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LPGA releases robust 2021 schedule with record $76.45M in purses

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The LPGA has released a packed and robust 2021 schedule of 34 official events and a record $76.45 million in official purses. While the first full-field official event won’t take place until late February, the rest of next season looks promisingly packed.

Remarkably, every event that was postponed in 2020 has returned for 2021.

“We can all agree that 2020, while certainly not the 70th anniversary year that we expected, was a year that we will never forget,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “As we look back at the year, I am amazed at how our partnerships have actually grown during this trying time, and how the LPGA staff was able to return all three Tours to play in summer 2020. We actually added sponsorship sales in 2020 in the form of new title partners and new marketing partners, and we proved that professional golf can be played safely for all involved. And our fans responded. Social engagement is up more than 40% and TV viewership is up more than 30% over last year.

While the ANA Inspiration and Cambia Portland Classic celebrate 50th anniversaries next year, two new events will be added next year, including a new-stroke play event that’s jointly sanctioned by the LPGA, LET and European Tour. Details of the July event have yet to be announced, but it’s part of a month-long swing in Europe.

The spring Founders Cup has moved away from Phoenix, Arizona, to Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, N.J., and moved to the fall.

Click here for a complete schedule.

The 2021 season begins with the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. With the Australian events canceled, there’s a month-long gap until the tour returns to a two-tournament Florida swing in late-February. The Gainbridge Championship will move to a new site and will be followed by a return of the Drive on Championship at Golf and Equestrian Club in Ocala, a site that drew large galleries for LPGA events in past years.

The spring Asian events of Thailand, Singapore and Blue Bay LPGA on Hainan Island have moved to late April/early May.

Match play will return to the LPGA with a new event in late May.

It’s a season of big events, with the U.S. Women’s Open taking place at the Olympic Club and the Solheim Cup at historic Inverness. The Olympics return Aug. 4-7 in outside Tokyo at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

After a four-week swing in Asia, the tour returns to Florida to two events, with the season wrapping up at the CME Group Tour Championship, where the purse will once again be $5 million with the winner receiving a season-high $1.5 million first-place prize.

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original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/12/18/lpga-releases-robust-2021-schedule-with-record-76-45m-in-purses/

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