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LPGA excited about bolstered schedule

Of the 28 events, two will be in the Southland: the Kia Classic in Carlsbad and the Kraft Nabisco in Rancho Mirage.

by Southland GolfPublished: January, 2013

The LPGA Tour will have a 28-tournament schedule this season that includes five majors, three additional tournaments and about $50 million in prize money.

While there’s still a heavy focus on international sites, more than half the tournaments this year will be in North America. LPGA commissioner Michael Whan said an ideal schedule would be 32 tournaments and that he and his staff are working to make that happen in the future. Two years ago, the tour had only 23 events, so an increase in five since that time has him feeling upbeat.

“The performance, approachability and growing popularity of our players is the No. 1 factor in the LPGA's continued momentum,” Whan said, which has led to the growing slate of playing opportunities and our ever-increasing fan base.”

The LPGA will play back-to-back events in the Southland this year in March and April. The first event, set for March 21-24, is the Kia Classic in Carlsbad. It will be played at Aviara Golf Club, a new venue for the tournament that debuted in 2010 at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad. The second regional stop is the LPGA’s first major of the season – the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

The three new tournaments on the schedule are the North Texas Shootout from April 25-28, the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic on May 23-26, and the Reignwood Pine Valley LPGA Classic in Beijing from Oct. 3-6.

The Evian will become the fifth major, held from Sept. 12-15 in France. The season begins in Australia on Feb. 14 with ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.