May 16, 2017: 12 weeks, 12 tournaments, three major championships. Summer is here and with it comes the longest LPGA Tour tournament stretch, starting with this week’s Kingsmill Championship Presented by JTBC in Williamsburg, Virginia.
The 144-player field includes 20 of the top 25 players in the Rolex Rankings, 87 of the top 100 players on the 2017 LPGA Tour money list and six past Kingsmill champions, all competing for a $1.3 million purse at the Kingsmill Resort’s River Course.
At the 2016 Kingsmill Championship Presented by JTBC, Ariya Jutanugarn shot a final-round 67 to claim her second consecutive LPGA Tour victory, the second of her five tournament titles in 2016. Jutanugarn shot all four rounds in the 60s at the River Course and finished at 14-under par and one shot clear of rookie Su Oh of Australia. American Gerina Piller and Sei Young Kim of South Korea finished tied for third at 12-under par.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE KINGSMILL CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY JTBC
1 – Only Cristie Kerr (2005, 2009, 2013) has won the Kingsmill Championship multiple times
3 – Winners of the event who were Rolex First-Time Winners: Suzann Pettersen (2007), Lizette Salas (2014) and Minjee Lee (2015)
4 – Cristie Kerr’s three wins (2005, 2009, 2013) at the Kingsmill Championship have each come in four-year increments, with her last win coming in 2013 a win this year would keep the trend alive
9 – There’s been three playoffs in the event’s 13-year history and the epic nine-hole sudden death between Jiyai Shin and Paula Creamer in 2012 stands as the longest sudden-death playoff between two players in LPGA history
13 – This is the 13th edition of the Kingsmill Championship
62 – 18-hole scoring record, most recently shot by In Gee Chun in the second round in 2016
265 – Tournament record 19-under-par 72-hole score set by Annika Sorenstam in 2008
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DEFENDING CHAMPION AND WORLD NO. 3 ARIYA JUTANUGARN
- In 10 starts in 2017, Jutanugarn has posted eight top-nine finishes, including three runner-up finishes (HSBC Women’s Champions, Bank of Hope Founders Cup, Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Match Play presented by Aeromexico and Delta)
In February 2016, she was the No. 62 in the world; by the end of the 2016 season, Jutanugarn:
- Won five LPGA titles
- Became the first player in Tour history to have the first three wins of her career come in consecutive tournaments (Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, Kingsmill Championship, Volvik Championship)
- Became the first player since Inbee Park in 2013 to win three LPGA tournaments in a row
- Won the Women’s British Open, becoming the first major champion (male or female) from Thailand
- Became the second player to win the Rolex Player of the Year, Race to the CME Globe and the LPGA Official Money Title in the same season
- Won the Rolex Player of the Year by 20 points over Lydia Ko to become the second-youngest winner in the 50-year history of the award, trailing only Ko in 2015