Total of 34 events, plus the 2021 Solheim Cup, for more than $76 million in official purses
NAPLES, Fla., Dec. 18, 2020 – After a year disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 is gearing up to be an incredible season for the LPGA Tour. The 2021 LPGA Tour schedule will feature 34 official events across North America, Europe and Asia, with two new events added to the tournament calendar and players competing for a record $76.45 million in official purses.
In a demonstration of partnership with Tour sponsors, all official LPGA events that were postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic will return to the Tour schedule in 2021. There are several adjustments to the schedule given pandemic-related challenges that may arise in early 2021. Namely, full-field events won’t begin until late February, and the usual Spring Asia Swing has been moved back to late April and early May.
“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. As we look to 2021, we are recapturing the momentum that we had at the beginning of 2020 and we are excited about our future, which will include news of new title sponsors and several significant purse increases.”
The 2021 season will kick off with the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions presented by Insurance Office of America at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The season-opening event will again feature celebrities from the worlds of sports and entertainment and for 2021 only, the LPGA Tour field will comprise winners from the last three seasons. Full-field LPGA Tour competition will start Feb. 25-28 with the Gainbridge Championship, with a Florida venue to be announced at a later date. The following week, the Tour will head to Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club in Ocala, Fla., for the Drive On Championship at Golden Ocala presented by JTBC.
The LPGA Tour will then begin a westward trip around the globe, starting with events in California and Hawaii, including the 50th playing of the ANA Inspiration, which returns to its position as the first major of the golf season. The Tour’s Spring Asia Swing events, usually held in February and March, have been pushed to late April and early May, with the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore followed by the Honda LPGA Thailand and the Blue Bay LPGA on Hainan Island in the People’s Republic of China. The Tour’s two usual stops in Australia were previously postponed to 2022 for pandemic-related reasons.
The last week in May, LPGA Tour players will face off in an exciting new match-play competition, with more details available in the coming weeks. The next two weeks will take the Tour to two of the greatest golf courses in the San Francisco Bay area. The Lake Course at The Olympic Club will host the U.S. Women’s Open on June 10-13, marking the first time a major women’s competition will be held on the elite layout. The following week and just 4 miles away, Lake Merced Golf Club will host the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship.
“Lake Merced is such a special place to me, both as the site of my first LPGA Tour win as a professional in 2014 and for my eagle in a playoff in 2018, which is definitely one of the highlights of my career,” said 15-time LPGA Tour winner Lydia Ko. “I always love going to San Francisco, and to add the opportunity to play a major at The Olympic Club is just amazing. Thank you to the USGA for bringing us to one of the most iconic venues in the country.”
The Evian Championship in late July will open a month-long European Swing that includes a new stroke-play event, jointly sanctioned by the LPGA Tour, the LET and the European Tour. The Swing will culminate with the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie in Scotland. August will also bring the much-awaited Olympic Games in Japan, rescheduled from 2020. The women’s golf competition will be held Aug. 4-7 at Kasumigaseki Country Club, located 40 miles outside Tokyo. Qualifying for the 60-player field ends following the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, which will be held June 24-27 at Atlanta Athletic Club. Weekly Olympic golf rankings are posted every Monday on the International Golf Federation website.
“Representing Australia in the Olympics has been a goal of mine ever since I heard that golf would be added to the Games. That chance truly became a reality when I won the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship,” said Hannah Green, who is currently qualified to represent her home country in August. “Everyone on Tour will have the 2021 KPMG Women’s PGA in mind as we plan our seasons, since that’s our last chance to earn our spot in Japan. And without great partners like KPMG and the PGA of America, we could not have gotten back to play this year. So many thanks to them and the rest of our LPGA Tour partners for their support in this tough season.”
Labor Day 2021 will be a weekend to remember in Toledo, Ohio, as the Solheim Cup will bring the best female golfers from the United States and Europe to Inverness Club. The 2019 competition saw Suzann Pettersen win the Solheim Cup for Team Europe in a battle that came down to the final putt in the final match.
“Inverness Club really stepped up to support the LPGA Tour when we restarted our year at the Drive On Championship. It was one of the toughest courses I’ve played on Tour, and to earn that win was a great way to kick-start the season,” said Danielle Kang, a two-time member of Team USA at the Solheim Cup and winner of the 2020 Drive On Championship held at Inverness Club. “Inverness is going to be an amazing venue for the 2021 Solheim Cup and I know that Toledo golf fans will support us like they always do.”
Two weeks after the Solheim Cup, the LPGA will celebrate another 50-year anniversary at the Cambia Portland Classic. Then in October, for the first time in its 10-year history, the Founders Cup will be held outside of Arizona. The competition will move to Mountain Ridge Country Club, a Donald Ross-designed course in northern New Jersey, with a title sponsor being announced in the coming weeks.
The 2021 season will conclude with back-to-back events on the Florida Suncoast. The Pelican Women’s Championship in Belleair, Fla., will be played Nov. 11-14. And for the eighth consecutive year, the year will culminate in Naples, Fla., at the CME Group Tour Championship, a competition that awards the winner with $1.5 million, the largest single prize in women’s golf history.
2021 LPGA Tour Schedule; $76.45 Million in Official Purses (GREEN = MAJOR; ** = to be confirmed)