Wednesday, November 14, 2007

LPGA 2K8 Schedule is Out

Take a look at the whole schedule here.

The highlights:
1. Lorena Ochoa has her own event next year, as speculation suggested. It is in her hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico, and called the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Really? That fast? I know she's really great and everything and has had two incredible years back to back, but Annika didn't get her tournament until after winning 69 times. This seems like a marketing opportunity for the LPGA Tour and they're going for it full steam. Still, should be an interesting event.

2. Awkward playing schedule early in the season for the players that qualify for the new HSBC event in Singapore. Two events to kick off the year in Hawaii and then hopping over to Singapore. For the players interested in taking an opportunity to play in Australia before the season starts, this could be a LOT of flying. Fields (not the Fields Open) will suffer as a result.

3. Several TBAs on the schedule. I have always been against releasing a schedule with TBAs like this. We don't know the event between Singapore and Superstition Mountain - although it is rumored to be in Mexico. There's going to be an event in south Florida, but where and what it's called it anyone's guess. (The AP is reporting it will likely be in Miami and announced after Turkey Day.) The event between Arkansas and Alabama is yet to be determined because there is no deal for the Tournament of Champions yet. How about Mississippi? The Samsung World Championship does not have a home, but we do know Bighorn is out. The same thing with the Korea Championship and its host course this year.

4. More $2MM+ purses than ever. Kudos to the LPGA Tour for getting that done, with special props to Carolyn Bivens and her marketing team. The clearinghouse paid off in the end.

5. The State Farm Classic got a better date and more money. Good for that event which has a solid following and had a real nice finish this year.

6. The Women's World Match Play is dead for now. HSBC sponsors the event in Singapore and they didn't take rights for both. One had to go, and so it was the match play. The AP reports, though, that the LPGA's Chris Higgs said that doesn't necessarily mean match play is off the schedule after just two years.

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