The second longest running tournament in the history of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, the Women's PGA Championship continues to be one of the most treasured in women's golf. Surpassed in longevity only by the U.S. Women's Open, this tournament has far-reaching appeal and was one of the cornerstones of the LPGA Tour's foundation. Thrilled to be chosen as the Womens PGA Championship 2018 site, Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer, IL looks forward to becoming a piece of this unique history.
History of the Women's PGA Championship
Women's PGA Championship: The Beginning
First played over 60 years ago in 1955, the LPGA Championship held its inaugural tournament at Orchard Ridge County Club in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The winner of that competition was Beverly Hanson, who won in a match-play finale, the only time match play has ever been used in this tournament.
Women's PGA Championship Undergoes Significant Changes
There have been several changes to the tournament over the 60 years that it has been played. The most notable one is its name. For most of the first 30 years, through 1986, the tournament was referred to as the LPGA Championship. After this, corporate sponsorship came into play, and such big names as McDonald's, AIG, Coca-Cola, and Wegmans were added to the name. Beginning in 2015, the tournament name changed to the "KPMG Women's PGA Championship" as a result of a partnership between the LPGA and PGA of America.
Women's PGA Championship Records
There have been many exciting moments in the 60-year history of this tournament. While impossible to name them all, some significant records have been broken, and there are quite a few unforgettable occasions. The tournament record for the lowest 18-hole round is tied at 63 between Patty Sheehan (1983) and Meg Mallon (1999). The tournament record for the lowest 72-hole score is 267 and is held by Betsy King (1992). Mickey Wright is the only four-time winner of this event (1958, 1960, 1961, 1963). Three-time even winners include Kathy Whitworth (1967, 1971, 1975), Patty Sheehan (1983, 1984, 1993), Annika Sorenstam (2003-05), and Inbee Park (2013-15).
Championship Golf Courses of the Women’s PGA
The selection of golf courses for this tournament has shifted in recent years as well. For much of its history, the tournament tended to select a semi-permanent host course for the event. After anywhere from four up to a dozen years, they would move on to a new course. With the change to PGA of America running the tournament, it was announced that they would begin rotating on an annual basis, selecting "prestigious courses in major metropolitan markets."
Women's PGA Championship: Future Sites
Course sites are selected several years out for the tournament. The 2016 tournament will take place at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, WA and the 2017 tournament will be held at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, IL. The Womens PGA Championship 2018 tournament will take place at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer, IL. A private country club in a northwest Chicago suburb, Kemper Lakes Golf Club was host to the 1989 PGA Championship and has been named by Golf Digest as one of the 100 Greatest Golf Courses in America. Supporters and fans of Women's PGA in Kildeer, IL are in for a treat in the very near future with this historic tournament coming to Kemper Lakes.