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Volume 24 No. 235
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LPGA Returning To L.A. For First Time Since '05 With April Tourney

The LPGA is returning to L.A. for the first time in over a decade with a new tournament at Wilshire Country Club. The HUGEL-JTBC Open will debut the week of April 16-22. HUGEL is a South Korea-based beauty products maker, while JTBC, a Korean broadcasting company, is part of the JoongAng Group (LPGA). In L.A., Tom Hoffarth reported the Wilshire Country Club agreed to a "three-year deal" to host the new tournament, which will offer a $1.5M purse for a 144-player field. The LPGA in December had announced that, as "part of its 34-event season, it planned an L.A. return and had the sponsors in place, but still had not locked down the course." The LPGA has been "dominated in recent years by Korean players" and L.A. has the "largest Korean-American population of any city proper" in the U.S. at more than 100,000. Wilshire is also "not far from L.A.’s Koreatown area" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 1/18).