Tuesday, July 29, 2014

LPGA Announces New Florida Tournament to Kickoff 2015

The LPGA announced today the addition of the Coates Golf Championship. It will take place at the Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club in Ocala, Fla., January 28-31, 2015.

Aerial_Course - Small

Last year's season opener, The Pure Silk-Bahamas Classic, will immediately follow this new tournament.

"We are excited to partner with Coates Golf to have the 2015 LPGA season begin in Florida," said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. "Playing back-to-back events in Florida and the Bahamas in the East Coast time zone will be a great way for our fans to watch our first two events of the year live on Golf Channel."

The deal was confirmed early Monday by Golden Ocala general manager Joe Donnelly as well as Randall Coates, chief operating officer of title sponsor Coates Golf. "It's official," Coates said. "All the contracts have been signed. We have a three-year contract with the LPGA. It will be the first tournament of the year for the LPGA."

Unlike most tournaments on the LPGA, this one will have a Wednesday start and a Saturday finish, thus avoiding having the final round on the same day as the Super Bowl.

A few players have played Golden Ocala when it was a stop on the Futures Tour in the 1990's.
Karrie Webb was victorious there in 1995.

The event will have a field of 120 players, the purse will be $1,500,000. The tournament will be televised by Golf Channel.

This will mark the second straight year the LPGA has played an official event in January. Prior to 2014, the last official tour event in January was in 2001.

The LPGA has thrived thus far in 2014. Adding another domestic tournament to next year's schedule is another feather in the cap of Commissioner Michael Whan and the LPGA.

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  1. a buddy of mine says Golden Ocala is one of his favorite courses in Florida. Great news for the LPGA!

    1. Dave, everything I have read about this course tells me that the girls are going to love it.
      Here's to hoping Michael Whan never retires.

  2. Tony,

    Feel free to post your LPGA Blog at http://ThroughTheDogleg.com