LPGA releases smaller 2010 schedule


SUGAR LAND, Texas – The LPGA released a 2010 schedule Wednesday with the fewest tour events in nearly 40 years.

The new schedule features 24 events, fewest since 1971.

Given the difficult economic climate and fallout from the forced ouster of commissioner Carolyn Bivens in July, it’s a schedule LPGA officials were more than satisfied to present in a news conference a day before the start of the LPGA Tour Championship.

For acting commissioner Marty Evans, the schedule represents a foundation to build upon after four months of hard salvage work.

When Evans took over in July, there were just nine tournaments under contract.

“This is obviously a resilient organization, and I believe wholeheartedly a resurgent one,” Evans said. “Given the circumstances, I hope people look at the momentum created, where we are poised to go.”

The 2010 schedule is down from 27 events this year and 34 a year ago. There are just 13 events scheduled in the United States and one in Canada. There are five events in the Far East, three in Mexico and two in Europe. There are no events scheduled in Hawaii, Florida, Arizona or Texas.

The 13 domestic events are down from 24 on last year’s schedule and 17 on the current season’s schedule.

The biggest tournament change occurs at the LPGA Championship, where Wegmans steps up from its role as a regular tour stop to become temporary host of a major championship at Locust Hill Country Club outside Rochester, N.Y. Wegmans is expected to resume its role as a regular tour stop in 2011 with the LPGA Championship getting a new sponsor and site that year. 

Events that were played this season but aren’t on the 2010 schedule are: the MasterCard Classic, the Michelob Ultra Open, the Sybase Classic, the Corning Classic, and the Samsung World Championship. Phoenix also lost its event with no title sponsor taking over there. The J Golf Classic was played in Phoenix last year but will move to LaCosta, Calif.

The Hana Bank Kolon Championship wasn’t included on the schedule released Wednesday but Evans said the deal is nearly complete. That would give the LPGA its 24th event next season.

2010 LPGA schedule
Feb. 18-21, Honda PTT LPGA Thailand, Chonburi, Thailand (Purse: $1.3 million).
Feb. 25-28, HSBC Women's Champions, Singapore ($1.3 million).
March 25-28, LPGA Classic presented by J Golf, Carlsbad, Calif. ($1.7 million).
April 1-4, Kraft Nabisco Championship, Rancho Mirage, Calif. ($2 million).
April 29-May 2, Tres Marias Championship, Morelia, Mexico ($1.2 million).
May 13-16, Bell Micro LPGA Classic, Mobile, Ala. ($1.3 million).
June 10-13, State Farm Classic, Springfield, Ill. ($1.7 million).
June 18-20, ShopRite LPGA Classic, Galloway, N.J. ($1.5 million). 
June 24-27, LPGA Championship presented by Wegmans, Pittsford, N.Y. ($2.25 million).
July 1-4, Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, Sylvania, Ohio ($1 million).
July 8-11, U.S. Women's Open, Oakmont, Pa. ($3.25 million).
July 22-25, Evian Masters, Evian-les-Bains, France ($3.25 million).
July 29- Aug. 1, Ricoh Women's British Open, South Port, England ($2.5 million).
Aug. 20-22, Safeway Classic presented by Coca Cola, North Plains, Ore. ($1.5 million).
Aug. 26-29, CN Canadian Women's Open, Winnipeg, Canada (TBD).
Sept. 10-12, P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship, Rogers, Ark. ($2 million).
Sept. 30-Oct. 3, Acapulco LPGA Classic, Acapulco, Mexico ($1.1 million).
Oct. 7-10, Navistar LPGA Classic, Prattville, Ala. ($1.3 million).
Oct. 14-17, CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge, Danville, Ill. ($1.1 million).
Oct. 29-31, LPGA China (TBD).
Nov. 5-7, Mizuno Classic, Shima-shi, Japan ($1.2 million).
Nov. 11-14, Lorena Ochoa Invitational, Guadalajara, Mexico ($1.1 million).
Nov. 18-21, LPGA Tour Championship (site TBA, purse TBA).