Wednesday, January 11

LPGA Adds Five Events to 2012 Schedule

THE LPGA RELEASED ITS 2012 SCHEDULE and, it seems, all meaningful numbers are up. The 27-event schedule features five new tournaments with 100-plus player fields. Four are in North America (three in the United States, one in Canada). The other new event is at Royal Melbourne (site of the Presidents Cup) in Australia, the season-opening ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

Total purse money has risen from last year’s $40 million to $47 million for the 2012 season. It includes a $1.5 million purse for the RR Donnelley Founders Cup, which generated controversy last year in its inaugural run because players were required to donate all winnings to charity.

“The commitment and support of our existing tournament sponsors, the dramatic improvement in our television production and viewership, and the significant growth in marketing partners is really the foundation for our schedule growth,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan at LPGA.com.

Whan said the tour’s message is “See Why It’s Different Out Here.” “We’re hopeful that more people than ever before will take notice and become a part of our growth.”

The tour also reported that TV viewership increased by 38 percent in 2011 and its social media reach more than doubled.

2012 LPGA Schedule

Feb. 9-12, ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, Royal Melbourne (Australia) GC
Feb. 16-19, Honday LPGA Thailand, Siam CC, Thailand
Feb. 23-26, HSBC Women’s Champions, Tanah Merah CC, Singapore
March 15-18, RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, Wildfire GC, Phoenix, Arizona
March 22-25, Kia Classic, LaCosta R&S, Carlsbad, California
March 29-April 1, Kraft Nabisco Championship, Mission Hills CC, Rancho Mirage, California
April 18-21, LPGA Lotte Championship, TBD, Oahu, Hawaii
April 26-29, Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, RTJ GT, Mobile, Alabama
May 5-6, HSBC Brasil Cup, TBD, Brazil (unofficial)
May 17-20, Sybase Match Play, Hamilton Farm GC, Gladstone, New Jersey
June 1-3, ShopRite LPGA Classic, Seaview GC, Galloway, New Jersey
June 7-10, Wegmans LPGA Championship, Locust Hill CC, Pittsford, New York
June 21-24, Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, Grey Silo GC, Ontario, Canada
June 29-July 1, Walmart MW Arkansas Champ., Pinnacle CC, Rogers, Arkansas
July 5-8, U.S. Women’s Open, Blackwolf Run, Kohler, Wisconsin
July 26-29, Evian Masters, Evian (France) GC
Aug. 9-12, Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, Highland Meadows GC, Sylvania, Ohio
Aug. 17-19, Safeway Classic, Pumpkin Ridge GC, North Plains, Oregon
Aug. 23-26, CN Canadian Women’s Open, Vancouver GC, British Columbia, Canada
Sept. 6-9, Kingsmill Championship, Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, Virginia
Sept. 13-16, Ricoh Women’s British Open, Royal Liverpool GC, Hoylake, England
Sept. 20-23, Navistar LPGA Classic, RTJ GT, Prattville, Alabama
Oct. 12-14, Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) G&CC
Oct. 19-21, LPGA HanaBank Championship, Sky72 GC, Korea
Oct. 25-28, Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, Sunrise G&CC, Taiwan
Nov. 2-4, Mizuno Classic, Kintetsu Kashikojima CC, Japan
Nov. 8-11, Lorena Ochoa Invitational, Guadalajara (Mexico) CC
Nov. 15-18, CME Group Titleholders, TwinEagles GC, Naples, Florida
Dec. 9, Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge, Rio Secco GC, Henderson, Nevada (unofficial)

−The Armchair Golfer

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