Golf News

Amy Yang, Lilia Vu, Lexi Thompson in hunt at the 2024 KPMG Women’s PGA

Amy Yang, Lilia Vu, Lexi Thompson in hunt at the 2024 KPMG Women’s PGA

SAMMAMISH, Wash. – Amy Yang doesn’t have a hat sponsor or a bag sponsor. She’s at a fortunate point in her life where freedom means more than money. There was a time when a corporate sponsor dictated how many events she’d play or how she spent her free time. Not anymore.

Now there’s a stitched-on smiley face on her bucket hat where a logo used to be, and these days there’s plenty for the 34-year-old to smile about as she leads the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship by two strokes. Chasing that elusive major title is the reason she still competes.

“I grew up watching so many great players in the past,” said Yang, “and I saw them winning all the major championships.

“I dreamed about playing out here because of them. I work hard for this.”

For a long time, Yang was considered among the best players on tour without a major, but as the tour got younger and the victories dried up, she was no longer on the short list, despite a hefty number of top-10 finishes.

It’s different now though for Yang. Last November, in her 16th year on tour, she won for the first time on U.S. soil at the CME Group Tour Championship, birdieing the last two holes to take home a $2 million paycheck. It was her fifth career LPGA title and first victory in four years, made sweeter by the fact that she feared tennis elbow – from too much rock climbing, of all things – would cut her career short.

Now she’s out amongst Sahalee’s towering cedars and firs with her longtime caddie, Jan Meierling, trading jokes and snacks. Yang loads up on protein bars and bananas slathered in peanut butter. Meierling brings the beef jerky and dried sausages.

“She’s by far the most genuine person you can expect,” said Meierling of his boss, who is always quick to offer a smile.

“There’s not a bad bone in her body at all,” he said, “as long as you keep her fed. If the sugar level drops, watch out.”

Amy Yang of South Korea looks over a putt on the 17th hole during the third round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club on June 22, 2024 in Sammamish, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

This marks the third time that Yang has held the lead going into the final round of a major but the first in nine years. She has 21 career top-10 finishes in the majors and a dozen top fives.

After three rounds of testing golf in what’s otherwise a most peaceful setting, Yang leads the way at 7 under, with Kentucky’s Lauren Hartlage and Miyu…


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Golfweek…