The Symetra Tour has released the official 2019 “Road to the LPGA” schedule, featuring 24 tournaments, the most in a season since 1988 and $4 million in purses, marking the first time in the 39-year history of the Tour that plateau has been surpassed.
To give perspective on this purse figure, it is up 27 percent from 2018. In addition, compared to the 15 events and $1.62 million in purses offered by the 2013 schedule, the Tour has witnessed a 60 percent growth in tournaments and 150 percent increase for purses during that span.
“The Symetra Tour continues its consistent trend of upward growth, enhancing the opportunity we provide to players from around the world who aspire to play on the LPGA Tour,” said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour.
“Not only are we once again raising purses in an effort to attract the best talent, but we continue to upgrade courses in an effort to provide players with an idea of what they will see when they graduate to the LPGA Tour.”
More than 340 players from 45 different countries hold Symetra Tour membership in 2019.
PURSE OF $300,000 SETS NEW STANDARD
A minimum of six tournaments this year will feature a purse of $200,000 or more, including the first event in Symetra Tour history to offer $300,000 in prize money.
The tournament setting this new standard will be held May 23-26 on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Opelika, Ala. at the Lake Course of Grand National. This venue previously played host to the PGA TOUR’s Barbasol Championship from 2015-2017. Details for the title sponsor of this inaugural event will be revealed on Friday, March 22 during Bank of Hope Founders Cup week on the LPGA Tour.
Matching the 2016 Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic in Greenwood, S.C., which previously held the title of largest purse in Symetra Tour history at $250,000, is this year’s season opener, the inaugural SKYiGOLF Championship hosted by Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club at Bobcat Trail in North Port, Fla. from March 7-10.
“To have a pair of new title sponsors exhibit an all-in approach is a testament to the current enthusiasm for the Symetra Tour and professional women’s golf,” Nichols said.
“The $300,000 purse sets the new benchmark, providing both future and current partners a new standard to which to aspire.”
With the two newcomers making a big splash, two other new events are also on the calendar. Formerly known as the POC MED Golf Classic, the Windsor Golf Classic returns April 5-7 to Windsor Golf Club after a one-year hiatus and is the second of two California events.
The other addition is the Janesville Golf Classic at Wisconsin’s historic Janesville Country Club from Aug. 2-4. This inaugural event will showcase a unique format, as 30 LPGA Legends Tour members will compete in an 18-hole tournament on Sunday alongside Symetra Tour professionals after the 36-hole cut has been made. A Pro-Am event featuring these LPGA greats will be held on Monday, Aug. 5 following the completion of competition.
See the full Symetra Tour Schedule here: symetratour.com