KPMG winner In Gee Chun’s caddie one of several staying at Red Roof Inn where man was fatally shot

Caddie Dean Herden’s unforgettable week at the KPMG Women’s PGA was noteworthy before his boss even hit a shot.

BETHESDA, Md. – Caddie Dean Herden’s unforgettable week at the KPMG Women’s PGA was noteworthy before his boss In Gee Chun even hit a shot in competition.

On Wednesday, a man was found shot to death at the Red Roof Inn in Rockville, Maryland, where Herden said he and about 20 other caddies were staying for the week. Herden said other caddies heard the shots, but he slept through it.

WUSA9 reported that Montgomery County Police found 39-year-old Javier Gonzalez-Mena around 11:30 p.m. Police say Gonzalez-Mena answered a knock on the door of his hotel room and was fatally shot. Two men were later arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Herden said while half the caddies found a new place for the rest of the week, he decided to stay on.

“It’s gotta be the safest place on earth,” he said. “Every time I left the hotel, there were two cop cars there.”

A month ago, when Chun came to Congressional for a practice round, Herden stayed at the Rockville Red Roof Inn about 20 minutes from the golf course. He thought the location and rate of $550 for the week was so great that he told the rest of the caddies about it in the group chat.

2022 KPMG Women's PGA Championship
In Gee Chun celebrates with caddie Dean Herden after winning the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo: Elsa/Getty Images)

Herden, 58, has caddied for 30 years after playing professionally for six years on the Asian Tour and in Canada. He has been on the bag for 54 titles worldwide, including five majors.

This week’s wire-to-wire victory with Chun is their second together. Herden was on Chun’s bag when won she the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club.

[vertical-gallery id=778279124]

Lexi Thompson hit with slow-play fine after gut-wrenching loss at KPMG Women’s PGA

A brutal Sunday at the KPMG Women’s PGA didn’t end for Lexi Thompson when the last putt dropped.

BETHESDA, Md. – A brutal Sunday at the KPMG Women’s PGA didn’t end for Lexi Thompson when the last putt dropped.

Coming off the last hole at Congressional Country Club, Thompson and Hye-Jin Choi were informed by LPGA officials that they’d been fined for slow play. Thompson’s father, Scott, confirmed to Golfweek that the fine was $2,000.

Thompson was playing in the final group alongside Choi and eventual winner In Gee Chun. The group was put on the clock with two holes remaining Sunday.

The last 30 minutes of coverage of Saturday’s round was bumped off of NBC to CNBC after the last group took 5 hours and 45 minutes to complete their round.

KPMGLeaderboard | Photos | Money

Two-time PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas weighed in on Twitter when he heard the final group had been put on the clock.

Thompson squandered a two-stroke lead with three holes to play at Congressional, extending a victory drought that dates back to 2019. She finished one shot back of Chun in a share of second with Minjee Lee.

[vertical-gallery id=778279124]

Prize money payouts for all the golfers at the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Prize money at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has jumped 300 percent since 2014.

Prize money at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has jumped a whooping 300 percent since 2014.

That means this year’s winner, In Gee Chun, is taking home $1,350,000 for claiming the third major on the LPGA’s 2022 schedule.

By comparison, Minjee Lee earned $1,800,000, the largest paycheck in women’s golf history, for her win earlier this month at the U.S. Women’s Open. Jennifer Kupcho took home $750,000 after she collected her first LPGA title at the Chevron Championship.

Lee’s 1-2 finish at the last two majors has earned her $2,518,827 in those two events alone.

The 2022 KPMG was staged at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, marking the first time a professional women’s event has been held at the historic Blue Course.

