The LPGA Tour is enjoying one of the most prosperous times and robust fan bases in LPGA history, stated Votaw. Attendance, viewership and LPGA.com traffic are up, and our sponsors are responding with sizable purse increases. Our players are competing for more money than ever before week-in and week-out as a result of the tremendous support and commitment from our tournament sponsors.
We are extremely pleased with the strength of the 2004 schedule. All official money events from 2003 will return in 2004, many with significant purse increases, and with a new event in Nashville, we are poised for an very successful tournament season. We look forward to continuing to showcase the very best in womens golf in markets worldwide.
Highlights of the 2004 schedule include:
-33 events, including 24 full-field events, eight limited-field events and one unofficial money event;
-Full-field purses are expected to be at least $31.4 million, a $2.4 million increase from 2003;
-Players are expected to compete for an average of $1,308,000 per full-field official money event, the highest-ever average.
-The LPGA returns to the Nashville, Tenn., area with the Franklin American Mortgage Championship Benefiting Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital hosted by Amy Grant and Vince Gill.
-The Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill will offer a $2.2 million purse, $600,000 more than in 2003 and representing the highest LPGA purse besides the U.S. Womens Open.
-The Sybase Classic presented by Lincoln Mercury in New Rochelle, N.Y., will offer a $1.25 million purse, $300,000 more than in 2003.
-The Office Depot Championship Hosted by Amy Alcott will offer a $1.75 million purse, an increase of $250,000 from 2003.
-In addition to the Safeway Classic Presented by Pepsi in Portland, Ore., Safeway has expanded its involvement with the LPGA by taking over the full sponsorship of a second LPGA event, the Safeway International presented by Coca-Cola, in Phoenix. The Safeway International purse will increase by $200,000 from 2003. Each Safeway-sponsored LPGA event will feature a $1.2 million purse.
-The LPGAs Toledo, Ohio, stop welcomes the addition of Owens Corning to the LPGA title sponsor family with the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic presented by Kroger, featuring a $1.1 million purse, $100,000 more than 2003.
-The Wegmans Rochester LPGA Presented by Lincoln Mercury increased its purse by $100,000 ($1.3 million), and the Samsung World Championship, a limited-field event, increased its purse by $25,000 ($825,000).
-There will be 24 full-field events, up from 23 in 2003.
The television schedule for 2004 will be released after the first of the year, and coverage is expected to remain consistent with past years. In 2003, 30 of 34 events were televised, including this weeks ADT Championship, representing more than 260 hours of coverage in the United States.
The purses, dates and sites for the LPGAs four majors are: the Kraft Nabisco Championship, $1.6 million, March 25-28, at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif.; the McDonalds LPGA Championship, $1.6 million, June 10-13, at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Del.; the U.S. Womens Open conducted by the USGA, $3.1 million, July 1-4, at The Orchards in South Hadley, Mass.; and the Weetabix Womens British Open, $1.6 million, July 29-Aug. 1, at Sunningdale Golf Club in Sunningdale, Berkshire, England.
LPGA Schedule March 11-14Welchs/Frys Championship $ 800,000 Randolph North Golf Complex, Dell Urich Golf Course, Tucson, AZ March 18-21Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola1,200,000 Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club, Superstition, AZ March 25-28Kraft Nabisco Championship1,600,000 Mission Hills Country Club, Rancho Mirage, CA April 2-4Office Depot Championship Hosted by Amy Alcott1,750,000 El Caballero Country Club, Tarzana, CA April 15-17LPGA Takefuji Classic1,100,000 The Las Vegas Country Club, Las Vegas, NV April 29-May 2Chick-fil-A Charity Championship hosted by Nancy LopezTBD Eagles Landing Country Club, Stockbridge, GA May 6-9Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill2,200,000 Kingsmill Resort & Spa, Williamsburg, VA May 13-16Franklin American Mortgage Championship 900,000 benefiting Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital Vanderbilt Legends Club, Franklin, TN May 20-23Sybase Classic Presented by Lincoln Mercury1,250,000 Wykagyl Country Club, New Rochelle, NY May 27-30LPGA Corning Classic1,000,000 Corning Country Club, Corning, NY June 4-6Kellogg - Keebler Classic1,200,000 Stonebridge Country Club, Aurora, IL June 10-13McDonalds LPGA Championship 1,600,000Dupont Country Club, Wilmington, DE June 18-20ShopRite LPGA ClassicTBD Marriott Seaview Resort & Spa (Bay Course), Galloway Twp., NJ June 24-27Wegmans Rochester LPGA Presented by Lincoln Mercury 1,300,000 Locust Hill Country Club, Pittsford, NY July 1-4U. S. Womens Open conducted by the USGA3,100,000 Orchards Golf Club, South Hadley, MA July 8-11BMO Financial Group Canadian Womens Open1,300,000 Legends on the Niagra, Niagra Falls, Ontario July 16-18Giant Eagle LPGA Classic$1,000,000Squaw Creek Country Club, Vienna, OH July 21-24Evian Masters2,100,000Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains, France July 29-Aug 1Weetabix Womens British Open1,600,000Sunningdale Golf Club, Berkshire, England Aug 5-8Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger1,100,000 Highland Meadows Golf Club, Sylvania, OH Aug 20-22Wendys Championship for Children 1,100,000Tartan Fields Golf Club, Dublin, OH Aug 26-29Wachovia LPGA Classic Hosted by Betsy King1,200,000Berkleigh Country Club, Kutztown, PA Sept 2-5State Farm Classic1,200,000The Rail Golf Course, Springfield, IL Sept 10-12John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic1,000,000Cedar Ridge Country Club, Tulsa, OK Sept 17-19Safeway Classic Presented by Pepsi1,200,000Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Portland, OR Sept 23-26Longs Drugs Challenge1,000,000TBA, Sacramento, CA Oct 7-10Asahi Ryokuken International Championship at Mount Vintage 1,000,000Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club, North Augusta, SC Oct 14-17Samsung World Championship 825,000The Players Course at The Woodlands, Woodlands, TX TBDSports Today Classic1,500,000TBD, S. Korea Nov 5-7TBATBA Nov 11-14LPGA Tournament of Champions 750,000Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, TBD, AL Nov 18-21ADT Championship1,000,000Trump International Golf Club, West Palm Beach, FL Dec 18-19Wendys Three Tour Challenge850,000Reflection Bay Golf Club at Lake Las Vegas, Henderson, NV