We may have been a tad ahead of ourselves when we recently referred to the LPGA’s 2013 “schedule.” While the women’s tour this week announced two new events for the upcoming year, we’re about a month out from what will likely be the first contest of the campaign and officials have yet to release a complete roster.
Still, adding two new tourneys and retaining a popular standby is good news, as commissioner Mike Whan revealed Thursday that the North Texas LPGA Shootout would take place April 25-April 28 at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving. The $1.3 million, full-field competition will be the first in the area in more than 20 years and the first in the state since the 2009 LPGA Tour Championship.
The tour's Houston-reared 2012 Player of the Year was thrilled.
‘We are playing in Texas this year!!!!!,” Stacy Lewis tweeted on Thursday.
The tour will offer a unique opportunity for area amateurs to earn spots in the field through qualifying. Organizers will award exemptions to the winners of a high school and collegiate “shootout” to take place prior to the event.
"I am extremely excited for the opportunity to play in my home state again," Angela Stanford, a four-time member of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team and native of Saginaw, Texas, said in a statement. "North Texas is a community with a passionate golf fan base and I know they will love having the tour in town."
The last tour event in North Texas was the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open at Colonial Country Club in Forth Worth, which the 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup captain Meg Mallon won.
Earlier this week, the tour announced the Pure-Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic and followed up by unveiling that Marathon Petroleum Corp. would replace long-time host Jamie Farr as title sponsor of the newly renamed Marathon Classic. The $1.3 million tourney at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio, will host the July 18-July 21 event.
Marathon has committed to a multi-year sponsorship, which includes funding for this season and an increase of $100,000 each year over the next two, according to the Toledo Blade.