Olympia prepares for the WPGA

Writing from Olympia Fields, Illinois

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Off the course, the big news Tuesday at Olympia Fields Country Club was the extension of the agreement between the LPGA, the PGA of America and title sponsor KPMG for the Women’s PGA Championship through 2023, four years added to the original five-year term that began in 2015.

“If we’d have been in player dining and told them this is going on through 2023, you’d have gotten a 10-minute ovation,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said.

The deal includes a purse increase next year to $3.65 million. This year’s kitty is $3.5 million, with $525,000 to the winner.

“We’re going to continue to make sure that we make this one of the very best events not just in women’s golf, but in golf,” PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua said.

The news on the course during the KPMG Pro-Am was the course springing a leak. In the afternoon, a sprinkler head near the 17th green went haywire, the leak so severe that the ground was damp all the way to the 18th tee. But grounds superintendent Sam MacKenzie’s crack grounds crew was on it so quickly, no damage was done to the course.

Photo for Illinois Golfer by Phil Arvia

Meanwhile, among early finishers, Ariya Jutanugarn’s team scored a best-ball 58, beating Angela Stanford’s squad by four strokes.

Wednesday at Olympia

Players have the course to themselves for final practice rounds before the first ball is struck in anger at 7:30 by England’s Holly Clyburn on the first tee on Thursday morning. Of the course, the KPMG Leadership Summit takes place in the pavilion overlooking the tournament’s 18th green.

Tim Cronin

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