Rose Zhang Among Top 5 Favorites To Win KPMG Women's PGA Championship

Ahead of this weekend's KPMG Women's PGA Championship, we take a look at the favorites to win at the Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey.

Five LPGA Tour golfers in a montage
(Image credit: Future)

In Gee Chun will be looking to defend her KPMG Women's PGA Championship title this weekend in New Jersey as the LPGA Tour heads to the historic Baltusrol Golf Club.  

It's set to be a big weekend of action too, with plenty of players looking to challenge the 2022 champion, who currently sits 16th in the Rolex Rankings. 

But despite winning last season, the 28-year-old is yet to win on the LPGA Tour during the current campaign and was missed the cut last week at the Meijer LPGA Classic, falling outside the top five favorites to win this week.

In Gee Chun kpmg pga championship 2022

In Gee Chun defends the title this week

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Another player who could also triumph is Leona Maguire, who won at last weekend's tournament in Michigan. 

She'll be looking to make it back-to-back wins on the LPGA Tour with a victory in New Jersey but will come up against some tough competition, with the world's best women's players all heading out to the East Coast. 

So, who are the favorites coming the tournament? In descending order, here are the top five players being backed to win this weekend in New Jersey. 

5. Rose Zhang

Rose Zhang plays a shot

Rose Zhang won on her professional LPGA Tour debut this season. 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's been a whirwind few months for 20-year-old college superstar, Rose Zhang, who clinched her first LPGA Tour title on her professional debut at the Mizuho Americas Open

She is the first player to achieve the feat since Beverly Hanson, at the Eastern Open in 1951, after she defeated Jennifer Kupcho in a playoff at Liberty National.

The American's excellent form in the last two years, winning back-to-back NCAA individual titles, while also winning the Augusta National Women's Amateur in April, makes her a favorite to add another piece of silverware to her trophy cabinet. 

Zhang is no stranger to Major Championships either, having played in four during her career, impressively finishing T11 at the Chevron Championship in 2020 to break Michelle Wie-West's scoring record to finish as the low amateur at the tournament. 

She'll tee it up at her first KPMG Women's PGA Championship event this weekend and is pipped as one of the top five golfers to win. 

4. Nelly Korda

Nelly Korda plays a shot

Nelly Korda comes back into this Major after recovering from a back injury.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

American star Nelly Korda is also one of the bookmakers' favorites to win, despite returning from a back injury that has sidelined her for a month. 

The 24-year-old currently sits second in the Rolex Rankings following an impressive season that's seen her finish inside the top six in eight starts. 

In fact, she came narrowly close to winning at the HSBC Women's World Championship in March, finishing T2 at the event before coming T3 at the Chevron Championship that saw her regain her status as World No.1. 

She dropped back to second in the rankings in May after she missed the cut at the Cognizant Founders Cup, but will be hoping to undo that poor finish this weekend as she looks to win her second Women's PGA Championship.

KPMG Women's PGA Championship 2022 Live Stream

Korda won the 2021 Women's PGA Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And she could certainly do that, considering she's one of the in-form players on the LPGA Tour this season, ranking 1st in scoring average while also shooting in the 60s in 18 of the 32 rounds she's played in this season. 

But it's been a tough couple of months for Korda, who announced in May she would be taking a short break from playing to recover from an ongoing back injury. That came just a few days before her sister, Jessica, announced she'd also be taking an indefinite break from the game to similarly recover from a back injury. 

While that may have set her back this season, Korda looks set to make her return this weekend and is a big favorite to win. 

3. Hyo Joo Kim

Hyo Joo Kim plays a shot

Hyo Joo Kim is the third favorite to win this weekend. 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hyo Joo Kim is another who could be victorious this weekend, after an impressive season on the LPGA Tour that's seen the world No.7 make five top ten finishes in eight events this season. 

The five-time LPGA Tour winner is bounding in form coming into the event, having finished as a runner-up in the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer, before ending the Meijer LPGA Classic in fifth place. 

Interestingly, she ranks second behind Korda for the lowest average score on the LPGA Tour this season but is top for greens in regulation, which currently sits at 75.5 percent - an impressive stat that shows just how accurate she can be from tee to green.

Her skills in approach will certainly come in handy this week in New Jersey, considering the number of bunkers and penalty areas that adorn the fairways at Baltusrol. 

2. Jin Young Ko

Jin Young Ko plays from the sand

The 15-time LPGA Tour winner, Jin Young Ko, can claim her third win of the season. 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

15-time LPGA Tour winner Jin Young Ko is the second favorite to win this weekend and will be bidding to claim her third Major title this week. 

Her highest finish at the Women's PGA Championship came in 2018 where she finished T11, just a year before she went on to win both the Chevron Championship and the Evian Championship. 

And despite falling out of form at the back end of the season to miss the cut at several events, Ko has had an impressive season and ended a year long wait for a trophy, after she clinched the Honda LPGA Thailand. 

The South Korean, who has five top ten finishes this season, claimed her second win this year at the Cognizant Founders Cup back in May and looks in very good shape to challenge at the the PGA Championship this weekend. 

1. Atthaya Thitikul

Atthaya Thitikul on the LPGA Tour

Atthaya Thitikul is the favorite to win at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Atthaya Thitikul is the favorite to win at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship according to bookmakers, with the 20-year-old continuing her breakout season on the PGA Tour last season, recording seven top ten finishes in the current campaign. 

In fact, she currently leads the tour with the most rounds under par, a very impressive stat, that shows how consistent she's been with her lowest finish (T3) coming at the start of the 2023 campaign at the Honda LPGA Thailand. 

And since turning pro in 2022, her career has really taken off, with Thitikul finishing T4 at the Chevron Championship earlier this year. 

Currently sixth in the world, the Thai superstar became the second youngest player to ever reach the world number one spot last year. She is also the youngest player to ever win a professional event, triumphing the Ladies European Thailand Championship at the age of 14 back in 2017. 

A win at the weekend will see her become a Major champion for the first time.

Top Five Favorites To Win KPMG Women's PGA Championship

  • 1. Atthaya Thitikul
  • 2. Jin Young Ko
  • 3. Hyo Joo Kim
  • 4. Nelly Korda
  • 5. Rose Zhang
Ed Carruthers

Ed has been playing golf for as long as he can remember and is obsessive about the sport. He is regularly sought after by family members and friends for advice on what equipment to buy and uses his background, having written extensively on golf in the past, to produce equipment orientated content for Golf Monthly.  

Having obtained a Masters in Law with Medicine from the University of Liverpool, Ed has recently changed paths into journalism and just last year achieved his NCTJ Sports Journalism Diploma with the Press Association. 

He has written for a variety of media outlets over the years and has interviewed some big names in sport, including Premier League managers, All Blacks Coaches and Grand Slam tennis superstars. He has also worked on some huge sporting events, including the 2021 Australian Open and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. And when he's not writing for Golf Monthly, you'll find him producing news and feature articles for the MailOnline's sports desk, where he covers everything from football to rugby union. 

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