Delve into the essential information about the 2023 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, featuring Ruoning Yin’s triumph and course insights.
Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower Course), Springfield, N.J.
6,831; par 72
266 – Kim Sei-young (2020)
$9 million (2022)
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is run jointly by the PGA of America and the LPGA and is one of the six women’s pro majors.
The event, which dates to 1955, moves annually to top courses around the U.S.
This year’s event is at Baltusrol Golf Club’s Lower Course, a New Jersey venue that has hosted many men’s and women’s majors through the decades.
Baltusrol has hosted nine men’s major championships (seven U.S. Opens, two PGA Championships) and also has hosted the U.S. Women’s Open twice. The 1985 U.S. Women’s Open was played at the Upper Course, while the Lower Course has previously hosted a women’s major at the 1961 U.S. Women’s Open, won by Hall-of-Famer Mickey Wright.
The Lower Course was designed by renowned architect A.W. Tillinghast and opened in 1924. The layout is notable for finishing with back-to-back par 5s on the last two holes. The 17th is one of the most lengthy, demanding par 5s in the world, a true three-shot hole where par is a good score and birdie is a bonus. The 18th could be reachable in two for some players in the right conditions and in any case is a more realistic birdie possibility.
How Ruoning Yin won in 2023
Ruoning Yin of China birdied the 72nd hole to beat 2021 U.S. Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso by one stroke. The 20-year-old claimed her second LPGA Tour title with a final-round 4-under 67 to come from three strokes behind and shoot an 8-under 272 total. She emerged as the champion after a tight battle that saw five players hold at least a share of the lead during the final round, with several others pulling within one stroke at one point or another. The Sunday scoring was the lowest of the week, including a 64 by Carlota Ciganda, a score that ultimately gave her a share of third. Yin and Saso both surged in the closing stretch, Yin playing the last six holes 3-under and Saso the last seven 3-under. Japan’s Saso birdied the par-5 18th, getting up and down from a greenside bunker, to take a one-stroke lead. Yin, in the group behind, drove in the rough, laid up with her second shot, hit a wedge to 10 feet, and made the putt for the victory.
- In an amazing display of ball-striking, Yin hit all 18 greens in both the third and fourth rounds. For the week, she hit 66 of 72 greens and 48 of 56 fairways.
- Yin became the second player from China to win an LPGA major, joining Shanshan Feng.
- Rose Zhang, who three weeks earlier won in her first LPGA event as a professional, finished T8, three strokes back, in her second pro start.
- From 2001-2023, only three players from the U.S. have won the event: Cristie Kerr (2010), Danielle Kang (2017), and Nelly Korda (2021). Megan Khang was the low American at Baltusrol, finishing T3.
- The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship’s purse was doubled from 2021 to 2022, going from $4.5 million to $9 million, and increased to $10 million in 2023.
This was first published in Essential Golf – you can read the complete magazine here.