Naples, Florida, United States: Seven events in six Asian countries feature prominently on the LPGA Tour’s 34-event schedule for 2021.
Among several adjustments to the schedule given pandemic-related challenges that may arise in early 2021, full-field events won’t begin until late February while the usual ‘Spring Asia Swing’ has been moved back to late April and early May.
That means the HSBC Women’s World Championship will take place from April 29 to May 2 at Singapore’s Sentosa Golf Club, a Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Players and officials will then head to Pattaya’s Siam Country Club for the Honda LPGA Thailand (May 6-9). From there it’s onto Hainan Island in the People’s Republic of China for the Blue Bay LPGA (May 13-16). The Tour’s two usual stops in Australia were previously postponed to 2022 for pandemic-related reasons.
A second Asian swing, consisting of events in China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan, will be staged towards the end of the season.
Teeing-off a four-week stretch will be the Buick LPGA Shanghai (October 14-17) at China’s Qizhong Garden Golf Club, followed by the BMW Ladies Championship at LPGA International Busan in Korea (October 21-24), Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA (October 28-31) at Miramar Golf Club in New Taipei City and the TOTO Japan Classic (November 4-7) at Seta Golf Course in Shiga.
Meanwhile, August will bring the much-awaited Olympic Games in Japan, rescheduled from 2020. The women’s golf competition will be held from August 4-7 at Kasumigaseki Country Club, 40 miles outside Tokyo.
In a demonstration of partnership with Tour sponsors, all official LPGA events that were postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic are returning to the schedule in 2021.
“We can all agree that 2020, while certainly not the 70th anniversary year that we expected, was a year that we will never forget,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.
He added: “As we look back at the year, I am amazed at how our partnerships have actually grown during this trying time, and how the LPGA staff was able to return all three Tours to play in summer 2020. We actually added sponsorship sales in 2020 in the form of new title partners and new marketing partners, and we proved that professional golf can be played safely for all involved.
“And our fans responded. Social engagement is up more than 40% and TV viewership is up more than 30% over last year. As we look to 2021, we are recapturing the momentum that we had at the beginning of 2020 and we are excited about our future, which will include news of new title sponsors and several significant purse increases.”