LPGA releases 2013 schedule

By Randall MellJanuary 15, 2013, 10:30 am

The LPGA remains on the rebound and in growth mode with Tuesday’s release of the tour’s 2013 schedule.

Three new events trump the loss of two from last year’s schedule with LPGA commissioner Mike Whan hopeful a fourth new event might still be added.

The LPGA will feature 28 official events this season, possibly 29, if that new event in the works comes together in time. That’s up from 27 events last year and 23 in 2011.

“The bottom line is we are continuing the momentum,” Whan said. “It’s the right direction. There is one more event we would like to talk about, but that’s going to take a little time to finalize the details.”

LPGA pros will be playing for at least $8.5 million more this season than they did just two seasons ago with Whan adding six more check-cashing opportunities over what the tour offered in 2011.

Total purses are up to $48.8 million this year.

The new season will once again open at the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open Feb. 14-17 and then swing into Asia for the Honda LPGA Thailand Feb. 21-24 and the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore Feb. 28-March 3. The LPGA will make its domestic start at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix March 14-17 and conclude its season with the CME Group Titleholders in Naples Nov. 21-24.

Some featured items from the 2013 schedule:

• Three new events were added: The North Texas LPGA Shootout (April 25-28), the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic (May 23-26) and the Reignwood Pine Valley LPGA Classic in China (Oct. 3-6).

• The Evian will become the LPGA’s fifth major championship. Formerly the Evian Masters, the event moves to fall on the tour calendar. The LPGA’s final major of the year will be played Sept. 12-15 in France. Typically, the event was played in July.

• The Ricoh Women’s British Open will take LPGA pros to one of golf’s historic sites, the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland (Aug. 1-4). Lorena Ochoa won the event the first time it was played on the Old Course in 2007.

• The Solheim Cup isn’t counted as an official event, but the biennial competition between the United States and Europe is one of the LPGA’s premier events. It will be played Aug. 16-18 at the Colorado Golf Club outside Denver.

• The LPGA lost two events from last year: The Navistar LPGA Classic and the Sybase Match Play Championship. Navistar’s loss wasn’t unexpected, but even LPGA officials believed the Sybase Match Play Championship would be part of the 2013 schedule until late last year. With SAP previously acquiring Sybase, the company informed the LPGA a little more than a month ago that it would no longer sponsor the event.

• The season-ending CME Group Titleholders is increasing its purse to $2 million, up from $1.5 million last year. The winner will take home $700,000, the richest first-place check in women’s golf. CME Group has signed an extension to sponsor the event through 2016.

• The Kingsmill Championship, played in September last year, will move to May 2-5.

• Riddled with two- and three-week gaps between events two seasons ago, the schedule is better configured in 2013, with just one gap of more than a week between any events. There’s a two-week gap between The Evian and the start of the Asian swing in late September.

2013 schedule

Feb. 14-17, ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

Feb. 21-24, Honda LPGA Thailand 

Feb. 28-March 3, HSBC Women’s Champions 

March 14-17, RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup 

March 21-24, Kia Classic 

April 4-7, Kraft Nabisco

April 17-20, Lotte Championship

April 25-28, North Texas LPGA Shootout

May 2-5, Kingsmill Championship

May 16-19, Mobile Bay LPGA Classic

May 23-26, Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic

May 31-June 2, ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer

June 6-9, Wegmans LPGA Championship

June 21-23, Walmart NW Championship presented by P&G

June 27-30, U.S. Women’s Open

July 11-14, Manulife Financial LPGA Classic

July 18-21, Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning & O-I

Aug. 1-4, Ricoh Women’s British Open

Aug. 16-18, The Solheim Cup

Aug. 22-25, CN Canadian Women’s Open

Aug. 30-Sept. 1, Portland Classic presented by Safeway

Sept. 12-15, The Evian

Oct. 3-6, Reignwood Pine Valley LPGA Classic

Oct. 10-13, Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

Oct. 17-20, KEB Hana Bank Championship

Oct. 24-27, Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship

Nov. 7-10, Mizuno Classic

Nov. 14-17, Lorena Ochoa Invitational

Nov. 21-24, CME Group Titleholders


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Ciganda, S.Y. Kim share lead in Shanghai

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 9:28 am

SHANGHAI - Carlota Ciganda of Spain shot a 5-under 67 Saturday to share the lead with Sei Young Kim after the third round of the LPGA Shanghai.

Ciganda carded her fifth birdie of the day on the par-4 18th to finish tied with overnight leader Kim at 11-under 205. Kim shot a 71 with four bogeys and five birdies.

Ciganda is attempting to win her third LPGA title and first since the 2016 season, when she won two tournaments in a one-month span. Kim is chasing her eighth career LPGA win and second title of the 2018 season.

''I want to win because I didn't win last year,'' Ciganda said. ''I love playing in Asia. It's good for long hitters, playing quite long, so I'm quite comfortable.''


Full-field scores from the Buick LPGA Shanghai


Angel Yin also birdied the final hole for a 68 and was a further stroke back with Brittany Altomare (69), Danielle Kang (71) and Ariya Jutanugarn (71).

Yin and Altomare have yet to break through for their first LPGA win. A win in Shanghai would make either player the ninth first-time winner of the 2018 season, which would tie 2016 for the third highest number of first-time winners in a season in LPGA history.

''I love competing,'' Yin said. ''That's why I'm playing, right? I'm excited to be in contention again going into Sunday.''

Local favorite Yu Liu was seventh after offsetting a lone bogey with four birdies for a 69.

Paula Creamer also shot a 69 and shared eighth at 8 under with Minjee Lee (70) and Bronte Law (71).

