LPGA adds new tournaments, raises prize money for 2017 season

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) will add four new tournaments to its 2017 schedule, with an increase of $4.35m (€4.1m) taking prize money to a record total of $67.35m.

In addition to the new tournaments on the 35-event LPGA schedule, 11 of the 30 returning official events will feature increased purses in 2017. Four of the tour’s five major championships in 2017 will have higher purses, including a $5m purse at the U.S. Women’s Open that will be the largest in LPGA history.

The four new events, some of which have already been announced, will be split evenly between the United States and overseas. The first new LPGA stop debuts when the Tour visits Oneida, Wisconsin on July 6-9 for the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.

Staged between the season’s second and third major championships, players will compete on the Thornberry Creek at Oneida golf course for a $2m purse. It will be the first time the LPGA or men’s PGA Tour has hosted a sanctioned event in the Green Bay area.

Three weeks later, the LPGA travels across the Atlantic to play the Ladies Scottish Open from July 27-30 at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire, Scotland. A co-sanctioned event between the LPGA and Ladies European Tour (LET) with a purse of $1.5m, the tournament will be contested on the same course as the men’s Scottish Open.

In September, the Tour heads to Indianapolis, Indiana for a $2m purse at the Indy Women in Tech (IWIT) Championship. Taking place from September 7-10, players will compete on the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course that weaves through the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Following the season’s final major at the Evian Championship, the LPGA will take a week off before traveling to the home of world No.1 Lydia Ko to play in the New Zealand Women’s Open from September 28 to October 1. The event will be the first of seven consecutive tournaments in the Asia-Pacific region before the Tour returns to Naples, Florida for the season finale at the CME Group Tour Championship.

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said: “While we receive credit for being a global tour, we’re just as proud that we’ve added more events in North America since 2011 then we have abroad.”

In other calendar news, Mexico City’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational will transition into a match play tournament and move from the autumn to the spring on next year’s schedule. Previously played in November, the newly named Lorena Ochoa Match Play will take place from May 4-7 and will become the Tour’s lone official match play event. The event will also mark the first match play tournament on the LPGA’s schedule since the Sybase Match Play Championship in 2012.

Whan added: “Our goal has been to consistently move the needle forward in providing increased financial opportunities for our members and increased value for our sponsors. We are excited to see these increases for 2017 and we look forward to continuing to grow overall prize money in future years.”

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