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LPGA returns to Cincinnati in first deal for new commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan


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

The Kroger Queen City Championship is scheduled for September 8-11, 2022 at Kenwood Country Club with a $ 1.75 million wallet.

The tournament brings together generous corporate support with two Cincinnati-based businesses in Kroger and Proctor & Gamble Co., the current sponsor. The week will include several workshops for female business leaders to develop networks, hosted by Kroger, P&G and the LPGA Tour.

Kenwood Country Club hosted the 1963 U.S. Open for Women, which Mary Mills won by three strokes over Louise Suggs and Sandra Hayne. Retired tennis star Althea Gibson became the first Black golfer to play in the Women’s Open that year.

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

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

Marcoux Samaan has been appointed to replace Mike Whan, now the CEO of the American Golf Association, whose career began at P&G. Debbie Majoras, the legal head of P&G, serves on the executive committee of the USGA.

Stuart Aitken, chief retailer and marketing officer at Kroger, said he was inspired by the collaboration between the two Cincinnati businesses 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’s schedule is usually announced at the end of the year.

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

The announcement comes a 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 matches between the USA and Europe will start in equal years starting in 2024, so it is not the same year as the Ryder Cup. The 2024 website has not been released.



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