ADVERTISEMENT

June ends with the victory of Chun Major | LPGA

ADVERTISEMENT

The third major championship of the season showcased a newly transformed Blue Course at the Congressional Country Club in what was a series of firsts: the first time the club had hosted a women’s major; the first time the redesigned course hosted a major competition; and the first time the Congress welcomed the world’s best players since the US Open in 2011.

Congressional made its return to competition to rave reviews as it produced a long and difficult trial that challenged every club in the bag. It won’t be long before the world’s best once again descend on Congress, as the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship marked the start of a nine-event partnership between the PGA of America and the club, which will host the PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup, and see the return of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in the coming years.

ADVERTISEMENT

For much of the week, it was In Gee Chun who seemed poised to make her return to the top of the women’s game. She had suffered back pain and a bout of depression and she hadn’t won on the LPGA Tour since 2018. And it had been six years since the two-time Grand Slam champion captured one of the biggest trophies in the women’s game. But when Chun opened with a dazzling 8-under par 64 at Congressional that left the rest of the field in awe, it looked like she might be on the comeback. But Lexi Thompson was looking for a comeback of her own.

Thompson, who has dealt with her fair share of heartbreak on the golf course, recently suffered heartbreak outside of the game with the recent loss of her grandmother, Mimi. In Congress, Thompson tried to use that loss as motivation, and her grandmother’s passing gave her a fresh perspective as she tried to be less critical of her mistakes and sought to see her time competing as a blessing.

On Sunday, Thompson mounted a charge in the final round to take a two-shot lead midway through the final round, but his short game failed him down the stretch and allowed Chun to retake a one-shot lead and head for the hole. 72. Chun made a final putt for par on the last to cement his comeback status and win his third major title and fourth LPGA Tour win. Thompson finished in second place for his sixth top-10 finish of the season.

The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship caps off a five-week stretch that saw more than one comeback as some of the biggest names in the women’s game returned to the winner’s circle on the LPGA Tour.

Eun Hee Ji captured the five-day challenge known as the Bank of Hope Match Play to win for the first time since 2019.

The following week, the Tour arrived at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club for the US Women’s Open. It was there that the Tour welcomed Nelly Korda’s return to competition for the first time since February, as she had withdrawn from the game to undergo surgery to remove a blood clot in her arm. And it was Minjee Lee who emerged victorious as the third player from Australia to win the US Women’s Open.

The following week, Brooke Henderson captured her first victory of the season at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, where she came from four shots back to win on Sunday.

The Tour then returned to the Meijer LPGA Classic, where a three-way tiebreaker between Korda, Jennifer Kupcho and Leona Maguire ensued. It was Kupcho who emerged victorious on the second playoff hole to capture her second win in as many months.

The LPGA Tour takes a two-week break before returning to compete in one of the most fun events on the calendar, the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, where the Jutanugarn sisters look to defend their title. Then the final march to the final two majors of the season begins with the Amundi Evian Championship and AIG Women’s Open on the horizon.

Everyone loves a good comeback story and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship produced one of the best as Congressional rejoined the major championship roster and In Gee Chun cemented her place, once again, at the top of the women’s game.

sniloans