Since the mid 1950s, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has produced champions from around the world. With 22 international champions from nine different countries, the winners of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship reflect the growing global influence of the LPGA Tour. Since 2000, only three Americans have won the championship, which makes the international contingent the group to watch heading to Hazeltine National Golf Club.
Minjee Lee has hit her stride during her last year on the LPGA Tour. The Aussie is coming off a career best season in 2018, in which she amassed 12 top 10s in addition to picking up her fourth career victory on Tour. At season’s end, Lee ranked No. 2 on Tour in scoring average, birdies and rounds in the 60s. She also finished No. 2 on the money list. The next natural step for Lee would be to win a major championship but taking that next step has been a challenge as she has recorded just 3 top 10s in majors. If Lee can breakthrough at Hazeltine, she would become the first Aussie since Karrie Webb in 2001 to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
A four-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Amy Yang has both the privilege and burden of being recognized as one of, if not the best, player to have not yet won a major championship. The Korean has put herself in contention more than any other player of her generation with 17 top 10s in majors, including four times finishing inside the top 10 at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Yang will be a player to watch in Minnesota as she looks to etch her name alongside fellow Koreans Sung Hyun Park, Inbee Park and Se Ri Pak as winners of the event.
A first-time winner in 2018, Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn has become a player to watch week in and week out on the LPGA Tour. Capturing that first win in April 2018 instilled a confidence in Jutanugarn that she has what it takes to compete with the best players on Tour and it could become the intangible to lifting the Thai to her first major title. She’s got a game that’s built for the biggest stage in the game, with three top 10s in majors, two of which came in just the last two years. With a victory at Hazeltine, Moriya would join her sister Ariya, who is also a winner on the LPGA Tour, as the only two major winners from Thailand.
While the Korean may be a rookie this season on the LPGA Tour, Jeongeun Lee6 already has the resume of a tried and true veteran. Lee6, who won this year's U.S. Women's Open, is the fifth player on the Korean LPGA Tour to have the same name, and in order to distinguish between them, added the number six next to her name. Outside of her win in at the U.S. Women's Open she also finished inside the top 10 at majors, contending at both the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open and 2018 Evian Championship. The priceless experience of playing under pressure on the biggest stages in the women’s game will serve her well at Hazeltine, where she’ll make just her second appearance at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.