The LPGA Tour Championship will move to Orlando, Fla., this year, Golfweek has learned. The season-ending event will be played Dec. 2-5 at Grand Cypress Resort.
Finally, an LPGA event in the Sunshine State.
“It is the golf mecca of the world,” said Paula Creamer, an Orlando resident.
Tournament operator IMG wasn’t able to secure a sponsor in the Houston area, where the event was held last November. The LPGA has taken over operations of the event, with IMG still bringing financial support. (IMG was left holding the bill after Stanford Financial went bankrupt last year.) The event originally was scheduled for Nov. 18-21. It still will have a 120-player field and a $1.5 million purse.
Grand Cypress has a history with the LPGA. The Jack Nicklaus-designed course played host to the Chrysler-Plymouth Tournament of Champions in 1994-96 and the HealthSouth Inaugural in 1998-99.
As recently as 2008, the LPGA had three tournaments in Florida: the Ginn Open at Reunion and Stanford International Pro-Am at Aventura in April and the ADT Championship at West Palm Beach in November. Last year, the LPGA, which is based in Daytona Beach, had no events in its home state.