KPMG: Leaderboard | Photos

Position Player Score Earnings
1 In Gee Chun -5 $1,350,000
T2 Minjee Lee -4 $718,827
T2 Lexi Thompson -4 $718,827
4 Atthaya Thitikul -3 $467,580
T5 Sei Young Kim -1 $274,166
T5 Hannah Green -1 $274,166
T5 Hyo Joo Kim -1 $274,166
T5 Nasa Hataoka -1 $274,166
T5 Hye Jin Choi -1 $274,166
T10 Jessica Korda E $156,315
T10 Eun-Hee Ji E $156,315
T10 Lilia Vu E $156,315
T10 Stephanie Meadow E $156,315
T10 Stephanie Kyriacou E $156,315
T10 Jennifer Chang E $156,315
T16 Brooke Henderson 1 $114,045
T16 Anna Nordqvist 1 $114,045
T16 Jennifer Kupcho 1 $114,045
T16 Chella Choi 1 $114,045
T16 Lauren Coughlin 1 $114,045
T21 Georgia Hall 2 $95,799
T21 In-Kyung Kim 2 $95,799
T21 Ashleigh Buhai 2 $95,799
T21 Pei-Yun Chien 2 $95,799
T25 Inbee Park 3 $80,744
T25 Madelene Sagstrom 3 $80,744
T25 Jenny Shin 3 $80,744
T25 Angel Yin 3 $80,744
T25 Jeong Eun Lee 3 $80,744
T30 Nelly Korda 4 $59,987
T30 Jin Young Ko 4 $59,987
T30 Yuka Saso 4 $59,987
T30 Melissa Reid 4 $59,987
T30 Pajaree Anannarukarn 4 $59,987
T30 Mao Saigo 4 $59,987
T30 Alison Lee 4 $59,987
T30 Allisen Corpuz 4 $59,987
T30 Paula Reto 4 $59,987
T30 Caroline Inglis 4 $59,987
T40 Gaby Lopez 5 $42,957
T40 Wei Ling Hsu 5 $42,957
T40 Matilda Castren 5 $42,957
T40 Kelly Tan 5 $42,957
T40 Aditi Ashok 5 $42,957
T40 Sarah Kemp 5 $42,957
T46 Lydia Ko 6 $36,037
T46 Xiyu Lin 6 $36,037
T46 Cheyenne Knight 6 $36,037
49 So Yeon Ryu 7 $33,299
T50 Mi Rim Lee 8 $30,563
T50 A Lim Kim 8 $30,563
T50 Stacy Lewis 8 $30,563
T50 Emily Kristine Pedersen 8 $30,563
T54 Ariya Jutanugarn 9 $26,002
T54 Moriya Jutanugarn 9 $26,002
T54 Ryann O’Toole 9 $26,002
T54 Leona Maguire 9 $26,002
T54 Pornanong Phatlum 9 $26,002
T54 Elizabeth Szokol 9 $26,002
T60 Brittany Altomare 10 $22,583
T60 Muni He 10 $22,583
T62 Sung Hyun Park 11 $21,667
T62 Brianna Do 11 $21,667
64 Na Rin An 12 $20,987
T65 Sophia Schubert 13 $20,072
T65 Bianca Pagdanganan 13 $20,072
T65 Robynn Ree 13 $20,072
T68 Gerina Mendoza Piller 15 $18,929
T68 Jennifer Song 15 $18,929
70 Cydney Clanton 18 $18,250
71 Maude-Aimee Leblanc 20 $18,023

“Through the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, we are accelerating the advancement, development and empowerment of women both on and off the golf course,” Paul Knopp, KPMG U.S. Chair and CEO, previously said in a statement.

“The significantly increased purse size – along with top courses in major markets, network TV coverage, and advanced data and analytics capabilities provided via KPMG Performance Insights – are tangible examples of our commitment to elevate the world-class athletes on the LPGA Tour.”

[vertical-gallery id=778279124]

[mm-video type=playlist id=01es6rjnsp3c84zkm6 player_id=none image=https://golfweek.usatoday.com/wp-content/plugins/mm-video/images/playlist-icon.png]

Heartbreak for Lexi Thompson as In Gee Chun claims KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Lexi Thompson closes with a 73 but In Gee Chun survives after going 75-75 over the weekend.

BETHESDA, Md. – In the shadow of the nation’s capital, the LPGA’s most tortured American star suffered heartbreak once more at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Eight years after Lexi Thompson won her first major, she fell just short of her second.

The golf world held its collective breath for a woman who has experienced more heartbreak inside the ropes than anyone in recent memory. Thompson hadn’t won in 50 starts on the LPGA, and her penchant for short missed putts – the kind of jab that looks like a kid next to a hot stove – haunted her down the stretch.

In Gee Chun opened with a course-record 64 at the KPMG Women’s PGA to storm out to a five-shot lead after the first round. By early Saturday, she was seven clear of the field.

