LPGA Makes Changes To Schedule; Adds Playoff

The LPGA will end its season next year with a $1 million prize for whomever shoots the best score over the final 18 holes of the season.

That’s just one of several changes that new LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens has planned for the ladies tour. The 2006 season will feature:

* 34 events, with prize money totaling $49.3 million, a 9.4% increase from 2005
* A second event in Hawaii, which will give the LPGA two straight weeks in the islands to kick off the season.
* A return to Orlando with the $2.5 million Ginn Clubs and Resorts Open.
* A new sponsore for the Canadian Women’s Open – CN, the Canadian National Railway, which will increase the purse by $400,000 to $1.7 million
* Five events with a purse of at least $2 million
* New host venues added to the 2006 schedule – Black Hawk Country Club (Longs Drugs Challenge), Ko Olina Golf Club (Fields Open), London Hunt Club (CN Canadian Women’s Open), Newport Golf Club (U.S. Women’s Open conducted by the USGA), Reunion Resort and Club (Ginn Clubs & Resorts Open), Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s Golf Club (Weetabix Women’s British Open); and
* The launch of the LPGA Playoffs at The ADT, which features a $1,550,000 purse.

More on the playoffs

* The 2006 LPGA Playoffs at The ADT will offer a $1,550,000 total purse with a $1 million first-place paycheck, the largest in the history of women’s golf.
* The LPGA Tour season will be broken into two halves, creating two points’ races during the year that will increase the drama and excitement for fans and sponsors of the LPGA Tour.
* The first half concludes with the final full-field domestic event (Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger) prior to the Tour traveling to Europe.
* The second half concludes with the final event (Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions presented by Kathy Ireland Industries) prior to the LPGA Playoffs at The ADT.
* Fifteen players qualify from each half, plus two wild cards, for a 32-player field at the LPGA Playoffs at The ADT.
* The two wild cards will be the top-two players from the ADT Official Money List prior to the Global Group who are not otherwise qualified
* The LPGA Playoffs at The ADT winner will be named the season champion.
* The 2006 LPGA Playoffs at The ADT will be held at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., at the end of the official LPGA season.
* The 2006 LPGA Playoffs at The ADT will feature three days of “playoffs” and a final-day dramatic shoot-out conclusion.
* The first cut will be after 36 holes to 16 players with playoffs used in case of ties.
* The second cut will be after 54 holes to eight players with playoffs used in case of ties (scores are cumulative through 54 holes).
* The final round will be played in four groups of two, with all players starting with a fresh scorecard .

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