This marks the seventh year of the Series, which awards points to players finishing in the top 20 at State Farm LPGA Series events and a $100,000 prize to the points champion at the conclusion of the State Farm Classic.
The 11 events in the 2004 State Farm LPGA Series are: Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola, March 18-21; Office Depot Championship Hosted by Amy Alcott, April 2-4; Chick-fil-A Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez, April 29-May 2; Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill, May 6-9; Franklin American Mortgage Championship benefiting Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital, May 13-16; Sybase Classic Presented by Lincoln Mercury, May 20-23; Kellogg-Keebler Classic, June 4-6; Wegmans Rochester LPGA Presented by Lincoln Mercury, June 24-27; Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger, Aug. 5-8; Wendys Championship for Children, Aug. 20-22; and the State Farm Classic, Sept. 2-5.
This years State Farm LPGA Series will once again highlight a strong and impressive LPGA television schedule, said LPGA Commissioner Ty M. Votaw. State Farm has been one of the LPGAs most dedicated and loyal partners for many years, and the Series has grown into one of the most dynamic and compelling television packages in all of sports. The growth of the Series in recent years fulfills our brand promise in bringing the best in womens professional golf to households across the globe.
The 2004 State Farm LPGA Series will have 70 hours of televised coverage, up from 54 hours in 2003. With the addition of events in Nashville, Tenn., and New York, the Series broadcasts seven of 11 events from the countrys top 50 television markets, including events in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
In addition, the 2003 Series saw an eight percent increase in viewership from adults in the 25-54 age bracket.
The level of competition and entertainment value offered by the best women golfers in the world make for great viewing for our State Farm customers and fans of the LPGA, said Pam El, vice president of marketing at State Farm. We are extremely proud to be the title sponsor of the State Farm LPGA Series.
Points will be tripled at the Series-ending State Farm Classic. Koreas Hee- Won Han is the defending champion of the Series. Other Series winners are: Mi Hyun Kim (2002); Annika Sorenstam (2001); Pat Hurst (2000); Karrie Webb (1999); and Se Ri Pak (1998).
The Series was the first-ever umbrella-sponsored television series for womens professional golf, and this is State Farms fourth year as title sponsor.
State Farm Insurance Companies has been involved with the LPGA since 1992. In 1993, State Farm became the title sponsor of the State Farm Rail Classic, an LPGA event held in Springfield, Ill., which has raised more than $1.9 million for various charities.
The company will maintain its title sponsorship of the tournament, now called the State Farm Classic, through 2006.