LPGA targeting ‘safe and responsible return’ in mid-July
The LPGA is pushing back its schedule yet another month because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the tour announcing Wednesday that it now plans to return July 15-18 at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational team in Midland, Michigan.
With the latest revision, five more LPGA events are being canceled.
The UL International Crown, the Volvik Founders Cup, the Lotte Championship, the Hugel Air Premia LA Open and the Mediheal Championship will not be played this year.
Previously, the Honda Thailand, HSBC Women’s Championship, Blue Bay LPGA and Pure Silk Championship were canceled.
The pandemic has now affected 22 of the LPGA’s 34 events, with nine canceled and 13 rescheduled.
The revised schedule stretches from mid-July to the third week of December, with the CME Group Tour Championship moved to Dec. 17-20, to remain the season-ending event, following the rescheduled U.S. Women’s Open.
The changes include the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship moving from June to October.
Also, the LPGA announced that some of its events are increasing prize money. The tour will play for more than $56 million over the remainder of the revised schedule, with an average of nearly $2.7 million per event.
The original schedule featured 34 events with a total purse of $75.1 million. The overall schedule now features 25 events, including the four played at year’s start, with a total prize money of $61.85 million.
“One thing that has become clear is that there will be no ‘opening bell’ regarding a return to safe play in this new normal of the COVID-19 pandemic,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said. “To be honest, being ‘first’ has never been the goal when it comes to returning to play in this new normal. We have built a schedule that we think is as safe as possible given what we know about travel bans, testing availability, and delivering events that our sponsors and our athletes will be excited to attend.
“While July seems like a long way away, we are certainly aware that restarting our season in Michigan, Ohio and New Jersey will require a continued improvement in the situation in each of those states.”
Here’s a summary of the latest revisions:
- Marathon Classic presented by Dana will move to July 23-26
- Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G will move to Aug. 28-30
- UL International Crown, originally slated for the week of Aug. 24, will not be played in 2020.
- Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give will move to Oct. 1-4
- KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will move to Oct. 8-11
- Pelican Women’s Championship presented by DEX Imaging will move to Nov. 19-22
- Volunteers of America Classic will move to Dec. 3-6
- CME Group Tour Championship will move to Dec. 17-20 and will be the final event of the 2020 season
Here’s a look at the schedule as currently planned: