2018 LPGA schedule features 34 events in 14 countries, record prize money

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2018 LPGA schedule features 34 events in 14 countries, record prize money

LPGA Tour

2018 LPGA schedule features 34 events in 14 countries, record prize money

The LPGA has made official what Mike What laid out last month at the CME Group Tour Championship. The 2018 LPGA schedule features 34 events across 14 countries, including the UL International Crown, and a record $68.75 million in prize money, up from $65.5 in 2017.

Two events are gone from the ’17 – Lorena Ochoa’s event in Mexico City and the Manulife in Canada – but stops in Shanghai, Los Angeles and San Francisco have been added.

“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.

Twenty-three new title sponsors have been added to the LPGA portfolio in the last six years, including South Korean skincare company L&P Cosmetic, which will sponsor the new event at Lake Merced outside San Francisco. Swinging Skirts hosted an event at Lake Merced from 2014 to ’16 but now sponsors the LPGA’s event in Taipei.

 The return of San Francisco to the schedule helps build a strong West Coast Swing. Following a week off after the ANA Inspiration, the tour returns to Oahu for the LOTTE Championship April 11-14 before heading to the greater Los Angeles area for the inaugural HUGEL-JTBC Championship. The host club will be announced in 2018.

From there it’s back to the Bay Area at Lake Merced before concluding the four-week stretch at the Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic at the Old American Golf Club, a new venue for ’18. 

The U.S. Women’s has moved to its new permanent date in late May, early June. This year’s contest will be May 31-June 3 at Alabama’s Shoal Creek and will feature a $5 million purse. The KPMG Women’s PGA heads back to Illinois in 2018, this time to Kemper Lakes Golf Club, where Payne Stewart won the 1989 PGA Championship.

The most significant event of ’19 might be the International Crown held at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club South Korea. It’s likely to cause a bigger stir than the Presidents Cup did there two years ago.

There’s also good things ahead for 2019, as three new events, two with unique formats, are already slated. That’s also the year the McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open returns for the schedule in a new time slot that will pair with the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

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