By: Kayla Mortellaro
The fourth major on the LPGA’s calendar is underway this week in Rochester, New York at Monroe Golf Club.
From a player’s perspective, a major championship venue should be challenging yet fair and reward good golf shots. It is also exciting to play in front of large crowds who are golf enthusiasts and truly support the event. All of these major championship qualities have been a staple for the Rochester community for the last 38 years.
Unfortunately, Wegmans, the title sponsor, and the LPGA are ending the longest-running partnership in tour history after this year’s major championship. Wegmans is a grocery store chain, centered in the North East region of the United States.
The grocery store chain was a long-time tournament sponsor of a regular tour stop in Rochester but in 2010, stepped- up to become a major championship sponsor when the LPGA lost its title sponsor for the tour’s championship.
The region of volunteers and fans as well as the players are sad to see the event go after so many wonderful and memorable events.
Karrie Webb, 41-time LPGA tour winner talked about her memories of this event,
It’s always been fun to play well there and have the support of the crowd. I remember the first time I won there, I made about an eight-footer on the last and the roar; it was one of the loudest ones that I can remember.”
Despite the disappointment of the event leaving the area, both parties are committed to make this final year a huge success. And not to be forgotten, a major championship title is on the line.
Thursday marked the first day of the event where 98 of the top 100 players in the world teed it up for their chance at the season’s fourth major. And so far, the leaderboard has not disappointed fans.
Brittany Lincicome, winner of the 2009 major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, is leading the field at nine under par. Lexi Thompson, this year’s winner of the Kraft Nabisco Championship is in second place at six under par. Tied with Thompson is Inbee Park, former world number one and defending champion of the Wegmans LPGA Championship.
Lurking close behind at five under par is Lydia Ko, the 17-year-old who recently turned professional and has one of the most complete golf games on tour. She is in search of becoming the youngest major winner and youngest world number one. Two-time major champion and fierce competitor, Suzann Pettersen sits at four under par.
The tournament coverage continues Saturday and Sunday on the Golf Channel from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. PT.