The 2019 LPGA schedule has been announced, and there’s a lot for the tour to look forward to. There are 33 events scheduled, not including the Solheim Cup which will be held at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles in Scotland. Over the course of the season, more than $US70 million in prizemoney will be available to win, which is more than $5 million more than this year. The USGA has not confirmed the US Women’s Open purse yet, but it’s believed to be in excess of $5 million in 2019. Three other Majors, the ANA Inspiration, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the Evian Championship all have increased purses for 2019.
The biggest jump in purse size comes from the CME Group Championship. Instead of giving the $US1 million bonus to the player who accrued the most points throughout the season, the top 60 players on the CME points list will be playing the championship to win a $1.5 million winner’s cheque – the biggest in women’s golf.
“We are in one of the most exciting periods of time in LPGA history,” said LPGA commissioner Mike Whan. “One look at our 2018 season shows the breadth of global talent on our tour, and I have no doubt that 2019 will continue this upward trend.”
There are four new events on the schedule, with the first two events of the season being two of them. First, the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions will start the campaign in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The LPGA season used to begin in the Bahamas. The second event of the season is a bit different. The Vic Open, held from February 7-10, is a jointly sanctioned event between the LPGA, ALPG and Ladies European Tour. Players from both circuits will be playing the event at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads, Victoria. For the first time in a professional golf tournament, men and women will be competing on the same course for the same amount of prizemoney.
Another highlight on the schedule includes the much-anticipated move of the Evian Championship. After battling bad weather in the late September slot, the Major, which is hosted in France near Lake Geneva, will now be played during the last week of July. There’s a change to another Major this year as well: the Women’s British Open has a new title sponsor, with AIG taking over from Ricoh.
One stop on the tour remains unannounced, it will be the penultimate tournament of the season. At the completion of the final tournament of the season, the CME Group Tour Championship, there will be a new $US1 million bonus awarded. The Aon Risk Reward Challenge is new this year and will award $1 million to the player on the LPGA and the PGA who plays the best on the most strategically difficult holes throughout the season.