Golf: LPGA Tour announces record prize money for 2018 campaign

LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan speaks to the media at a press conference during round two of the CME Group Tour Championship on Nov 17, 2017.
LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan speaks to the media at a press conference during round two of the CME Group Tour Championship on Nov 17, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - The United States LPGA has announced a 2018 schedule featuring 34 events in 14 countries and a record US$68.75 million (S$92.5 million) in prize money.

The schedule announced on Wednesday (Dec 13) from the Tour's headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida, features two new events on the US West Coast.

The season's five major championships will be worth US$18 million in prize money. Once again the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California, will be the first Major of the year, running from March 29 to April 1.

The US Women's Open will be held from May 31 through June 3 at Shoal Creek in Alabama, the tournament moving from its former July slot.

The Women's PGA Championship returns to Illinois, running from June 28 to July 1 at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Chicago.

From Aug 2 to 5, Royal Lytham and St Annes hosts the Women's British Open and the final Major of the year, the Evian Championship in France, will be held from Sept 13 to 16.

The season tees off with the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic from Jan 25 to 28 and concludes with the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida, from Nov 15 to 18.

In addition to two new California events, a new tournament has been scheduled for Shanghai from Oct 18 to 21.

The new events come as two tournaments have been dropped from the schedule.

"Perhaps the most important aspect of our schedule is the consistency - continuing to deliver strong playing opportunities both in North America and around the world, while growing overall purse levels every year," LPGA commissioner Michael Whan said in a statement.

"It's an exciting time in women's golf, with the best players from every corner of the globe competing against each other in virtually every event."