Sahalee Country Club president 'thrilled' to host '16 KPMG Women's PGA Championship

Sahalee Country Club
Photo by Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
PGA of America CEO, Pete Bevacqua, KPMG CEO-Elect, Lynne Doughtie, Sahalee President, Steve Oaks, Global Chairman of KPMG, John Veihmeyer, and LPGA Commissioner, Mike Whan, pose for a photo during Round 3 of the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship held at Westchester Country Club on Saturday, June 13, 2015 in Harrison, New York.
By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Saturday, June 13, 2015 | 12:30 p.m.

HARRISON, N.Y. -- The 2016 KPMG Women's PGA Championship is headed to the Pacific Northwest.

Sahalee Country Club, which among other tournaments, previously played host to the 1998 PGA Championship won by Vijay Singh, is located in Sammamish, Washington -- roughly 20 miles from Seattle.

"I think it's absolutely great for the region, obviously," said Sahalee Country Club President Steve Oaks. "For our club, we couldn't be more thrilled. To have the opportunity to host another major -- and further our partnership with the PGA -- is something we're very excited about. The partnership with KPMG and the PGA is, I think, really innovative with what they're doing with the tournament and combining that with the Women's Leadership Summit. We're very excited and eager."

RELATED: Sahalee Country Club lands 2016 KPMG Women's PGA Championship

The tournament is scheduled to take place June 9-12, 2016. It will be the second year of the reinvigorated women's major since the PGA of America, LPGA and KPMG decided to join forces to elevate the event. It's not just a tournament, but also a week that focuses on the on the development, advancement and empowerment of women on and off the golf course thanks to the KPMG Women's Leadership Summit.

For that reason, Oaks is delighted to have the tournament out west. He believes it can only increase the awareness what the PGA, LPGA and KPMG are trying to accomplish.

"I think it's going to definitely help with 'buy-in,' obviously, to be spreading it around and not just be centralized in one specific region," Oaks said. "There are a lot of very successful companies on the west coast that have very talented women leaders in senior positions at those companies. I think it's going to be well-received and it's going to spread the word."

Oaks explained that the idea for getting the KPMG Women's PGA Championship out to Sahalee for 2016 had a lot to do with perfect timing.

KPMG had a private event at the course in April of this year that may have planted the seed. A month later, PGA CEO Pete Bevacqua paid the course a visit and that's when the wheels went in motion.

"Pete laid out his vision of what he was trying to accomplish and he's pretty infectious," Oaks said. "It was a great opportunity for us to partner with the PGA and host another major. We just jumped on it. We were very excited."

As for the course itself, Sahalee is most well known for its narrow fairways and the towering Douglas fir and red cedar trees that line them. That, no doubt, will put shot-making at a premium -- just as you'd expect in a major championship.

"I hope the course will show itself to be a great challenge for the lady golfers," Oaks said. "I think that they're going to have to use their whole bag. They're going to have to make shots to do well and score consistently. It's going to require them to know when to go for it and be aggressive and know when to play conservative and not press. It's going to test their whole game. I think the course will be in great shape."

But what about that weather in the Seattle area?

"That's the million dollar question," Oaks said, chuckling. "But if it's anything like what we've been experiencing this year, everybody will be very happy."

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 2016 KPMG Women's PGA Championship will mark the first time that this tournament is played in the Pacific Northwest. 

 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.