The women roll into Westchester
By Torleif Sorenson on 6/11/15
The KPMG Women's PGA Championship — the second women's major of the 2015 season — began this morning at Westchester Country Club's West Course this morning. The former LPGA Championship has a new look, a new partner, and a new venue.
This happened when LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan — who has already been an unqualified success in bringing the LPGA back to financial and popular relevance — approached PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua on October 30, 2014 with an idea of combining forces. After a hastily-arranged meeting the next day, the essential structure was in place.
But as veteran golf writer Steve Eubanks notes, Whan then brought in John Veihmeyer, the global chairman of KPMG, the Swiss-based global auditing, tax, and advising firm. Whan wanted to engage women on the business side, not merely getting them onto a golf course. The existing linkage with golf happened in 2012 when KPMG signed LPGA star Stacy Lewis to an endorsement contract. For those of you who don't happen to know, Lewis graduated in 2008 from the University of Arkansas with a B.S. in finance and accounting — a perfect fit intellectually and strategically.
The latest result of this is that the championship also includes a women's leadership summit. Among those who spoke at the event were new PGA of America Secretary Suzy Whaley, KPMG CEO Lynne Doughtie, LPGA pro Paige MacKenzie, Donna Orender, Jim Smith of international publishing giant Thomson Reuters, and former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleeza Rice.
As for events on the golf course, the PGA of America is operating the championship and will rotate sites each year. But starting out at Westchester is fine idea, given their experience hosting the PGA Tour's old Westchester Classic.
On television, Golf Channel has coverage between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday and Friday, then NBC Sports will televise the third and fourth rounds between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday and Sunday.
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Image via kpmgwomenspgachampionship.com
[ comments ]
From reports, Westchester is going to give the ladies a stern test. A few made it look easy on day 1 but time will tell.
I was there at the event yesterday. Those girls are so much fun to watch. As good as they are, they don't seem like they are way out of our league like the men do. Their distances and my distances seemed somewhat comparable with the exception of a few of the big hitters, like Michele Wie and a few others. It was great to see some poor shots too. Made them seem more like us. Saw one girl pop up a tee shot on a par 3 that didn't get half way to the green. Been there myself. No matter though, these girls are really good. Paula Creamer, my favorite, was not having a great day. She was not a happy camper. On the other hand, Natalie Gulbis was also not having a great day, but she had a genuine niceness to her the whole round. She interacted with kids between holes. I gained a whole new respect watching her play. Always thought she was fake. She's not.
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