Daytona Beach, Florida, United States: The LPGA Tour’s schedule for 2019 contains more tournaments and prize money for its players to compete for.
Next season’s Tour will comprise 33 events around the world, with over US$70 million in prize money up for grabs – a US$5 million increase on 2018.
The USGA has not yet confirmed the prize fund for the 2019 US Women’s Open, but it is believed to be more than US$5 million. Three other Majors – the ANA Inspiration, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the Evian Championship – have all increased purses for 2019.
The biggest jump in prize money comes from the CME Group Tour Championship. Instead of giving a US$1 million bonus to the player who accrues the most points throughout the season, the top 60 players on the CME points list will be playing the championship to win a US$1.5 million first prize, 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 presented by Insurance Office of America will start the campaign in Lake Buena Vista, Florida in January. The second event is The Vic Open in Australia, which will take place from February 7-10 and is a joint event with the European Tour.
Players from both circuits will be playing at Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads, and for the first time in a professional tournament, men and women will be competing on the same course for the same amount of prize money.
Another highlight on the schedule includes a date change for the Evian Championship. After battling bad weather in the late September slot, the event, which is hosted in France near Lake Geneva, will now be played during the last week of July.
At the completion of the final tournament of the LPGA Tour’s season, the CME Group Tour Championship, there will be a new US$1 million bonus awarded. The Aon Risk Reward Challenge will award US$1 million to the player on the LPGA and the PGA who plays the best on the most strategically difficult holes throughout the season.