The LPGA Tour released their 2012 schedule on Tuesday, one that holds a lot of hope for the circuit as they rebuild in the wake of some tough times.
2012 will see a boost of four events on the itinerary including five completely new/returning ones. That includes the new Canadian stop, the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Waterloo, Ontario. That tournament held a media event with LPGA Tour commisioner Mike Whan in Waterloo early this week but apparently forgot to tell the Canadian golf media, something they were taken to task for on Twitter by several Canadian golf writers.
That blunder aside, the year looks to be a promising one for the tour who, unfortunately, had nowhere to go but up after enduring the reign of past Commissioner Carolyn Bivens and her various follies.
The tour announced that they had a 38% growth in viewership in 2011, likely a boost that helped them secure several important sponsor and partner contracts moving forward.
While the State Farm Classic left the schedule after 2011, the new 27 event event agenda has five additions in the form of the Canadian event, the returning Jamie Farr Classic, the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, the LPGA LOTTE Championship, and the Kingsmill Championship. On top of those tournament the RR Donnelly LPGA Founders Cup will have an actual purse this season, to the tune of $1.5 million.
In total the overall purse the players will vie for jumps from $40.4 million in 2011 to $47 million in 2012.
For more details on the LPGA announcement, including details of further other partnership and television initiatives see the full release here.