New Florida tournament to open 2015 LPGA Tour season

The Ladies Professional Golf Association has announced that the LPGA Tour will commence its 2015 season with a new event in Florida.

The Coates Golf Championship presented by R+L Carriers will take place at Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club from January 28-31. The event will mark the first time that the LPGA Tour commences its season in its home state for more than a decade and the second consecutive year that the campaign will begin in January.

The new tournament will be backed by the Octagon agency, along with sponsors Coates Golf and R+L Carriers. Coates Golf is a new company in the golf industry that will be launching at the PGA Merchandise show in January and will be headquartered in Ocala. R+L Carriers is a freight shipping company that is owned by Larry Roberts. He also owns Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club.

“Coates Golf is ecstatic to bring such a premium, world-class event to our community of Ocala, Florida,” Mollie Coates, president of Coates Golf, said. “We found this opportunity to partner with the LPGA the perfect platform to launch our exciting new company, Coates Golf, which will be announced in January 2015.”

The new tournament will boast a 120-player field with 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition and a $1.5m (€1.1m) purse. The event will be played Wednesday through Saturday, with an early finish due to the NFL’s Super Bowl taking place on February 1.