But that near perfect play began to unravel late Saturday and Chun slept on – only – a three-stroke lead in pursuit of her third different major title. Chun became an LPGA member after winning the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open and then recorded the lowest 72-hole score in major championship history at the 2016 Amundi Evian Championship.

KPMGLeaderboard | Photos

Shades of a runaway victory similar to Rory McIlroy’s at the 2011 U.S. Open covered Congressional until Sunday. Suddenly there was an anything-can-happen vibe with major champions Thompson, Hannah Green and Sei Young Kim within striking distance along with super rookies Hye-Jin Choi and Atthaya Thitikul.

Thompson struck fast, birdieing the first hole to cut the lead to two strokes and it wasn’t long before the American was in command as Chun came unraveled with a front-nine 40.

Thompson led by two with nine holes to play.

2022 KPMG Women's PGA Championship
Lexi Thompson plays her shot from the fifth tee during the final round of the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports)

But the ghosts of short misses that have haunted her in pressure-packed moments came to visit on the back nine. A two-foot par putt on the 14th hole that never had a chance was the most egregious.

With Minjee Lee breathing down her back and the lead cut to one, Thompson poured in a statement birdie putt from just off the green on the 15th to push her lead to two with three to play.

A tournament that looked like the ending had been written at the halfway point suddenly had an endless supply of dramatic turns.

After a short miss for par on the 17th, Lee stuffed her approach on the 18th to post the clubhouse lead at 4 under.

Then Thompson made a mess of the par-5 16th, dropping four strokes with a series of miscues around the green to make bogey and fall into a tie with Chun at 5 under.

On the 18th, Thompson gave herself a birdie chance to tie Chun at 5 under, stuffing her approach to about 10 feet but Thompson didn’t hit a firm putt, leaving it short and right. She posted a final-round 73 to finish at 4 under.

Moments later, Chun had a four-footer for par for the championship and she made it to win her third different women’s major.

Chun shot 75-75 on the weekend yet pulled out the victory to break her 0-for-75 winless streak worldwide.

Thompson tied Lee for solo second, one shot back.

[listicle id=778058320]

[mm-video type=playlist id=01es6rjnsp3c84zkm6 player_id=01evcfxp4q8949fs1e image=https://golfweek.usatoday.com/wp-content/plugins/mm-video/images/playlist-icon.png]

Justin Thomas critical of officials putting final group on clock at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

“Seems like a good read the room situation,” Thomas tweeted.

Justin Thomas was watching some major championship golf Sunday and didn’t like what he saw.

During the final round of the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club outside of Washington, D.C., the final group of Lexi Thompson, In Gee Chun and Hye-Jin Choi were put on the clock with just two holes remaining.

Slow play has been a topic of discussion over the weekend at the women’s PGA, especially after the last group Saturday played in 5 hours and 45 minutes, causing the last half hour of coverage to be bumped off of NBC.

The two-time PGA champion admitted there’s a problem with slow play on Twitter, but also wanted officials to read the room, especially that late into a final round of a major.

KPMGLeaderboard | Photos

[vertical-gallery id=778279124]

[mm-video type=playlist id=01es6rjnsp3c84zkm6 player_id=01evcfxp4q8949fs1e image=https://golfweek.usatoday.com/wp-content/plugins/mm-video/images/playlist-icon.png]

If LIV Golf comes for LPGA stars, Karrie Webb worries some don’t appreciate history enough to stay – ‘I would hold that against them’

The seven-time major champion has some advice for LPGA players who may consider LIV down the line.

BETHESDA, Md. – Karrie Webb walked a lot of holes at Congressional Country Club this week but didn’t hit a shot. She’s here with Kirsten Rudgeley and Caitlin Pierce, two Australian amateurs who, as Webb’s scholarship winners, received a week at the KPMG Women’s PGA with the LPGA Hall of Famer. The trio played golf together and practiced in the Washington, D.C. area all week and followed the likes of Minjee Lee and Hannah Green during competition. A truly priceless experience.

Both Lee and Green are previous scholarship winners and stayed the week with Webb when she was competing in the U.S. Women’s Open.

“What she does in women’s golf and for us amateurs,” said Rudgeley, “it’s pretty cool. Not many golfers give back.”

Webb’s scholarship and mentorship program is a grow-the-game initiative that dates back to 2008. The roots of the idea stretch back to 1986, when Webb watched her hero, Greg Norman, compete in the 1986 Queensland Open. That’s when she told her parents that she wanted to play professionally. She even stayed at Norman’s Florida estate as a bonus for being the overall girls champion in his junior golf foundation.

Now, the 47-year-old seven-time major winner is concerned that Norman, as CEO of LIV Golf, might threaten the very tour that so greatly shaped her life. With Golf Saudi already so heavily entrenched in the Ladies European Tour, and Norman having made public statements about a desire to get further involved in the women’s game, Webb is worried that what’s happening in men’s golf could make its way over to the LPGA.

The two Aussie legends haven’t talked about it.

“I know that he’s had this vendetta against the PGA Tour as long as I’ve known him,” said Webb. “So I don’t think there would be any changing him. I would just ask him that in his ambition to succeed, that he doesn’t ruin women’s golf in the process.”

At the peak of her career, Webb said she turned down money to compete in South Korean events because the timing conflicted with her preparation for majors. Webb says she’s now “like a rookie on the LPGA” when it comes to course design, and while there could be a take-projects-where-you-can-get-them mentality, she has turned down opportunities to work in Saudi Arabia.

What if piles of life-changing cash had been offered in her prime?

“I think it would be tempting if it’s life-changing for sure,” she said. “Everyone has to think about that. … I guess what I’ve learned, the fact that I have made a lot of money in my life, is it does make you comfortable; it doesn’t make you happy.

“You’ve got to live with whatever decision you make.”

The first time Green, the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA champion, ever attended a professional event was as the guest of Webb at the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She enjoyed it so much that in 2017, she went on her own to stay with Webb at the Women’s Open at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, while competing on the Epson Tour.

Webb has hosted a couple dozen young Aussie stars over the years, helping to nurture and cultivate future champions who will inspire the next generation.

LPGA founder Louise Suggs was a great friend of Webb’s, and she worries some current players don’t appreciate the tour’s history enough.

“If the LPGA were to suffer because a group of players went and started playing on a tour similar to (LIV) and the LPGA would suffer,” said Webb, “I would hold that against them. I think they really need to think about that.”

[vertical-gallery id=778279124]

[mm-video type=playlist id=01es6rjnsp3c84zkm6 player_id=01evcfxp4q8949fs1e image=https://golfweek.usatoday.com/wp-content/plugins/mm-video/images/playlist-icon.png]

In Gee Chun’s lead cut to three at KPMG Women’s PGA, where Lexi Thompson fights to end three-year drought

Thompson hasn’t won on the LPGA in her last 50 starts and hasn’t claimed a major title since 2014.

BETHESDA, Md. – In Gee Chun’s major romp at the KPMG Women’s PGA hit a speedbump when she was forced to take an unplayable on the par-5 16th that resulted in a double-bogey seven. After Chun’s lead swelled to seven on a blistering day outside the nation’s capital, she closed with only a three-shot advantage after a third-round 75 on Congressional’s Blue Course.

“If it’s going to be too easy, then I feel it is boring,” said Chun with that delightful smile.

Lexi Thompson, Sei Young Kim, who won this event in 2020, and Hye-Jin Choi share second at 5-under 211. Only two players – Jenny Shin (69) and Atthaya Thitikul (68) – broke 70 on a day when the scoring average was 73.59. The final group took 5 hours and 45 minutes to play.

“I found like they’ve put a few tricky pins out there,” said Hannah Green, the 2019 KPMG champ who trails by four. “You can’t really be too aggressive with the pins that they’ve put. If you go for it and it doesn’t work your way, you can easily make a bogey or a double.”

In Gee Chun of South Korea and her caddie Dean Herden look for her golf ball behind the 16th green during the third round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club on June 25, 2022, in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Chun, a two-time major champion who led by six after 36 holes, opened with a course-record 64 to take the early command at the first women’s professional event ever held at Congressional. After making it look so easy the first two rounds, Chun was pleased to make par on the last two holes.

“I’m so proud of myself because I hang in there after I had double bogey on 16,” said Chun.

Lexi Thompson of the United States signs her autograph for fans on the 18th green during the third round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club on June 25, 2022, in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Thompson hasn’t won on the LPGA in her last 50 starts and hasn’t claimed a major title since 2014, though she has come painfully close on several occasions. She’s playing with a renewed perspective since the loss of her grandmother, Mimi, in late May. She’s also playing inspired.

