Six WPGA Championship winners, including former US Women’s Open champion and Solheim Cup captain Alison Nicholas, have given the remodelled OCEANTEE WPGA Series the thumbs-up.
The sextet also comprises reigning champion Heather MacRae, 14-time Ladies European Tour winner Catherine Panton-Lewis, Alison Gray, Suzanne Dickens and Keely Chiericato.
They, minus MacRae who is playing on the Ladies European Tour this week, will tee it up in the first event of the OCEANTEE-sponsored series at Little Aston today, May 25, with Chiericato striking the first blow at the Open Championship qualifying venue.
She will do so having made the 200-mile journey from her home club, Manston Golf Centre in Kent, incentivised by the increase in prize money that makes the trip worthwhile.
WPGA Series financial boost
The increase, assisted by sustainable golf brand OCEANTEE’s backing, sees the 2021 Order of Merit bonus pool boosted by 150 per cent and the prize money on offer in seven of the eight events doubled.
Chiericato, the 2018 WPGA Championship winner said:
“The increase in prize money is a brilliant move for the WPGA and to have new sponsors in OCEANTEE on board is amazing,
“It makes the events 100 per cent more attractive to play in for the likes of myself. Some of them are miles away from me – like the one at Little Aston.
“That makes competing much more of an attraction. Also, it seems a few more girls have joined the WPGA this year, especially Trainees, so the fields should be bigger and the competition stronger. Which is good to spur you on a little bit more.”
Rose Ladies Series has provided a warm-up
Chiericato has warmed up for the OCEANTEE WPGA Series by playing in the Rose Ladies Series and is happy with her form despite a lack of time for practice. She commented:
“My form has been OK to be fair, I had one blip at the Rose Ladies Series last week but I have been playing pretty well considering how much I’ve been working.
“It’s been really busy since we were able to open again following lockdown so I haven’t had that much time to practise. But it’s nice to be back competing again.”
OCEANTEE backing women's golf
Similarly, OCEANTEE founder and managing director Ed Sandison is looking forward to the series.
“We’re excited for the OCEANTEE WPGA series to get underway and are looking forward to meeting some of the players at Little Aston Golf Club.
“We’re really proud to be sponsors of the series for the next few years and can’t wait to see how this grows and evolves over the coming months.”
See the full list of WPGA events and follow along with the series here.