5 compelling KPMG Women's PGA Championship stories to follow in 2024

5 compelling storylines to watch this week at the 2024 KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
2023 KPMG Women's PGA Championship Winner Ruoning Yin
2023 KPMG Women's PGA Championship Winner Ruoning Yin / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

As we sit back and digest all that happened at the men’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst last week, another major championship is already upon us – the 2024 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

The third (out of five) women’s major of the year heads to the Pacific Northwest and the Seattle suburb of Sammamish, Washington, where Sahalee Country Club will play host to its second KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Here are 5 storylines to watch this week at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

An elite field will tee it up at Sahalee Country Club in a bid to hoist the champion’s trophy on Sunday. These are our top 5 stories to follow as you tune in to watch.

5. Can Nelly Korda Bounce Back?

Rolex Ranking world No. 1 Nelly Korda is entering the week off of back-to-back missed cuts at the U.S. Women’s Open and the Meijer LPGA Classic. The last time Korda missed two cuts in a row was in 2023 at the Cognizant Founders Cup and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club. She followed up those MCs with mixed results, including a T-64 at the U.S. Women’s Open and a T-9 at The Amundi Evian Championship (both women’s majors).

Korda has already won six times this year, and despite the recent MCs, there is no reason to suspect the 25-year-old won’t bounce back with a performance worthy of being the world No. 1. She leads the LPGA with a 69.71 scoring average and is second in both Greens in Regulation and Putts per GIR, both important statistics when talking about doing well in major championship golf. Look for Korda to be right in the thick of things come Sunday afternoon as she seeks her third major.

4. Sahalee Country Club is a Jewell of the Pacific Northwest

One of the stars of the 2024 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be the golf course itself, Sahalee Country Club. Sahalee – which means ‘High Heavenly Ground’ – is a gorgeous parkland-style layout with a quintessential Pacific Northwest feel – that is, majestic trees like red cedar, hemlocks, and Douglas firs lining the narrow and difficult to hit fairways. An enchanting, hanging mist often envelops the course, giving it a sometimes mysterious vibe.

The course plays to a championship par of 71 and measures just under 7,000 yards (6,831). It includes 85 bunkers and six water hazards, as well as the narrow fairways, to challenge and test the best women’s golfers in the world.

3. Can Ruoning Yin Win Back-to-back KPMG Women’s PGA Championships?

Only two players have won back-to-back KPMG Women’s PGA Championships – Annika Sorenstam and Inbee Park. Both completed a 3-peat – Sorenstam won in 2003, 2004, and 2005, while Park was victorious in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Defending champion Ruoning Yin (China) will attempt a repeat this week, however, the world No. 3 hasn’t won since that KPMG Women’s PGA Championship last year. Her recent results have been a mixed bag of high finishes, missed cuts, and even a withdrawal. Her T-12 at an extremely difficult setup at last month’s U.S. Women’s Open should have her ready to compete and tackle the challenges that Sahalee Country Club will present this week.

2. Lilia Vu Comes in Hot after Extended Time Off

Lilia Vu, the Rolex world No. 2 player, has spent the better part of the 2024 season battling a back injury. After her T-21 finish at the Ford Championship in late March, Vu decided to take an extended break from the LPGA Tour to focus on rest and rehabilitation. She contemplated coming back for the U.S. Women’s Open but decided to wait another two weeks before teeing it up last week at the Meijer LPGA Classic outside Grand Rapids, Michigan.

That patience paid off as Vu was victorious, outlasting Lexi Thompson and Grace Kim in a three-way playoff. Fresh off the win, she should be feeling confident as she contends with a stacked field and major championship conditions this week at Sahalee Country Club.

1. PGA of America Golf Professionals Compete at Major Championship

One of the cool things about both the men’s and women’s PGA Championships is that PGA of America Golf Professionals – those men and women who teach, coach, and are stewards of the game at golf clubs all around the country – can try and qualify and compete in one of golf’s sternest tests, right alongside the game’s biggest and brightest stars.

Those competing this week at Sahalee Country Club include teaching professionals from across the country, from Pennsylvania and New York to LPGA Professional Wendy Ward who hails from Spokane, Washington.

These women qualified for the week by competing in the 2023 LPGA Professionals National Championship, held at the River Course at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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Coverage of the 2024 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship can be found on NBC, Golf Channel, and Peacock. Check your local listings for details.