LPGA returns to Cincinnati with the first deal for a new commissioner

by | Sep 8, 2021 | LPGA

The LPGA is returning to Cincinnati for the first time in more than 30 years with the first new tournament announced since Mollie Marcoux Samaan as commissioner.

The Kroger Queen City Championship will take place September 8-11, 2022 at the Kenwood Country Club with a purse of 1.75 million US dollars.

The tournament is extensively sponsored by two Cincinnati-based companies in Kroger and Proctor & Gamble Co., the presenting sponsor. The week includes several networking-building workshops for women leaders hosted by Kroger, P&G, and the LPGA Tour.

The Kenwood Country Club hosted the US Women’s Open in 1963, which Mary Mills won with three hits against Louise Suggs and Sandra Hayne. Retired tennis star Althea Gibson became the first black female golfer to play in the Women’s Open that year.

The LPGA championship was held from 1978 to 1989 north of Cincinnati on Kings Island, where Nancy Lopez won three times. The LPGA’s development course, the Symetra Tour, hosted an event in the area for 15 years.

“Cincinnati has a long history of association with the LPGA and its players,” said Marcoux Samaan. “We know this tournament will be a popular stop on the tour and is an important example of the power of sport to inspire leaders and build a community.”

Marcoux Samaan has been hired to replace Mike Whan, now CEO of the US Golf Association, who began his career at P&G. Debbie Majoras, P & G’s Chief Legal Officer, is a member of the USGA Executive Committee.

Stuart Aitken, Kroger’s chief merchant and marketing officer, said he was inspired by the collaboration between the two Cincinnati companies and the LPGA Tour “to advance their mission to empower girls and women on and off the golf course.”

The rest of the LPGA Tour schedule is usually announced at the end of the year.

The Kroger Queen City Championship, administered by Excel Sports Management, begins with a three-year contract.

The announcement came one day after the Solheim Cup in Ohio.

The next Solheim Cup is planned for 2023 in the third week of September in Spain, and then the games between the USA and Europe will be played in even years from 2024, i.e. not in the same year as the Ryder Cup. The 2024 location was not disclosed.