Just a few years ago many were pondering the future of the LPGA. A talented pool of players could do little to defend against a diminishing schedule, smaller purses, and increasingly limited television coverage.
Fast forward to the era of Commissioner Mike Whan and circumstances have changed. Proving leadership and a well built team can get the job done, the LPGA introduced an impressive 2013 schedule on Tuesday, one that includes 28 events, nearly $49 million in total prize money, and more than 300 hours of tournament television coverage, the most ever for the Tour.
The 2013 LPGA schedule features three new tournaments including the $1.3 million North Texas LPGA Shootout, to be played April 22 to 28 at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas; the $1.3 million Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, to be played May 20-26 at the Ocean Club Golf Course at Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas; and the $1.8 million Reignwood Pine Valley LPGA Classic in Beijing, China, which kicks off the Tour’s Fall Asian swing the first week of October at Reignwood Pine Valley Golf Club. Each of the new tournaments are four-day, 72 hole, stroke-play events, aired on the LPGA’s international television partner networks, including Golf Channel. Every North American tournament and 27 of the 28 Tour’s stops on the 2013 schedule will be televised worldwide.
In conjunction with the China Golf Association and China LPGA, the LPGA is thrilled to add the $1.8 million Reignwood Pine Valley LPGA Classic, near Beijing, China. This will be the LPGA’s first trip to the capital of China, which will be greatly anticipated coming on the heels of Shanshan Feng’s major championship victory at last year’s Wegmans LPGA Championship, where she became the first Chinese golfer, male or female, to win a major championship. Reignwood Pine Valley Golf Club is one of the most prestigious venues in all of China, with a Jack Nicklaus designed course that has hosted many professional events including the 2005 Johnnie Walker Classic. The tournament will feature a $1.8 million purse and 81-player field, consisting of LPGA players and CLPGA players.
“The performance, approachability and growing popularity of our players is the No. 1 factor in the LPGA’s continued momentum, which has led to expanding coverage on Golf Channel, the growing slate of playing opportunities and our ever-increasing fan base,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “We are excited to add the Bahamas, North Texas and Beijing as LPGA Tour stops and we expect to have one more tournament to announce in the very near future.”
Again for 2013 there are two events being held in Canada, the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Waterloo, Ontario (July 11-14) and the CN Canadian Women’s Open in Edmonton, Alberta (August 22-25).
For the complete 2013 LPGA Schedule follow this link.