Sat, Jan 08, 2011 - Page 20 News List

LPGA Tour to feature Taiwan event

GO EAST:New events on the women’s golf calendar include October’s LPGA Taiwan Championship and the Imperial Springs LPGA in Guangzhou in August

REUTERS AND AFP, MIAMI AND DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA

This year’s LPGA Tour will feature 25 tournaments — one more than last year — in 12 countries, including Taiwan, commissioner Michael Whan said on Thursday.

New events will be staged in the US, Taiwan and China, including a tournament in Arizona where the players will forgo prize money to support the LPGA Foundation.

“We’re pleased that golf’s global tour was able to withstand the economic downturn by securing 23 of its existing 24 events from 2010,” Whan said in a statement. “At the same time, we’re thrilled to add new ideas and new tournaments in the United States, Taiwan and China.”

New events include the Imperial Springs LPGA in Guangzhou, China, in August, October’s LPGA Taiwan Championship and the LPGA Founders Cup, a 54-hole US event in March in Phoenix, Arizona where winnings go to the LPGA Foundation charity.

“The addition of Taiwan and China events further prove we are truly a global tour,” said Taiwan’s Yani Tseng, the LPGA Player of the Year after winning two major titles last year. “With the economic downturn, commissioner Whan and his team have done a great job to secure as many events as they did in 2010.”

The LPGA season tees off on Feb. 17 with the Honda LPGA Thailand.

The first of 13 US tournaments comes from March 18 to March 20 at Phoenix, where players will earn rankings points and money toward the season championship event, though the money will go to developing youth golf programs.

After a tuneup event, the women face the first major championship of the year at the Kraft Nabisco in Rancho Mirage, California.

The LPGA goes to Mexico and Alabama in April, New Jersey and Brazil in May and makes stops in New Jersey and Illinois, before a week off ahead of the year’s second major, the LPGA Championship at suburban Rochester, New York.

After another week off comes the third major of the season, the US Women’s Open from July 7 to July 10 at Colorado Springs, before the LPGA goes to France a week ahead of the year’s final major, the Women’s British Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 28 to July 31, with the new event in China set for the following week.

Tseng will defend titles in the first and last majors of the campaign.

Three US events and the Canadian Women’s Open follow before the Solheim Cup pits US and European teams in Ireland from Sept. 23 to Sept. 25.

A final Asian swing in October includes events in South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan, with a final stop in Japan on the first weekend in November and an event in Mexico the following week.

The season-ending event will be the inaugural Titleholders, a US$1.5 million tournament to replace the LPGA Tour Championship that features three qualifiers from each of the 24 official tour events.

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