We’ve hosted the Ryder Cup, Super Bowl LII, the X games, and the NCAA Men’s Final Four; now the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is here this week at Hazeltine National. Make no mistake about it — the biggest names and brightest stars on the LPGA Tour, one of the strongest fields in golf, will be here trying to win one of the LPGA’s five majors.
This is the 65th KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. The historic Hazeltine National has most recently hosted the thrilling 2016 Ryder Cup, two PGA Championships, two United States Opens, and one U.S. Amateur. Tiger Woods has won 15 Major Championships and could easily have won 17 had he not twice finished second in the PGA Championship at Hazeltine.
I’ll never forget the historic 1992 U.S. Open won by the great Payne Stewart in a playoff over Scott Simpson. That was the week professional golf changed in how to deal with bad weather and protecting the fans and players after two spectators were struck by lightning and killed at Hazeltine when a tornado ripped through Chaska.
I was on the course when the storm came through. I was so lucky I was close to a bunker near the 10th hole when the storm came up, and I remember diving in. It was such a helpless experience. The storm came from nowhere and was freighting and intense.
Now they have the best weather people and equipment, using radar to get ahead of bad weather if and when it comes to get the players and thousands of fans off the course.
Many of the biggest names in women’s golf are here, like Inbee Park, a seven-time Major Champion. She won the U.S. Open in Minnesota at Interlachen Country Club.
Red-hot Brooks Henderson has already won nine times on tour, including a win last week. Long-hitting Lexi Thompson won two weeks ago. Sung Hyun Park is the defending champion, plus we’ll be seeing play by Lydia Ko, Paula Creamer and Christie Kerr.
This should be a great week with a strong, talented field and a truly tough test at Hazeltine National.