Five previous Kingsmill champions are among the 135 players committed to compete for a $1.3 million purse when the LPGA returns to Williamsburg in May. Forty-nine of the top 50 players in the world rankings are in the preliminary field.
Two-time winner Cristie Kerr, Karrie Webb, Se Ri Pak, Suzann Pettersen and 2012 winner Jiyai Shin will play in the Kingsmill Championship on Kingsmill Resort's River Course May 2-5, a release from tournament officials stated.
It will be the first tournament in Williamsburg for Webb, Pettersen and Pak since they competed in the Michelob Ultra Open in 2009. The trio missed September's event because of previous engagements.
“We are looking forward to hosting these players at Kingsmill for the first time since 2009 as they missed out on the September event," said Wayne Nooe, Kingsmill Resort Vice President of Sports Operations, in a release. "With their commitments, the event is sure to draw an even larger crowd.”
The LPGA's Michelob Ultra Open was held from 2003-2009 at Kingsmill in May until Anheuser-Busch was sold to InBev. The event was dubbed a "fifth major" because of the purse and drew a top-notch field. When Xanterra purchased Kingsmill Resort, along with Busch Gardens, Kingsmill again courted the LPGA. The event returned September as the Kingsmill Championship and was a late addition to the schedule. It drew about 62,000 spectators over the course of the tournament.
Shin defeated Paula Creamer in a nine-hole playoff that went into Monday in September's tournament. Shin followed up her Kingsmill championship with a win in the Women's British Open days later. This year, Shin started the Tour calendar with a win in the Australian Open.
Stacy Lewis, who won back-to-back events on the Tour this year to gain the No. 1 spot in the world rankings and on the money list, also is slated to come to Kingsmill.
Other notable names released by tournament officials include Creamer, Michelle Wie, Morgan Pressel, Juli Inkster, Natalie Gulbis, Lexi Thompson, Ai Miyazato, Inbee Park and world No. 2 Yani Tseng.