LPGA’s Mike Whan unveiled one big surprise in the 2012 schedule: a return to Williamsburg, Va., for the Sept. 6-9 Kingsmill Championship. Kingsmill, now owned by Xanterra Parks and Resorts, is undergoing renovations. In 2013, Whan plans to restore Kingsmill to its traditional date in May.
After a two-year hiatus, the LPGA will return to Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg. The $1.3 million Kingsmill Championship is scheduled for Sept. 6-9 — the week before the Women’s British Open.
“We are truly thrilled to bring the world’s best golfers back to Kingsmill, where the LPGA has such a great history,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “As our players will attest, Kingsmill is a premier venue and we all look forward to working closely with the resort’s new owner, Xanterra, on this tournament. In 2012, the LPGA’s motto is “See Why It’s Different Out Here,” and we hope that fans and media will have the opportunity to find out for themselves.”
Kingsmill played host to the LPGA for seven years, from 2003-09. The event was terminated in September 2009 as the resort’s ownership changed. The tournament was then sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, which was taken over by Belgium-based InBev, and the new owner declined to renew a contract with the LPGA.
Now owned by Xanterra Parks and Resorts, Kingsmill and its challenging courses are primed to bring back an event that was considered by players to be a fifth major given Kingsmill’s hospitality and the then-$2.2 million purse. The event is being sponsored by Xanterra Parks and Resorts and the Kingsmill Resort & Spa.
Previous winners at Kingsmill include Hall of Fame champions Se Ri Pak, Karrie Webb and Annika Sorenstam. Suzann Pettersen, who is ranked No. 2 in the world, earned her first LPGA Tour win at Kingsmill in 2007.
“I’m so thrilled to be returning to Kingsmill this year,” said Cristie Kerr, a past champion. “It’s one of my favorite tournaments and it was a shame when it went away a few years ago. I really look forward to going back!”
“It looks like a very healthy schedule,” world No. 2 Suzann Pettersen told USA Today on Tuesday. Her first LPGA win came at Kingsmill in 2007. “Kingsmill is by far one of my favorite golf courses. And it was one of the tournaments you really wanted to win. We all loved going to Kingsmill, and this is great news.”
The Kingsmill tournament will have a purse of $1.3 million. In its previous run, Kingsmill was among the biggest purses on tour and considered by many players as an unofficial major.
NEED A PLACE TO STAY? 719 GRAVES ORDINARY KINGSMILL RESORT & SPA
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PLAYER & TOURNAMENT TWEETS
@Kstupples: Got to say the Mike Whan and rest of LPGA staff gets a huge high five for the schedule. Not only for returning tournaments but for the new Hawaii and Kingsmill are very welcome additions to the Tour.
@Angela_Stanford: I can finally say it! Anybody else jacked about the LPGA going back to Kingsmill?!? Can’t wait!!! 2012 looks great for us!!
@kempgolf: Excited about this years LPGA Schedule. Especially having Kingsmill back!!
@TheChristinaKim: So so excited to hear the news that the @lpga is coming BACK TO KINGSMILL! Great work from all LPGA staff for helping secure our 27th event!. So stoked to include KINGSMILL and HAWAII!!! All in the span of a week! How exciting! At this rate, we will be looking for weeks off! Yay!!!