Wednesday, December 13, 2017

LPGA 2018 Schedule Features 34 Tournaments and Record Breaking Prize Money




The LPGA officially announced today its 2018 LPGA schedule, and it was worth the wait!

Here are the highlights:

  • The 2018 LPGA schedule features 34 events (33 official tournaments + the UL International Crown)  across 14 countries.
  • There will be three new events. Two in the state of California, and one on the mainland of China. Here are further details on these new events.
  • Two events have been permanently removed from the schedule: The Lorena Ochoa Match Play event in Mexico and the Manulife Classic held in Canada. 
  •  The MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open will take a hiatus for 2018 and move to spring 2019, making a logical pair with the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.
  • The LPGA Tour expects to have more than 400 hours of domestic broadcast coverage on Golf Channel and network TV in 2018, with more than 450 hours available in 175 countries around the world. Domestic TV ratings continue to climb annually. They were up 17% in 2017.
  • Will feature a record $68.75 million in prize money (up from $65 million in 2017).
  • The U.S. Women's Open is in its new spot on the schedule, moving from mid-July to early June. Shoal Creek G.C. in Alabama will serve as host, with its $5 million purse the largest of the season.

“Perhaps the most important aspect of our schedule is the consistency — continuing to deliver strong playing opportunities both in North America and around the world, while growing overall purse levels every year,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “There is simply no better Tour opportunity in the world, when it comes to purses, global TV coverage or strength of field. It’s an exciting time in women’s golf, with the best players from every corner of the globe competing against each other in virtually every event.”

UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN HEADS TO KOREA


Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, Korea, will host the third staging of the UL International Crown on Oct. 4-7. This marks the first time that the competition, which features the best female golfers from the top eight countries across the globe, will be staged outside the USA. Record crowds are expected to line the fairways, and Korean legend Se Ri Pak will serve as the competition’s honorary director.
The eight countries to compete in the UL International Crown will be set following the U.S. Women’s Open, while the top four players in those countries after the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will receive the honor of representing their homelands.
The UL International Crown was first held in 2014 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md., where the Spanish team of Carlota Ciganda, Belen Mozo, Azahara Munoz and Beatriz Recari won all four singles matches on the final day to become the inaugural champions. Two years later, a powerful United States lineup of Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller and Lexi Thompson came from behind to win the prestigious title at Merit Club near Chicago.
The Evian remains in the same "dreaded" spot it was in during the 2017 season, when it was cut to 54 holes. But according to LPGA commissioner Mike Whan, the plan is for the Evian to be a summer event as soon as possible, potentially as early as 2019. 
The LPGA will again kick off its season at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic, from Jan. 25-28, and wrap up with the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla. (Nov. 15-18).





This Week's Trivia Question: 

What LPGA player had the most top five finishes in 2017, without recording a single victory?






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