One month before its season begins, the USLPGA Tour announced a 28-tournament schedule that includes five majors, three additional tournaments and prize money closing in on US$50 million.
Tour commissioner Mike Whan delivered a balanced schedule on Tuesday that circles the globe. It starts next month in Australia. More than half the tournaments are in North America. The Asian swing late in the year includes a new tournament in China, and the season ends in November with the Titleholders and US$700,000 to the winner, the biggest payoff in women’s golf.
Whan also announced that CME, the title sponsor of the season-ending Titleholders, has extended its deal through 2016.
“Our tournaments are about customers a lot more than they are about the players and television,” Whan said. “If you do the right thing with the customer, you’ll end up being with the customer a long time.”
Two years ago, the tour had only 23 tournaments.
Whan is close to what he considers an ideal schedule of no more than 32 tournaments — enough to give his players ample starts and still small enough that the tournaments can expect to get a majority of the best players.
The USLPGA Tour previously announced a new tournament in the Bahamas on May 23 to May 26 and a return to Texas, its first official event in the Lone Star State since the US Women’s Open at Colonial in 1991.
The North Texas Shootout is to be held from April 25 to April 28, three weeks before the USPGA Tour arrives in town for its Texas swing.
The third new tournament is in China — the Reignwood Pine Valley LPGA Classic in the first week in October, which launches an Asian swing that is to take players to Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.
“The performance, approachability and growing popularity of our players is the No. 1 factor in the LPGA’s continued momentum, which has led to expanding coverage on Golf Channel, the growing slate of playing opportunities and our ever-increasing fan base,” Whan said.
The Evian will become the fifth major, held from Sept. 12 to Sept. 15 in France with a US$3.25 million purse.
That will be the last of a strong lineup of majors that includes the US Women’s Open going to Seabonack on Long Island and the Women’s British Open returning to the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first