The LPGA’s forward momentum rolls on in 2019 with 33 official events, the biennial Solheim Cup and record prize money. Three of the new tournaments next season will bring fresh formats for the tour, and a new season-long race brings the LPGA and PGA Tour together for a $1 million prize.
“We are in one of the most exciting periods of time in LPGA history,” LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said in a release. “One look at our 2018 season shows the breadth of global talent on our Tour, and I have no doubt that 2019 will continue this upward trend. We are not only proud of our tour growth, but also the growth of our LPGA Teachers, LPGA Amateurs and LPGA-USGA Girls-Golf efforts.”
The tour’s overall prize money will increase to $70.55 million, up from $65.35 million in 2018. The CME Group Tour Championship recently announced an increase in prize money to $5 million, matching the purse of the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open. The USGA won’t reveal its purse for 2019 until next spring but has confirmed it will be a minimum of $5 million.
The winner of next year’s CME will earn a record $1.5 million paycheck.
While the AIG Women’s British Open has yet to finalize its purse for ’19, three of the LPGA’s majors have announced purse increases: ANA Inspiration ($3 million, up $200,000 from 2018), the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship ($3.85 million, up $200,000 from 2018) and The Evian Championship ($4.1 million, up $250,000 from 2018).
There is one TBA on the schedule, Nov. 13-16, the week preceding the CME. The Blue Bay LPGA event in China took up that spot in 2018, and the LPGA stated that a contractual agreement for that week’s event is expected to be finalized in early 2019.
The fall’s five-week stretch in Asia runs straight into the CME, with no time for players to adjust before competing for the biggest first-place prize in women’s golf history. The final event on that Asia swing could be susceptible to a weakened field.
Speaking of tough turnarounds, this year’s schedule features back-to-back majors as the Evian Championship moves back its original summer slot. The Evian and Women’s British will be held in consecutive weeks, with the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open rounding out a European swing.
New formats for 2019 include the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions presented by Insurance Office of America, to be held Jan. 17-20 at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando.
The tour’s first TOC since 2007 will feature a twist, however, as its pro-am format includes 45 celebrity participants and 10 amateurs.
Also new to the LPGA, the groundbreaking Vic Open on Feb. 7-10, the only professional event in the world where men and women compete concurrently on the same course for equal prize money.
The year’s Vic Open, held at 13th Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads, Australia, will be sanctioned by the European Tour and ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia (men’s) and the LPGA and ALPG (women’s).
And finally, this summer’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational will be the first official team event in tour history. With a pair of sister acts winning on the LPGA in 2018, it’s sure to offer plenty of compelling teams and storylines.
The topic of equal pay won’t be limited to the Vic Open in ’19. The new Aon Risk Reward Challenge brings the PGA Tour and LPGA together for a unique season-long race in which players will be ranked based on how they perform across the season’s most strategically challenging holes. The player from each tour who tops the standings at season’s end will receive $1 million.
2019 LPGA Schedule
|Jan. 17-20||Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions presented by Insurance Office of America||Four Seasons G. and Sports Club Orlando||Lake Buena Vista, Fla.||$1.2M||TBD|
|Feb. 7-10||Vic Open||13th Beach G.L.||Barwon Heads, Australia||,$1.1M||TBD|
|Feb. 14-17||ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open||The Grange G.C.||Adelaide, Australia||$1.3M||TBD|
|Feb. 21-24||Honda LPGA Thailand||Siam C.C.||Chonburi, Thailand||$1.6M||TBD|
|Feb. 28 –
|HSBC Women’s World Championship||Sentosa G.C.||Singapore||$1.5M||TBD|
|March 21-24||Bank of Hope Founders Cup||Wildfire G.C. at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa||Phoenix, Ariz.||$1.5M||TBD|
|March 28-31||Kia Classic||Aviara G.C.||Carlsbad, Calif.||$1.8M||TBD|
|April 4-7||ANA Inspiration||Mission Hills C.C.||Rancho Mirage, Calif.||$3M||TBD|
|April 17-20||LOTTE Championship||Ko Olina G.C.||Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii||$2M||TBD|
|April 25-28||Hugel-Air Premia LA Open||Wilshire G.C.||Los Angeles, Calif.||$1.5M||TBD|
|May 2-5||LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship||Lake Merced G.C.||San Francisco, Calif.||$1.8M||TBD|
|May 23-26||Pure Silk Championship||Kingsmill Resort||Williamsburg, Va.||$1.3M||TBD|
|May 30 – June 2||U.S. Women’s Open Championship conducted by the USGA||C.C. of Charleston||Charleston, S.C.||$5M||TBD|
|June 7-9||ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer||Stockton Seaview Hotel and G.C.||Galloway, N.J.||$1.75M||TBD|
|June 13-16||Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give||Blythefield C.C.||Grand Rapids, Mich.||$2M||TBD|
|June 20-23||KPMG Women’s PGA Championship||Hazeltine National G.C.||Chaska, Minn.||$3.85M||TBD|
|June 28-30||Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G||Pinnacle C.C.||Rogers, Ark.||$2M||TBD|
|July 4-7||Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic||Thornberry Creek at Oneida||Oneida, Wis.||$2M||TBD|
|July 11-14||Marathon Classic presented by Dana||Highland Meadows G.C.||Sylvania, Ohio||$1.75M||TBD|
|July 17-20||Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational||Midland C.C.||Midland, Mich.||$2M||TBD|
|July 25-28||The Evian Championship||Evian Resort G.C.||Evian-les-Bains, France||$4.1M||TBD|
|Aug. 1-4,||AIG Women’s British Open||Woburn G.C.||Milton Keynes, England||$3.25M||TBD|
|Aug. 8-11||Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open||The Renaissance Club||North Berwick, Scotland||$1.5M||TBD|
|Aug. 22-25||CP Women’s Open||Magna G.C.||Aurora, Ontario, Canada||$2.25M||TBD|
|Aug. 29 – Sept. 1||Cambia Portland Classic||Columbia Edgewater C.C.||Portland, Ore.||$1.3M||TBD|
|Sept. 12-15||Solheim Cup||Gleneagles||Perthshire, Scotland||TBD||TBD|
|Sept. 26-29||Indy Women in Tech Championship driven by Group1001||Brickyard Crossing G.C.||Indianapolis, Ind.||$2M||TBD|
|Oct. 3-6||Volunteers of America Classic||Old American G.C.||The Colony, Texas||$1.3M||TBD|
|Oct. 17-20||Buick LPGA Shanghai||Qizhong Garden G.C.||Shanghai, People’s Republic of China||$2.1M||TBD|
|Oct. 24-27||BMW Ladies Championship||LPGA International Busan||Busan, Republic of Korea||$2M||TBD|
|Oct. 31 – Nov. 3||Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship||TBD||Chinese Taipei||$2.2M||TBD|
|Nov. 8-10||TOTO Japan Classic||Seta G.C.||Shiga, Japan||$1.5M||TBD|
|Nov. 21-24||CME Group Tour Championship||Tiburon G.C.||Naples. Fla.||$5M||TBD|