LPGA commissioner Mike Whan recognizes a good thing when he sees it. And in the PGA Tour’s revamped Zurich Classic, Whan saw an opportunity to bring a homerun over to the LPGA. The LPGA has announced that the new Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational will be the first official team event in tour history. Golfweek first reported on the new tournament April 30 and offered up a number of potential pairings.
The 72-hole team event will debut July 17-20, 2019, at Midland (Mich.) Country Club. Dow Chemical Company is headquartered in Midland and has agreed to an initial five-year partnership.
“Our players and fans have consistently asked about a team event on the LPGA,” Whan stated in a release. “I know our players will enjoy this event, as much as our fans.”
The tournament, which will have a $2 million purse, will feature 72 two-person teams competing in both foursomes and four-balls. Further details will be announced at the start of the 2019 season.
Notable unofficial team events from LPGA past include the Hot Springs 4-Ball Invitational (1955-58) and the Women’s World Cup of Golf (2000, 2005-08). Also, the Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge (1992-2013) and Hyundai Team Matches (1994-97, 1999-2002) included competitors from the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions.
“We are so thrilled to bring this event to the region to further showcase all that the Great Lakes Bay area has to offer,” said Jim Fitterling, chief executive officer-elect of Dow. “The impact of this event will extend far beyond the golf course, as this unique partnership offers a great platform to build our community and explore the intersections between golf, our business, and life, especially in the areas of careers and inclusion.”