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Women's PGA Championship preview: Baltusrol prepares for Major action

The second women's Major of the season heads to New Jersey this week with a star-studded field ready to do battle at Baltusrol Golf Club for the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

Boasting two courses, the Upper and Lower, Baltusrol will be hosting the women's PGA for the first time and it will be the Lower track that is used this week - last seen in action at the 2018 US Amateur Championship.

South Korean In Gee Chun claimed the spoils at Congressional Country Club last year and she is 66/1 to become the 15th player to lift this title on more than one occasion.

WhatKPMG Women's PGA Championship
WhereBaltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey
WhenThursday 22nd June - Sunday 25th June
How to watchbet365 Live Golf Tracker, Sky Sports Golf & Sky Sports Mix
OddsAtthaya Thitkul 11/1, Jin Young Ko 12/1, Nelly Korda 14/1, Hyo Joo Kim 16/1, Rose Zhang 16/1, Leona Maguire 20/1

Solid approach play looks like it will be the key to success this week, with the widening of the fairways on the Lower Course making this less about driver and more about hitting greens on a regular basis.

That's not to say some extra distance with the driver won't help, especially with back-to-back par-fives to finish at the 17th and 18th, and any errant tee shots will leave testing, long approaches into the greens.

Good touch on the greens is also a factor to think about, as it often is when it comes to the Majors, and it promises to be an enthralling four days of action in New Jersey.

Women's PGA Championship course details

The Lower Course is set as a par-71 for this event at 6,581 yards. There are 11 par-fours, four par-threes and three par-fives that the field will have to negotiate.

With two of those par-fives coming on the last two holes, there is sure to be huge drama. The 17th is the longest hole on the course, measuring 550 yards, while the 18th comes in at 498 yards.

Three to follow

Jin Young Ko

With fantastic approach play required this week, it is hard to overlook Jin Young Ko at 12/1. The South Korean is third in strokes gained: approach and fourth in strokes gained: tee-to-green this season.

The 27-year-old is third in greens in regulation, has a stroke average of 69.34 to sit fifth in that department and is 16th in putts per GIR, so her game is in great shape right now.

Ko, who is a two-time Major champion, recently landed her second win of the year at the Cognizant Founders Cup and she followed that success up with a T13 finish at the Mizuho Americas Open on her last outing.

Nasa Hataoka

Another contender to note this week is Nasa Hataoka and she may have just been overlooked in the betting at 33/1, a generous price given the form she has shown in the Majors.

The Japanese is yet to win one of the 'big five' events but she has seven top-10s across the Majors and boasts an impressive record in the Women's PGA, going MC-T2-T14-T3-MC-T5.

Hataoka is seventh in SG: approach and ninth in SG: tee-to-green, so she seemingly fits the remit for success here, while she ranks in the top 20 for both greens in regulation and putts per GIR.

Ruoning Yin

Rounding off our three to follow is China's Ruoning Yin, who turned professional in 2020 and managed to break her LPGA duck in April this year when winning the DIO Implant LA Open.

Since that victory, the 20-year-old has gone T41-T4-T31-T39-T15 and she looks a likely each-way bet at 50/1, especially when you consider how strong she ranks in approach play.

Yin is second in both SG: approach and SG: tee-to-green, while she is also one of the bigger hitters on tour with an average driving distance of 269.44 yards leaving her 20th in that category.

There is, of course, the question of how she will handle herself if in contention coming down the stretch at such a young age, but the Chinese has only shown progression over recent years and it would be no surprise to see her in the mix.

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