Two events have increased their purses by $200,000, Votaw said. Six events have increased their purses by $100,000. More than 40 percent of the events announced today have raised their purses for 2003.
2003 Partial LPGA Tour Schedule
After reiterating the numerous highlights of the year, Votaw released the 2003 schedule, which lists events through October 12, 2003. The period following October has some TBAs because of our international events and we plan on announcing them by January 1, Votaw Wednesday at Trump International.
The biggest surprise on the schedule was the announcement of the Con Agra LPGA Skins game being played in January 25-26 at Wailea Golf Resort in Maui. Aside from that, the LPGA Tour schedule has no tournaments listed for the months of January or February.
The real season kickoff will take place March 13-16 at the Welchs/Frys Championship. Its the first of two full-field events listed before the first major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, which does not allow much time or opportunity for competitors to tune up their games in competition.
Its probably not the best preparation for players to only have two events to warm up with, Votaw said. From that perspective I think its not ideal.
The LPGA Tour will take the week of the Masters off according to the Commissioner but the schedule will have at least 23 full-field events in 2003 and offer at least $2.5 million more in prize money.
The Nashville event, popular with the players, is still TBD at this time as is an event for the week of September 18-21. For the most part, the schedule has a close resemblance to 2002.
The one big feather in the cap of the LPGA is the addition of the Michelob Light Open at Kingsmill in Williamsburg, VA on May 1-4. This event, formerly a PGA Tour stop, is destine to become one of the favorite events on the LPGA Tour.
While the PGA Tour doesnt quite realize what theyve lost, the LPGA Tour knows what theyve gained.