“She was my No. 1 supporter,” said Thompson. “It gives me the drive to be out here and do it for her.”

Thompson will be in the final group alongside Chun and Choi, a 22-year-old LPGA rookie who finished runner-up at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur. She finished third at this year’s Women’s Open at Pine Needles.

Choi has veteran caddie Pete Godfrey on the bag, husband of longtime LPGA player Jane Park. Their daughter Grace began suffering seizures last summer that led to brain damage. More than $120,000 has been raised on a GoFundMe account as Park has stepped away from the tour to care for Grace.

The LPGA community can certainly come together like a family at times. This weekend, Chun and Kim, who are neighbors in Irving, Texas, will battle it out for another major title.

Kim was the first to move to the Los Colinas community, where the LPGA used to hold the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout. Chun bought the house next door to Kim in 2020 and Minjee Lee, winner of the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open, has a home there as well. Together, they have five majors between them.

Chun enjoys cooking dinner for her friends. Kim particularly enjoys her macaroni and cheese with tuna. Chun says she’s looking to up her game, though.

“I like to cook different type of rice with all the veggies or meat,” she said, “but recently I’m trying to find how I better cook for steak with all the different seasonings or oil.”

Dinner of champions.

[mm-video type=playlist id=01es6rjnsp3c84zkm6 player_id=01evcfxp4q8949fs1e image=https://golfweek.usatoday.com/wp-content/plugins/mm-video/images/playlist-icon.png]

LPGA players react to Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — all while competing near Washington D.C.

Like the rest of the country, reactions from LPGA players competing at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship were mixed.

BETHESDA, Md. – Mariah Stackhouse was in the middle of her second round at the KPMG Women’s PGA when news broke that the Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade, a ruling that had given women the constitutional right to have an abortion in the United States for nearly 50 years. The decision is now up to individual states.

Like the rest of the country, reactions from LPGA players competing at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – on the outskirts of Washington at Congressional Country Club – were mixed.

Stackhouse exhaled deeply before sharing her thoughts on the court’s 6-3 vote to uphold Mississippi’s law banning most abortions after 15 weeks.

“It’s incredibly disheartening that in 2022, women’s rights are being taken away,” said Stackhouse. “With the makeup of everything right now, the makeup of the court, I just don’t really see a brighter side. You’ve got to hope that there’s still some fight left in us, and we can figure this out as a country.”

Mariah Stackhouse hits her tee shot on the ninth hole during the first round for the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club on June 23, 2022, in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America)

Amy Olson described the moment as huge and said one of the fundamental responsibilities of government is to protect human lives.

“Now states have the opportunity to protect every life,” said Olson. “They haven’t had the option to do that in almost 50 years.

“For those who say this hurts women, my question to them is — when does a woman’s life begin? If we can’t answer that question, how can we even have a conversation about women’s rights?”

Amy Olson during the first round of the Palos Verdes Championship Presented by Bank of America at Palos Verdes Golf Club on April 28, 2022, in Palos Verdes Estates, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Muni He, a U.S.-based player who was born in China and played collegiately at USC, took to Instagram to voice her frustrations.

“I simply do not understand how this is happening in our world, our country today,” He wrote. “I feel nothing but pure rage and sadness. Sick to my stomach.”

Fellow USC grad Allisen Corpuz was also disappointed to hear the court’s decision.

“I just think it’s really disappointing,” said Corpuz. “As a woman, I think it’s part of women’s healthcare just to have the right to your own body. It just feels like there’s been a lot of progress made … even going into pretty recent history of women getting the right to vote. It just kind of feels like we’re taking a step backwards.”

Katherine Kirk said she wasn’t surprised by the ruling.

“From a constitutional standpoint,” Kirk told Golfweek, “there are no provisions for abortion and the justices obviously wanted to uphold that. As a Christian, I believe all lives are important and, regardless where you stand, the Supreme Court didn’t make abortion illegal today, they simply gave the power to states to decide.”

[mm-video type=playlist id=01es6rjnsp3c84zkm6 player_id=none image=https://golfweek.usatoday.com/wp-content/plugins/mm-video/images/playlist-icon.png]

 

Prize money for the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA is largest ever: Winner to grab $1.3M, but here’s the full breakdown

On Saturday, the individual breakdown of the purse was unveiled. The runner-up will also pocket over $800,000.

