Sean Riley, a PGA golf professional who grew up in southern Washington, has been named Championship Director for the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, to be played June 9-12 at Sahalee Country Club in the Seattle-area community of Sammamish, Wash.
Born and raised in the Tri-Cities area, Riley is responsible for the overall coordination and planning of the first women’s major championship in the Pacific Northwest in 70 years. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is a collaboration among KPMG, the LPGA, and PGA of America that celebrates the development, advancement and empowerment of women on and off the golf course.
“I am proud to be chosen to head a dynamic team of talented individuals as we look forward to this important PGA of America event,” Riley said. “It’s a bonus that I get to go back to my home state to help put together a world-class Championship for the tremendous golf fans in Washington.”
Sahalee Country Club, site of the 1998 PGA Championship and the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, becomes the second Washington state site to host a U.S. women’s major, following the inaugural U.S. Women’s Open Championship in 1946, played in Spokane.
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is the second golf major in the Pacific Northwest in as many years, following this year’s hugely popular men’s U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay in Tacoma.
“The tremendous success of this year’s inaugural Championship at Westchester Country Club, as well as the intense interest in golf in the Pacific Northwest, makes this a very exciting opportunity,” Riley said. “The Pacific Northwest has always been a strong supporter of the LPGA. Sahalee Country Club is an excellent choice and again will be a spectacular setting for a major championship.”
Riley knows about Sahalee first-hand, having worked at the club in 2007 as a college intern. A graduate of the University of Idaho, Riley was a four-time varsity golfer at Southridge High in Kennewick, and then played golf at Columbia Basin College before transferring to Idaho, where he studied Professional Golf Management and Business Marketing.
A member of the PGA of America since 2009, Riley most recently has served as a senior account executive for the PGA of America. Prior to that Riley was Western Regional Director for the American Junior Golf Association, establishing several significant events in Washington, including the Ryan Moore Junior Championship at Oakbrook Golf Club in Lakewood.
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship continues the rich tradition of the LPGA Championship, and celebrated its 2015 Championship this year at the Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y. The LPGA Championship began in 1955, five years after the birth of the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Past champions include legendary players Mickey Wright, Betsy Rawls, Kathy Whitworth, Nancy Lopez, Juli Inkster, Annika Sorenstam, Se Ri Pak and three-time winner Inbee Park, who will be the defending champion at Sahalee in 2016.
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship brings together a world-class, annual major golf championship with a women’s leadership summit and an ongoing charitable initiative to inspire and develop new generations of female leaders.