The American women’s professional circuit will not go to China next March. The Blue Bay LPGA scheduled for March 9 to 12 on the island of Hainan has thus been canceled due to the still very significant risks linked to Covid-19, far from being reduced in the country.
A story without end. The LPGA Tour has just announced the cancellation of its first Chinese leg, the Blue Bay LPGA, scheduled for Hainan Island from March 9 to 12. The risks linked to a resurgence of Covid-19 in China accelerated this decision.
The tournament, with a prize pool of $2.1 million, was to complete a first mini-tour in Asia, also including a stopover in Thailand and Singapore. The most elite of the professional women’s circuits has not been to China since October 2019 at the Buick LPGA Shanghai.
The Blue Bay LPGA has not been played since the fall of 2018 and the victory of Mexican Gaby Lopez. With an overall prize pool of $101.4 million for 33 validated tournaments (32 now), the 2023 LPGA Tour season includes a second event in China, the Buick LPGA Shanghai, scheduled from October 13 to 15.
It is currently still maintained. The LPGA (acronym for Ladies Professional Golf Association) was founded in 1950 on the initiative of thirteen players, with the aim of promoting women’s professional golf in the United States of America. Its first president was Patty Berg.
In that same circumstance it was decided to start a series of tournaments, on an annual basis, included in a single circuit known as the LPGA Tour. The first official tournament of the LPGA Tour was the Tampa Women’s Open, held in January 1950 at the Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club in Tampa, where the amateur Polly Riley triumphed, surprisingly able to beat already professional and much more experienced player.
Unlike the men’s category – where the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) is responsible for training professionals and leaves the organization of tournaments to the PGA Tour – the LPGA Tour is managed by the body of the same name.
Most of the LPGA Tour events are held in the United States of America. In 1956 the LPGA held its first overseas tournament, the Havana Open, in the Cuban capital of Havana. As of 2020, fourteen tournaments are held outside the United States: seven in Asia, four in Europe, two in Australia and one in Canada.
Five of the tournaments held outside the United States of America are co-sanctioned with other professional bodies. The Ladies European Tour co-manages the Women’s British Open, the Evian Championship in France and the Women’s Australian Open (in partnership with the ALPG Tour).
The other two events — the BMW Ladies Championship (a stop on the LPGA of Korea Tour) and the Toto Japan Classic (on the LPGA of Japan Tour) — take place during the tour’s fall season on the Asian mainland.
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