The 2019 LPGA season has just begun with the ongoing Diamond Resort Tournament of Champions, and the season looks to be the most competitive in the history of women’s golf. There are a number of changes to the LPGA Tour this year, most notably an increase to the number of events to 33. The amount of money on the tour is increasing as well, as the LPGA Tour will see over $70.5 million in prize money. The biggest confirmed purse for an event is the season ending CME Group Tour Championship, with a prize purse of $5 million and the winner recieving $1.5 million. This is the largest prize in the history of women’s golf, however with the USGA confirming that the U.S. Women’s Open will have a minimum $5 million purse, that record may not even last the season.
Lexi Thompson. photo courtesy LPGA Tour
An International Tour
The LPGA Tour has a decidedly international feel to it that separates it from the men’s PGA Tour. The LPGA Tour will play on 4 continents and 12 countries, with tournaments hosted in countries such as Australia, Singapore, South Korea, England and the United States to name a few. This reflects the diversity of the typical LPGA field, with last year’s winners coming from 10 different countries. This year also has the biennial Solheim Cup, women's golf's equivalent to the Ryder Cup. And former Ryder Cup host Gleneagles will host this year's competition as the American team looks for its third win in a row.
Ariya Jutanugarn. photo courtesy PGA of America
2018 money leader Ariya Jutanugarn, a Thai golfer with 10 LPGA Tour wins, will return to the field looking to match last year’s exploits that saw her claim 3 wins and her 2nd major championship. Other standout golfers on the tour this year include South Korean golfers Park Sung-hyun and Ryu So-yeon, American Lexi Thompson, and Australian Minjee Lee. With 5 majors to contend with, this season looks very competitive. Many fans will be watching to see if 2018 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year winner Ko Jin-young can continue her impressive form. On her first year on the tour, Ko managed the 3rd lowest scoring average and came in 10th on the money list leaders.