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Whan says things are healthy for LPGA schedule, purses

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – The LPGA commissioner Mike Whan says he is nearing the optimum schedule he wants, and he’ll be moving his focus to building purses.

The LPGA features 32 events this year, up from 23 in 2011. Whan said at the Kraft Nabisco Championship this week that he would like to see two more events added but sees “diminishing returns” going beyond that.

“We have two more quality dates we could furnish,” Whan said.

Back in 2011, there were giant gaps in the LPGA schedule, too many two- and three-week holes between events. Today, only twice on the schedule do players get a two-week break between events in the calendar year.

With 34 events, Whan likes that fields will be strong at most every event, and how there will be healthy competition among events to make sure they get the best players.

“In the next couple years, I think you will see real movement in purses,” Whan said.

LPGA pros are playing for $56.3 million in total prize money this year. That is $15 million more than they played for in 2011.