KOHLER, Wis. -- Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club and Kemper Lakes Golf Club of Kildeer, Illinois, have been named hosts of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in June of 2017 and 2018, respectively, as the PGA of America showcases this major championship in the Chicago area over two consecutive years.
The Championship is a collaboration between KPMG, the LPGA and the PGA of America, that focuses on the development, advancement and empowerment of women on and off the golf course.
“Our commitment to our partners at KPMG and the LPGA remains strong, as is our resolve to share this Championship with the nation’s finest golf courses and their local communities,” said PGA of America President Derek Sprague. “Both Olympia Fields Country Club and Kemper Lakes Golf Club are well-versed in major championship golf. We believe that both will build off each other’s momentum and deliver two magnificent championships befitting a world-class destination like Chicago.”
The 2017 and ’18 KPMG Women’s PGA Championships bring LPGA major championship golf to the Chicago area for the first time since three U.S. Women’s Opens were conducted in the region between 1974 and 2000.
“KPMG is committed to continuing to expand opportunities for women, in business and in golf,” said KPMG Global Chairman John Veihmeyer. “These two world-class venues further elevate the Championship and what it represents for women on and off the course.” KPMG U.S. Chairman and CEO Lynne Doughtie said, “We also will build on our efforts to inspire new generations of women leaders in business to advance into the C-suite through the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, which will be held on site the day before the Championship each year.”
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is broadcast in partnership with NBC and Golf Channel, bringing together a world-class, annual major golf championship with a women’s leadership summit and an ongoing charitable initiative to inspire and develop new generations of female leaders.
“We are excited to bring the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship to Chicago in back-to-back years at two great venues – Olympia Fields Country Club and Kemper Lakes Golf Club – which will both provide an excellent major championship test for our players,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “The Chicagoland area has always been a strong supporter of the LPGA and that was on full display back in 2009 when we hosted a successful Solheim Cup. With this announcement and the UL International Crown taking place at Rich Harvest Farms in 2016, the great fans in Chicago will now have an opportunity to see the best female golfers in the world in each of the next three years.”
The two Championship venues are less than 60 miles apart. While Olympia Fields anchors Chicago’s Southland communities, Kemper Lakes is a gem of the Windy City’s northern suburbs.
“As we begin our second century of championship golf, the members and staff of Olympia Fields Country Club could not be more excited to welcome the PGA of America, KPMG and the finest women golfers in the world to our facility,” said Jon Dye, President of Olympia Fields Country Club. “Olympia Fields has always taken pride in presenting the best in golf to the great sports fans of Chicagoland.”
Designed by two-time Open Champion Willie Park Jr., the North Course at Olympia Fields features a rolling terrain and Butterfield Creek makes its presence felt on seven holes. Olympia Fields was the site of the 2003 Men’s U.S. Open, which was won by Jim Furyk. In 1925, Walter Hagen claimed the first of two PGA Championships played at Olympia Fields, which has also hosted the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Senior Open during its storied history.
Kemper Lakes was designed by architects Ken Killian and Dick Nugent. A recently completed three-year renovation project by Rick Jacobson provides new challenges to a course that features expansive lakes, pristine meadowlands and historic stands of oak. In 1989, Payne Stewart’s PGA Championship victory at Kemper Lakes secured the first of his three major championship wins.
“In addition to Payne Stewart’s historic win, having hosted the 92nd U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and 45th U.S. Women’s Public Links Championship, there is a special connection between the best players in the game, Kemper Lakes, and sports fans throughout Greater Chicago,” said Kemper Lakes Golf Club Owner Steve Jouzapaitis. “We anticipate the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2018 will yield one of the most memorable weeks in women’s golf.”
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship continues its rich tradition of the LPGA Championship, and will celebrate its 2016 Championship at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington, June 9-12. The Championship offers a purse among the highest in women’s golf.
Past Champions of the event, which began in 1955, include legendary players Mickey Wright, Betsy Rawls, Kathy Whitworth, Nancy Lopez, Juli Inkster, Annika Sörenstam and Se Ri Pak. Inbee Park has won the Championship three straight years (2013-15) to share the all-time record for consecutive titles with Sörenstam (2003-05).