LPGA Tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens announced Wednesday the details of a qualifying system that will culminate with the LPGA Playoffs at The ADT, where the winner will receive a $1 million payout.
The 2006 LPGA Tour schedule will be split into two halves, with 15 players from each half qualifying for the season finale using a performance-based points system throughout the year. Two wild cards will also be added; they will be the top 2 players from the ADT Official Money List after the Samsung Championship in mid-October who are not otherwise qualified.
In all, the 06 schedule will include 34 events, including 32 official tournaments. The first 18 official events will comprise the first half of qualifying. The final 13 official events will comprise the second half.
Points are awarded based on three tournament categories: Major, Points and Winner events.
In a Major event, a major championship, the winner automatically earns entry into the Playoff. Other top 20 finishers gain double points toward the relevant half of the season.
In a Points event, a regular full-field tournament, the top 20 finishers earn double points toward that halfs total, but the winner does not gain automatic entry.
In a Winner event, a limited-field event, like the Evian Masters or HSBC Match Play, the winner will gain automatic entry and the other top 20 finishers will get single points toward that halfs total.
There are 13 Points, three Major and two Winner events in the first half. There are seven Points, one Major and three Winner events in the second half.
There are also two tournaments in the second half that are categorized in the 'Global Group.' This group consists of two tournaments in Korea and Japan. They will be combined to count as one Winner event, with the player earning the most combined points in these events earning automatic entry to the Playoff. No other points will be awarded from these events.
Players are required to compete in at least three Points events in the first half and two Points events in the second half.
All players will start from scratch at the start of each half of the qualifying season. Those who already qualified from the first half will not earn points in the second half.
The LPGA Playoffs at The ADT, which will again be contested at Trump International Golf Club, will feature three days of playoffs and a final-day shoot-out.
The first cut of the 72-hole, stroke-play event will be after 36 holes to 16 players, with playoffs used in case of ties. The second cut will be after 54 holes to eight players, with playoffs used in case of ties (scores are cumulative through the first three rounds).
The final round will be played in four groups of two, with all players starting with a fresh scorecard.
The ADT winner will be named the season champion.