Kingsmill sparkles in reunion with LPGA

Kingsmill was in hurry-up mode after the January announcement, which left less than eight months to prepare for the event. It was a challenge both organizationally and financially.

"(There are) a couple of things that I would have liked to have been different," Nooe said. "One, having a little more time to get ready. With seven and a half months, it took a month just to get things organized. And with the announcement of the event being in January, we were already into either a new fiscal year for companies or a new calendar year. Their budgets were already set.

"But those were not options we had. We've been pleasantly surprised. Even with those hurdles, we had a lot of past sponsors that stepped up, we have new support this year that we appreciate, and a lot of those are signed up for next year."

Kingsmill is again on short notice, with the start of next year's tournament less than eight months away.

"It is a short window, but at least we are starting with something," Nooe said. "In January, when we announced the ladies were coming back, we had a monster scoreboard — and that was it. We had no staff, we had no website, no collateral. We didn't even have a name for the tournament."

Good help, good luck

One thing Kingsmill did have left over from the previous incarnation of the tournament was a ready pool of volunteers. Hundreds covered the course throughout the event, doing everything from keeping score to parking cars.

"Our volunteers, over 1,300, showed their support by signing up early," Noee said. "We knew that would happen because we've had so much support from them over the years."

The volunteers couldn't help with the weather, which looked ominous early in the week. The course was already wet from previous rainfall. But other than a two-hour delay on Thursday, the rain stayed clear during tournament hours and Sunday's weather was sunny and mild.

"I'd have loved to have shown a little better Virginia weather for this time of year," Nooe said. "But when you look at what we could have had, to have only had the one two-hour delay, we got fairly lucky."

The bottom line

The damp course played right into the hands of some of the world's best golfers. Soft greens made for inviting targets and scores were low. Shin set a tournament record with a 9-under-par 62 in the first round, and Creamer's 16-under-par score after Saturday's round was the lowest three-round total in the history of the event.

This on a course the players already enjoyed.

"I love this golf course. I always have," Creamer said after the third round. "It reminds me a lot of the golf courses I grew up with in California."

Prior to the final round on Sunday, Ted and Sue Zlydaszek, of Williamsburg, settled their folding chairs into prime spots on the fairway of the 16th hole.

While analyzing the list of final-round groupings of players, Ted Zlydaszek made an off-hand comment about the "girls" playing great golf.

His wife tapped him on the arm with the back of her left hand and gave him a scolding look.

"When they get to this level," Sue Zlydaszek said, "you have to call them women."