The LPGA has released its schedule for the 2017 season, one that boasts the largest total prize money in the tour's history and 35 events, including the return of a women's match play tournament.
In 2017, purse totals will increase $4.35 million dollars, most notably in the major tournaments. The U.S. Women's Open will offer the field $5 million, the largest in LPGA history. The ANA ($2.7M), RICHO Women's British Open ($3.25M), and Evian Championship ($3.35M) will also receive increased purses.
The schedule will be a thrilling, if not busy, one for women. Four new events in Oneida, Wis., Ayrshire, Scotland, Indianapolis and Auckland, New Zealand have been added to a season that will see three of the five majors contested in a six week window. Twenty-two of the 35 events will be played in North America, including the 2017 Solheim Cup in August, which the United States will look to defend in Des Moines, Iowa.
With increased purses and domestic events comes increased exposure, something LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan touched on in the release.
"While we receive credit for being a global tour, we're just as proud that we've added more events in North America since 2011 then we have abroad," Whan said. "It's an exciting time for our organization and we cannot wait to start another great season in January."
Of note is the reintroduction of a women's match play event, the first since the Sybase Match Play Championship in 2012. The 2017 Lorena Ochoa Invitational will be shifted to March instead of November, and be played with a 64-person field at the Club de Golf México in Mexico City.