NAPLES, Fla. (AP) – The money from corporate sponsorships continues to flow into the LPGA Tour, which announced Thursday a 2024 schedule with more than $116 million in prize money and 10 regular tournaments offering at least $3 million.
LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan released the schedule at the CME Group Tour Championship, the end of the season which previously announced that it will increase its purse to $11 million next year with $4 million going to the winner.
Also on Thursday, ESPN said it has signed a two-year deal with the LPGA in which it will provide exclusive group coverage on ESPN+ at eight tournaments.
The ESPN deal is significant because LPGA coverage, outside of majors and select events, is limited to Golf Channel. Those eight events will have 18 holes covering two main groups in the morning and two in the afternoon.
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“The LPGA represents the best of the best and we are pleased to be able to offer fans more opportunities to watch these incredible athletes perform on the biggest stage,” said Marcoux Samaan .
The agreement includes this week’s CME Group Tour Championship.
Prize money on the LPGA Tour has been growing steadily, with recent boosts coming from the majors, most notably the US Women’s Open ($11 million this year) and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship ($10 million).
More sponsors are incrementally boosting wallets. This year, there were only four regular championships – not including the major five or the CME Group Tour Championship – that had prize funds of $3 million or more. Now there are 10.
The schedule features a new tournament in the Boston area, and some moving parts. The “Drive On” contests move from Arizona to Florida next year, but Arizona will have another contest in March at a course to be determined.
The schedule also has a smoother flow to avoid some trips across the country. One stretch this year went the LPGA from San Francisco to New Jersey to Las Vegas and back to New Jersey in five weeks.
The LPGA Match Play in Las Vegas now moves to the first week in April, just before the LPGA takes a two-week break before its first major (the Chevron Championship) in Houston.
The Lotte Championship was played in Hawaii this year a week before the Chevron in Houston. Next year, the Hawaii event moves to November for the first time and follows the four-event Asian swing, so it’s on the way back to the final two events in Florida.
The AIG Women’s British Open returns to St Andrews for the last full week in August due to the Olympic Games in France, which take place two weeks before. The Women’s PGA goes to Sahalee outside of Seattle, and the US Women’s Open is at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania.
The LPGA again has two championships in Los Angeles with one wrinkle. Se Ri Pak, Hall of Famer and fan of women’s golf in South Korea, will have her name as part of the title at Palos Verdes – Se Ri Pak LA Open. She joins Michelle Wie West (Mizuhos Americas Open) and Annika Sorenstam (The Annika) as players who will host the tournament.
Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia has the Solheim Cup. This is the second time that the Solheim Cup has been held in back-to-back years with it going back to even years due to the Ryder Cup going back to odd-numbered years.
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