2017 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic champion Katherine Kirk addresses reporters and other spectators May 14 during Media Day at Thornberry Creek at Oneida. Kirk, who has become the face of the tournament, returns for the third year of the competition featuring the world’s top 144 professional women golfers.
By Yvonne Kaquatosh
Oneida, WI ~ Incorporating cultural aspects is a customary tradition within the native community. In line with tradition, the Oneida Youth Singers performed for the well-attended media day event this past Tuesday, to kick off the return for the third edition of Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, July 4–7.
Past Champions Sei Young Kim and Australian Katherine Kirk are set to return to Thornberry Creek at Oneida for the third edition of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic from the July 4 – 7.
Korea’s Sei Young Kim, who captured the Sky Woman Trophy with a nine-stroke victory in 2018, returns to Thornberry Creek at Oneida with fond memories of her LPGA record-breaking showing, recording the lowest to par score (-31) in the history of the Tour. She recently captured her eighth LPGA-career victory at the LPGA Mediheal Championship and moved up to No. 9 in the Rolex Rankings.
Joining her in the 144-player field competing for the $2 million purse is 2017 champion, Australian 37-year old LPGA veteran, Katherine Kirk. Kirk, who is playing her 16th season on Tour, has notched 11 victories worldwide on the ALPG, Ladies European Tour, Futures Tour and the LPGA, with her Thornberry Creek victory a highlight in a prosperous career.
Kirk attended the Official Media Day at Thornberry Creek and took part in activities including meeting with Oneida elders, taking part in an ‘Eagle Feather Presentation’ with Oneida veterans and inspiring youth golfers in a golf clinic.
Joining the duo of champions are an illustrious list of world class players including two-time major champion and Rolex Ranking No. 3 Sung Hyun Park, rising Japanese star and Rolex Ranking No. 5 Nasa Hataoka, and seven-time major winner, former Rolex Ranking No. 1 and LPGA Hall of Famer, Inbee Park.
Commenting on her return, Katherine Kirk said, “It is always special to come back to a place that you love and have enjoyed success at so, I’m excited about returning to Thornberry Creek. Everyone at Oneida is so supportive and the fans really know how to get behind the players, even when you walk through town in your golf gear, people are shouting good luck. During my title defense, I could not believe how many people welcomed me back and that gave me a lot of confidence.”
Sei Young Kim said, “Last year felt like such a blur. Everything just fell in to place that week and I hope to have another week like that again. The course and greens in particular are always in great condition and I know that the players enjoy having the perfect opportunity to shoot a low score. The fans last year were amazing and I cannot wait to tee it up as defending champion.”
Chad Fuss, Oneida Golf Enterprise Agent said, “We are extremely grateful for the continued support for this event from the community of Green Bay and we are looking forward to giving them a show of excellent golf this year. With Katherine and Sei Young we have two inspiring returning champions but with major champions like Inbee Park joining them, the fans are destined to have some high-quality golf to watch. We look forward to announcing more world-class players in the coming weeks.”
“Katherine proved in 2017, and again today, what a class act she is.” said Jon-Paul Genet, Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic Tournament Director. “She thrilled the fans on course a couple years ago and still looks to be enjoying herself back in Green Bay. We are thrilled to welcome her and Sei Young back
and look forward to witnessing similar performances this year as we look to provide a world-class event for players, volunteers, corporate partners and spectators.”