Earlier this week, organizers of the KPMG Women’s PGA announced that the tournament’s prize purse was doubling to $9 million, which marks a staggering 300 percent increase from $2.25 million in 2014.

This year’s event is being contested June 23-26 at Congressional Country Club’s newly restored Blue Course, marking the first women’s professional event ever held at the venue. Following her opening-round 64 with a 69 on Friday, In Gee Chun leads the tournament after 36 holes.

On Saturday, the individual breakdown of the purse was unveiled. The winner will take home $1.3 million, but the runner-up will also pocket over $800,000.

Here’s a look at the top 10:

“Through the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, we are accelerating the advancement, development and empowerment of women both on and off the golf course,” Paul Knopp, KPMG U.S. Chair and CEO. previously said in a statement.

“The significantly increased purse size – along with top courses in major markets, network TV coverage, and advanced data and analytics capabilities provided via KPMG Performance Insights – are tangible examples of our commitment to elevate the world-class athletes on the LPGA Tour.”

[mm-video type=playlist id=01es6rjnsp3c84zkm6 player_id=none image=https://golfweek.usatoday.com/wp-content/plugins/mm-video/images/playlist-icon.png]

In Gee Chun continues to crush the field at Congressional, leads by six at KPMG Women’s PGA

In Gee Chun is at 11 under and holds a six-shot lead over Lydia Ko and Jennifer Kupcho.

BETHESDA, Md. – In Gee Chun described her first round at historic Congressional as a near “perfect game.” She knew her opening 8-under 64, a course record on the renovated Blue Course, would be a tough act follow.

When asked if her second-round 69 at the KPMG Women’s PGA felt disappointing in comparison, Chun smiled broadly and said, “No, I think it’s still a great score.”

Who could argue?

Chun’s 11-under 133 total gives her a six-shot lead over Lydia Ko (67) and Jennifer Kupcho (68). Through two rounds she ranks tied for first in greens in regulation (31/36), tied for 15th in fairways (26/28) and second in putts per green in regulation.

After making four birdies with her 7-wood in the first round, she made three consecutive with her 9-wood early Friday. Both clubs are new to her bag this week, replacing her 4-hybrid and 3-hybrid. She got the idea after a scouting trip to Congressional a month ago.

“I used the 7-wood when I was really young,” she said. “I think at the beginning to start golf. I don’t know what age I stopped to use it, but I think almost more than 10 years. The 9-wood, it’s the first time to use.”

2022 KPMG Women's PGA Championship
In Gee Chun plays her shot from the tenth tee during the second round of the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports)

Chun earned LPGA status by winning the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club. The following year, she sank a 10-foot par putt on the last hole of the Amundi Evian Championship to finish at 21 under, setting a record for the lowest 72-hole score in men’s and women’s major championship history.

While the feat gave her more confidence, it also created higher expectations.

“That’s how I got a lot of pressure from my golf,” she said. “I just wanted to make perfect and another perfect. … I don’t want to get more stressed, or I don’t want to try to make a perfect game on the course. I just want to enjoy my golf game. That’s the key. I believe it’s the key.”

Ko, a two-time major winner who has yet to win the Women’s PGA, is in the midst of four consecutive starts. She has finished in the top five in each of her last three, including a fifth-place at the U.S. Women’s Open. Keeping her focus over the weekend will be key, she said.

“I know that sometimes when you are fatigued, you could lose focus and then hit some mistakes that you normally wouldn’t if you were a bit more sharp,” she said. “I think being rested is also really important for the weekend.”

Kupcho comes into this week fresh off a playoff victory at the Meijer LPGA Classic. In April, she held a six-stroke lead going into the final round of the Chevron Championship and held on to make her first victory on the LPGA a major.

“I think just in general, being back is a lot better,” said Kupcho, “whether it’s with a lot of people or not. I think being behind and trying to catch up is better.

“I mean, I had the lead at Chevron by a few strokes, so I know how it feels to be in her position. Being behind is at least my preferred way.”

[vertical-gallery id=778279124]

[mm-video type=playlist id=01es6rjnsp3c84zkm6 player_id=01evcfxp4q8949fs1e image=https://golfweek.usatoday.com/wp-content/plugins/mm-video/images/playlist-icon.png]