Women’s PGA Championship preview: Who’s who at Congressional Country Club

Major tournament golf is back near the Capital Beltway as the LPGA holds the Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club, Thursday through Sunday, in Bethesda, Maryland.

It will be sixth major played at Congressional (three U.S. Opens, one PGA Championship and one U.S. Senior Open) and the 6,894-yard, par-72 course will host the 2027 Women’s PGA Championship before the Men’s PGA Championship returns there in 2031.

This major will deliver more bucks for its bang too, with prize money doubling to a $9 million purse.

Players to keep your eyes on

The 7:33 a.m. Thursday Power Trio:

Defending champ Nelly Korda is the odds-on favorite, Inbee Park won this tournament from 2013 to 2015 and her seven major wins are the second-most this century behind Annika Sorenstam, and Brooke Henderson — who won it in 2016 (she’s also No. 7 on the LPGA money list with six top-tens and one victory).

Recent Major Winners:

Minjee Lee (8:55 a.m. Thursday First Round) won this year’s U.S. Women’s Open, last year’s Evian Championship and leads the LPGA money list — as well as scoring average, while also capturing the Cognizant Founders Cup in May.

Jennifer Kupcho (7:44 a.m.) took the first Major of 2022 by winning the Chevron Championship, currently ranks second behind Lee on the money list (while tying Lee with a pair of Tour victories) and enters this week fresh off of defeating Nelly Korda and Leona Maguire in a playoff this past Sunday at the Meijer LPGA Classic.

Anna Nordqvist (12:50 p.m.) has three major titles, the most recent coming last August in the Women’s British Open. Even though she has just one top-10 finish this year, it came at the U.S. Women’s Open.

Top Performers on the Tour in 2022:

Lydia Ko (1:01 p.m.) ranks third on the current money list and has yet to win a major, but comes to Bethesda with three top-five finishes this month. She won the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio in January.

Mina Harigae (8:28 a.m.) ranks third on the strength of her runner-up showing at the U.S. Women’s Open, but that’s the only top-10 finish in her career. The 33-year old has also missed five of 12 cuts this year.

Hye-Jin Cho (1:18 p.m.) took third at the U.S. Women’s Open but has yet to win on the Tour. She also tied for 40th this past weekend.

Jin Young Ko (8:06 a.m.) is a two-time LPGA Player of the Year (2019 and 2021) and has two majors to her credit (both in 2019 and while she hasn’t placed higher than 11th at the PGA, she has won six times in the last calendar year.

Lexi Thompson (1:23 p.m.) hasn’t won on the Tour since 2019 but has four top-five finishes this year, including a tie for fourth at the Chevron Championship (she won that major’s predecessor the ANA Inspiration in 2014).

Dave Preston

Dave has been in the D.C. area for 10 years and in addition to working at WTOP since 2002 has also been on the air at Westwood One/CBS Radio as well as Red Zebra Broadcasting (Redskins Network).

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