LPGA's Legends, Symetra tours to compete in same event

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The LPGA will pair Legends Tour players with Symetra Tour players in a newly packaged event in Fort Myers, Fla., beginning next year, the tour announced Tuesday.

The Chico’s Patty Berg Memorial will be staged April 16-19 at Cypress Lake Country Club, which was the home club to Berg, the late Hall of Famer who won 60 LPGA titles, 15 of them major championships.

“This is a unique opportunity to align the future stars of the LPGA Tour with living legends who produced countless LPGA Tour victories and memories,” Mike Nichols, chief business officer of the Symetra Tour, said in a statement. “This event will serve as an opportunity for our players to continue the development process by golfing alongside the best to ever play the game and for fans to experience an exciting new tournament format with two Tours competing at one venue.”

Min Seo Kwak won the inaugural Chico’s Patty Berg Memorial last May, when it was played solely as a Symetra Tour event.

Legends Tour and Symetra Tour players will now be grouped together while competing in separate competitions, with each tour competing for $150,000 purses. A field of 144 Symetra Tour players will tee it up beginning Thursday of that week in a 72-hole competition with a cut after 36 holes. A field of 30 Legends Tour players will compete in a 36-hole event beginning that Saturday. One Legends Tour pro will play in threesomes with two Symetra Tour players on the weekend.

The Symetra Tour is the LPGA’s developmental circuit. The Legends Tour is the women’s version of a senior circuit, featuring Hall of Famers and other former LPGA players.

“The Legends Tour showcases the greatest names in women’s golf,” Legends Tour CEO Jane Blalock said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Symetra Tour to align the historical best with the future’s brightest for the Chico’s Patty Berg Memorial. It will be a treat for golf fans everywhere to see our LPGA legends mentoring new talent on the fairways – not only by example, but also now with direct interaction in a competitive setting. This approach is currently unparalleled and we are pleased to introduce this unique and powerful combined format in women’s professional golf.”