The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

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Koepka's pursuers have no illusions about catching him

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:50 am

Ahead by four, wielding his driver like Thor's hammer, Brooks Koepka is 18 holes from his third victory in five months and his first ascent to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

The tournament isn't over. No one is handing him the trophy and updating the OWGR website just yet. But it will likely take some combination of a meltdown and low round from someone in the chase pack to prevent a Koepka coronation Sunday in South Korea.

Thirteen under for the week, the three-time major champion will start the final round four shots ahead of his playing partners, Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, and five ahead of six more players at minus-8.

As is his nature, Poulter figures to be undaunted. The 42-year-old is fresh off a Sunday singles victory over Dustin Johnson at the Ryder Cup and in the midst of a career renaissance, having broken a five-year winless drought earlier this year. In one sense, it's Europe vs. the United States again, but this isn't match play, and Koepka, a guy who doesn't need a head start, has spotted himself a four-shot advantage.


Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos


"Tomorrow I'm going to need to make a few birdies. Obviously Brooks is in cruise control right now and obviously going to need a shoot a low one," Poulter conceded. "Do what I'm doing, just enjoy [it]. Obviously try and make as many birdies as I can and see how close we get."

Perez, in the group at 8 under par, isn't giving up, but like Poulter, he's aware of the reality of his situation.

"We're chasing Brooks, who of course obviously is playing phenomenally," he said. "A lot of the long hitters now when they get in contention, they hit that driver and they're really hard to catch. I'm not worried about it too much. It's going to be harder for me tomorrow than him, so I'm going to try and go out and just do my thing, hit some shots, hopefully hit some close and make some putts and we'll see. I don't expect him to come backwards, but hopefully I can try to go catch him."

Gary Woodland, also 8 under par, summed up the predicament best when he alluded to Koepka's perhaps advantageously aloof demeanor.

"You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can," he said. "You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number."

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Koepka has his chance 'to earn' his way to No. 1

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:09 am

There won't need to be any wonky math involved. He won't have to settle for finally reaching the the top via some kind of mathematical reset while he's sitting at home on the couch (or more likely working out in the gym).

No, Brooks Koepka on Sunday in South Korea will have a chance to ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking the way every player would most want to - with a victory.

On the strength of a bogey-free round of 5-under 67 Saturday, Koepka will enter the final round of the CJ Cup four clear of Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, with six more players five behind.

The tournament is Koepka's to lose, and so too is the No. 1 ranking. So long as Justin Thomas doesn't somehow defend his title from 12 shots back, Koepka can supplant Dustin Johnson atop the rankings with a win or a solo second-place finish.


Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos


"It was something I wanted to do. I always wanted to become World No. 1 in a week that I was playing," Koepka said Saturday. "I thought like I could really earn it and not have a week off where it just so happens that you bump up. No, it would be very special, and to do it here would be nice and hopefully get to world No. 1 and cap it off with a win, I don't think there would be much better."

It would be a fitting end to this breakthrough year for Koepka, who successfully defended his U.S. Open title and then added his third major victory at the PGA Championship en route to claiming the PGA Tour's Player of the Year Award. Oddly enough, considering his status a three-time major winner and an impending No. 1, this would be Koepka's fifth Tour victory but only his second in a non-major; his only regular Tour win to date was his first, at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

"My confidence has always been pretty high," Koepka said. "Anytime you can win three majors you're going to be feeling pretty good about yourself. To do what I've done over the last two years has been special, but I'm looking to build on that."

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Koepka ahead by four, with No. 1 ranking in his grasp

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 5:48 am

Following a closing birdie and a third-round 67 at Nine Bridges, Brooks Koepka will take a four-shot lead over Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy into final round of the CJ Cup. Here's how Koepka separated himself from the field in South Korea.

Leaderboard: Koepka (-13), Piercy (-9), Poulter (-9), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-8), Cameron Smith (-8), Jaime Lovemark (-8), Pat Perez (-8), Gary Woodland (-8), Chez Reavie (-8)

What it means: Koepka is in search of his fifth PGA Tour victory and – believe it or not – only his second non-major. The three-time major champion’s only other win came all the way back in February 2015, at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. One off the lead to start the day, Koepka opened with eight straight pars and birdied Nos. 9 and 10 to take the outright lead at 10 under par. He added three more circles at 14, 17 and 18 to close out a bogey-free round of 5 under and go ahead by ahead by four. He'll be chased on Sunday by Piercy, a four-time PGA Tour winner who won the Zurich Classic earlier this year alongside Billy Horschel, and by Poulter, who ended a five-year worldwide winless drought back in April and is coming off a 2-2 performance at the Ryder Cup, with a Sunday singles victory over current world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Speaking of which, unless Justin Thomas finds a way to win this tournament from 12 back, Koepka will for the first time ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a win or a solo second-place finish.

Round of the day: After contending last week at the CIMB, Shubankhar Sharma rebounded from opening rounds of 74 and 75 with a nine-birdie, 8-under 64 to move up 45 spots into a tie for 26th through 54 holes.

Best of the rest: Four players – Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ted Potter Jr., Jason Day and Brendan Steele – shot 7-under 65 Saturday. Day played his first four holes in 2 over and his final 14 in 9 under.

Biggest disappointment: The only previous winner of this event, world No. 4 Justin Thomas entered the week with a chance to take back the No. 1 ranking with a successful title defense. But rounds of 73-70-72 have him 1 under for the week. Thomas played his back nine in 1 over Saturday with six pars, a birdie, a quadruple bogey and a closing eagle.

Shot of the day: Koepka flying his tee shot 330 yards to the front edge of the green at the par-4 14th and going on to two-putt for birdie.