Hazeltine National Golf Course was the site of one of the greatest days on a golf course for Phil Mickelson in September 2016.
This coming from a golfer, Mickelson, 48, who has won 44 events on the PGA Tour, including five major championships: three Masters titles, a PGA Championship, and an Open Championship.
“I will never forget the feeling of being on the golf course. Being a part of the most exciting coming together of a crowd I’ve ever witnessed or been a part of,” Mickelson said at a press conference for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Target Field on May 6.
“Something I will always cherish. They’ve done that at every major tournament I’ve been a part of,” he added. Not to date himself, but Mickelson, known as Lefty, played in the 1991 U.S. Open at the Chaska course.
Now Hazeltine, chosen as the first U.S. course to host a second Ryder Cup, in the year 2028, will be home to the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship June 18-23. This is the fifth time a women’s major championship is played in the state of Minnesota.
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship — a collaboration between the PGA of America, KPMG and the LPGA Tour — offers a purse among the highest in women’s golf. The event combines an annual major golf championship with the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit and an ongoing charitable initiative called the KPMG Future Leaders Program, all focused on the development, advancement, and empowerment of women on and off the golf course.
“Incredibly excited for June. It can’t get here fast enough,” PGA of America President Suzy Whaley said at a media day. “What makes this so special is the unique collaboration between the LPGA, KMPG and PGA of America. One that is so unique that comes together to really elevate women on and off the golf course, to get them on network television, and to showcase some of the best women athletes in the world in a way we feel they are deserving of.”
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship field of 156 includes many of the top women golfers around the world.
“If you get an invitation to play in this event, you’re there. The players are excited about what this event means. The fans are a big part of this. Literally they see the best golf in the world,” LPGA Chief Brand and Communications Officer Roberta Bowman said.
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship course layout is set at 6,807 yards with a par score of 72. Hazeltine will have its original layout with the signature hole back at No. 16.
“The LPGA Championship was the second-longest running (tournament), and it was deeply revered and protected by our players,” Bowman said. “This idea of a new partnership, while as exciting as it was, we wanted to make sure that deep and rich history was revered and was respected. This is a rare case where new and improved exceeded expectations. Every year we see a magnificent event elevated every further. ... It’s a wonderful opportunity to see not just the best players from NCAA and the LPGA, but the folks who qualify for this event are the best in the world. It’s the Olympics coming to your community.”
Stacy Lewis, who was in town for media day, will return from maternity leave to play in the tournament.
“You ask most players, this is the best tournament we have. When you show up on the grounds it feels like a major tournament. Like Roberta said, it feels like a major when the fans show up,” she said.
“To move this event to such great venues, specifically here in Minnesota, it’s such a remarkable thing for this event,” Mickelson said. “The way this community has supported the game of golf, it has given me some of the most memorable moments in my career, specifically the 2016 Ryder Cup.”
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship announced that Saturday, June 22, will be “Youth Day,” and will feature special youth programming.
Youth Day will provide an unequaled opportunity for young people to see the best golfers in the world play in a major championship while they try their hand at golf and participate in numerous fun activities, such as:
The Youth Fun Zone – Offering various activities, the Youth Fun Zone will be located at practice greens by the South Main Entrance. It opens at 8 a.m and runs through the afternoon.
National “Go Like a Pro” Lesson Zone – PGA teaching professionals will provide complementary instruction on driving, chipping and/or putting by the Hazeltine Clubhouse, near Hole No. 1 tee.
Youth Giveaway – While supplies last, kids who visit the Youth Fun Zone will receive a souvenir championship branded golf ball to take home.