Na Yeon Choi won the U.S. Women's Open, carding an impeccable Saturday 65 in the process. Suzann Pettersen took off her clothes for ESPN The Magazine.
Gee, wonder who got the most pub.
Welcome to the last week of women's professional golf, which late this summer returns to Kingsmill for the first time in three-plus years.
As Choi's victory and Pettersen's photo shoot show, the LPGA Tour of 2012 is not radically different from the 2009 edition that exited Hampton Roads. Young Koreans continue to excel, and glamor still sells.
But the LPGA's product is far from static.
Of this season's top 20 money winners, 11 were not among that group in 2009. Former world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa and 2003 Kingsmill champion Grace Park have retired. Michelle Wie has graduated from Stanford but struggled on the course.
Choi had yet to win an LPGA event when she tied for 15th, a distant 11 shots behind winner Cristie Kerr, on Kingsmill's River Course in May 2009. Since, she's won six times, and in 2010 she led the tour in earnings and scoring average.
Wie also tied for 15th at Kingsmill in 2009. The most parsed and publicized young player in tour history, she was within a shot of the lead halfway through the Open last week before weekend rounds of 78 and 80.
At 90th on this year's money list, Wie hasn't finished among the top 30 in any of her 11 starts this season, a distant cry from the form that allowed her to win twice on tour before her 21st birthday.
Wie is 22, not much younger that the LPGA prototype these days. The average age of this year's top five money leaders — Ai Miyazato, Yani Tseng, Choi, Stacey Lewis and Azahara Munoz — is 25, and none is older than 27.
In game and personality, Munoz has star potential. The 2008 NCAA champion at Arizona State, she defeated headliners Karrie Webb, Lewis, Morgan Pressel and Candi Kung en route to winning the Match Play Championship in May.
The "old" guard that will resonate with fans of past Kingsmill LPGA events — the resort hosted the tour annually from 2003-09 before sponsors bailed — are 30-somethings Angela Stanford, Kerr, Webb and Pettersen.
All rank among this year's top 30 money winners, and each except Stanford has won here. Stanford made the cut in all seven tournaments at Kingsmill, which in January announced the LPGA's return.
Pettersen's 2007 victory in Williamsburg, in a three-hole playoff with Jee Young Lee, was her first on tour and a springboard. She's won seven times since and led the Open last week after two rounds before fading to a ninth-place tie.
Pettersen and 26 other athletes shed clothes for ESPN The Magazine's annual "Body Issue," out this week. Others include the NFL's Maurice Jones-Drew, NBA's Tyson Chandler, baseball's Jose Bautista, WNBA's Candace Parker and soccer player Abby Wambach.
LPGA players to appear previously include Belen Mozo, Christina Kim and Sandra Gal. Pettersen posed at her Florida home.
"A lot of the best athletes in the world have done it, and I thought it was great to be asked," she told USA Today. "I thought about it, being naked and all, but I never really considered not doing it. I just had to make sure that I was comfortable in doing it. It's as natural as it gets. It's health at its peak. I'm in great company. …
"There was a big crowd, we'll say, for the shoot. But they are professional, and I was probably the only one there who felt a little awkward. The photographer asked me if I felt comfortable being naked in front of a camera, and I went, 'Well, here I am.' You kind of get used to it. It's like a role game. You do what they ask and that's it. This was a great opportunity for me."
Good for Pettersen and her fellow athletes/models. The exposure helps them, and their sports.
Pettersen and her comrades in clubs have another opportunity Sept. 6-9: restore Kingsmill to one of the LPGA's premier tournaments.