA Teaching Professionals; “Discover the New Kia” vehicle displays (with interactive in-vehicle trivia games and prizes); and the KPMG Inspire Greatness Timeline, a 150-foot wall display that illustrates women who have paved the way through their groundbreaking accomplishments.
A new generation of champions will be honored during championship week when the Girls Division winners from this year’s Drive, Chip & Putt finals visit Sahalee. The four champions, ranging in age from 7 to 15, will be special guests of the championship and receive “inside the ropes” access to watch Park’s historic milestone.
Gates open daily at 7 a.m. starting Tuesday, June 7. The Pro-Am is Tuesday, with a morning wave at 7:30 and afternoon wave at 12:35. Practice rounds Wednesday begin at 7 a.m., with players going off both the No. 1 and No. 10 tee.
Championship competition is Thursday through Sunday. For the first two rounds there is a morning wave starting at 7:30, followed by an afternoon wave starting at 12:40. Saturday tee times are from 8-10 a.m., with Sunday tee times from 7:20 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
For tickets and more information call (425) 272-1770, email 2016WPGA@pgahq.com or visit www.KPMGWomensPGA.com.
ABOUT KPMG WOMEN’S PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship — a collaboration between the PGA of America, KPMG and the LPGA Tour — continues the rich tradition of the LPGA Championship. Broadcast in partnership with NBC and Golf Channel, the Championship offers a purse among the highest in women’s golf. It combines a world-class, annual major golf championship with the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit and an ongoing charitable initiative – all focused on the development, advancement and empowerment of women on and off the golf course.