LPGA Adds Five Events to 2012 Schedule

LPGA Adds Five Events to 2012 Schedule 1THE LPGA RELEASED ITS 2012 SCHEDULE and, it seems, all meaningful numbers are up. The 27-event schedule features five new tournaments with 100-plus player fields. Four are in North America (three in the United States, one in Canada). The other new event is at Royal Melbourne (site of the Presidents Cup) in Australia, the season-opening ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

Total purse money has risen from last year’s $40 million to $47 million for the 2012 season. It includes a $1.5 million purse for the RR Donnelley Founders Cup, which generated controversy last year in its inaugural run because players were required to donate all winnings to charity.

“The commitment and support of our existing tournament sponsors, the dramatic improvement in our television production and viewership, and the significant growth in marketing partners is really the foundation for our schedule growth,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan at LPGA.com.

Whan said the tour’s message is “See Why It’s Different Out Here.” “We’re hopeful that more people than ever before will take notice and become a part of our growth.”

The tour also reported that TV viewership increased by 38 percent in 2011 and its social media reach more than doubled.

2012 LPGA Schedule

Feb. 9-12, ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, Royal Melbourne (Australia) GC

Feb. 16-19, Honday LPGA Thailand, Siam CC, Thailand

Feb. 23-26, HSBC Women’s Champions, Tanah Merah CC, Singapore

March 15-18, RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, Wildfire GC, Phoenix, Arizona

March 22-25, Kia Classic, LaCosta R&S, Carlsbad, California

March 29-April 1, Kraft Nabisco Championship, Mission Hills CC, Rancho Mirage, California

April 18-21, LPGA Lotte Championship, TBD, Oahu, Hawaii

April 26-29, Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, RTJ GT, Mobile, Alabama

May 5-6, HSBC Brasil Cup, TBD, Brazil (unofficial)

May 17-20, Sybase Match Play, Hamilton Farm GC, Gladstone, New Jersey

June 1-3, ShopRite LPGA Classic, Seaview GC, Galloway, New Jersey

June 7-10, Wegmans LPGA Championship, Locust Hill CC, Pittsford, New York

June 21-24, Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, Grey Silo GC, Ontario, Canada

June 29-July 1, Walmart MW Arkansas Champ., Pinnacle CC, Rogers, Arkansas

July 5-8, U.S. Women’s Open, Blackwolf Run, Kohler, Wisconsin

July 26-29, Evian Masters, Evian (France) GC

Aug. 9-12, Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, Highland Meadows GC, Sylvania, Ohio

Aug. 17-19, Safeway Classic, Pumpkin Ridge GC, North Plains, Oregon

Aug. 23-26, CN Canadian Women’s Open, Vancouver GC, British Columbia, Canada

Sept. 6-9, Kingsmill Championship, Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, Virginia

Sept. 13-16, Ricoh Women’s British Open, Royal Liverpool GC, Hoylake, England

Sept. 20-23, Navistar LPGA Classic, RTJ GT, Prattville, Alabama

Oct. 12-14, Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) G&CC

Oct. 19-21, LPGA HanaBank Championship, Sky72 GC, Korea

Oct. 25-28, Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, Sunrise G&CC, Taiwan

Nov. 2-4, Mizuno Classic, Kintetsu Kashikojima CC, Japan

Nov. 8-11, Lorena Ochoa Invitational, Guadalajara (Mexico) CC

Nov. 15-18, CME Group Titleholders, TwinEagles GC, Naples, Florida

Dec. 9, Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge, Rio Secco GC, Henderson, Nevada (unofficial)

−The Armchair Golfer

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Neil Sagebiel

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