After consecutive events on the West Coast in Vancouver and Portland, the LPGA is back in the midwest for the Kroger Queen City Championship.
Kenwood Country Club in Madiera, Ohio, is officially the host venue for the second playing of this event. Ally Ewing won the inaugural tournament a year ago.
Thirteen of the top 25 LPGA golfers in the CME points race are in the field, as is No. 28-ranked Rose Zhang. There will be 144 players in the field competing for a purse of $2 million, with $300,000 going to the winner.
Check out some of the top storylines to follow this week, courtesy of Golfweek’s USA TODAY partner, the Cincinnati Enquirer:
There have been 18 different winners on the LPGA in 2023 and 12 of them have made their way to the Queen City. The highest-ranked golfer in the field is No. 2 Ruoning Yin (KPMG Women’s PGA champ). She’s joined by No. 6 Allisen Corpuz (U.S. Open champ) and No. 15 Linn Grant, who won her first LPGA tournament earlier this year in Toledo. Last week’s winner on the LPGA, 19-year-old Chanettee Wannasaen, who won the Portland Classic as a Monday qualifier, will also be there.
In the homestretch
The Queen City Championship is one of the final eight events of the 2023 LPGA season. Since the U.S. Women’s Open in early July, the tour has held 10 events that took golfers to six different countries. Many golfers haven’t had a free weekend since June.
However, after this week, there is a break of about a month, with the LPGA returning Sep. 29.
Grant on a hot streak
Grant, a 24-year-old from Sweden, enters her first Kroger Queen City Championship playing the best golf of her career. She is currently No. 15 in the Rolex Rankings and No. 17 in the CME Rankings. Since her win in the Dana Open, she’s logged six consecutive top-20 finishes and had a top 10 in the CPKC Women’s Open and the Portland Classic
“I feel like it hasn’t changed at all. Obviously, I feel a bit more confident playing the regular weeks now, but kind of just kind of shake off that win and still be able to perform after that without being too excited about it,” Grant said. “I think I’m pretty good at every week kind of reset and figure out how I’m feeling, how my game is feeling, and kind of adjust to that.”
Ohio native Hammond has promising future
Earlier this summer, just five months after her 15th birthday, Mia Hammond made her LPGA debut, winning her qualifier to become the youngest player in the field at the Dana Open.
Hammond, a New Albany, Ohio, native and a sophomore at New Albany High School, tied for 26th as the only amateur in the field. Hammond’s father, Tom, is her coach and caddie and will be on the bag this week at the Kenwood Country Club. Hammond was given a sponsor invite.
“My goal remains the same: Just make the cut after the first two rounds and go from there. I’m just trying to take this experience all in and just enjoy it as much as possible,” Hammond said. “I don’t really have very high expectations for myself going into this week. Just to go out and have fun and just soak it all up.”
Xiyu Lin hopes to breakthrough
Last year, a 21-under 267 was not enough for Xiyu Lin of China to hoist the hardware as she fell by one stroke to Ewing. Lin, 27, is a top 15 golfer in the world, but has yet to win an LPGA event. In addition to Cincinnati last year, Lin’s been a runner-up four times over the last two years.