China Will Host LPGA Tournament In '13 With $1.8M Purse
The LPGA has added a tournament in China to its '13 calendar. The Reignwood Pine Valley LPGA Classic will be held in Beijing and will kick off the Tour's fall Asian swing the first week of October. The $1.8M tournament will be organized by the LPGA, China Golf Association and China LPGA, with the event marking the LPGA's first trip to China's capital. The Reignwood Pine Valley Golf Club includes a course designed by Jack Nicklaus that has hosted several professional events, including the Johnnie Walker Classic in '05. The event will feature an 81-player field, consisting of LPGA and CLPGA players. Also added to the '13 calendar is the $1.3M Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, which will be played May 20-26 (LPGA).
GOING GLOBAL: LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan appeared on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” Tuesday morning to discuss the announcement of the new LPGA schedule. Whan said after Chinese-born golfer Feng Shanshan won the LPGA Championship last season, “it’s no surprise” the next season “we’re going to the capital city” of China, Beijing, for a new tournament. Whan: “We’ve added eight new events in the last couple of years, six of them in North America.” Whan said of the balance between events in North America and overseas, “You can’t be golf’s global tour and do it from your desk or with an email. You’ve got to go. If you want to grow women’s golf worldwide, you’ve got to make an impact worldwide. We’re proud of the fact that we travel … (but) at the same time we didn’t want to be nomadic. We didn’t want to not have a home. So in our 28 official events, 18 are here in North America. … That’s a good mix.” Whan said the reason the Tour created a “fifth major is to create a fifth global spectacle for the LPGA.” The LPGA “has always been kind of first to evolve and having a fifth major is just providing greater opportunity for women.” Whan said that “no doubt about it” there could be announcement about another tournament for the ’13 season. Whan: “We've announced 28 events and a little less than $49 million in total purses, but I believe strongly there’s at least one more to come in the next month that would still be on our 2013 schedule. I've said to the players since the day I started that 30 to 32 events in my mind makes for a great season. (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 1/15).