Tuesday, June 07, 2005

LPGA's Million $ Bonus

Next year the LPGA Tour will institute a playoff for their last tour event the ADT Championship (similar to the PGA Tour’s Championship which features the top 30 on the money list) but there will be one major difference. The top two players after 54 holes of stroke play will play an 18 hole match for $1.0M. The Tour is trying to capitalize on the success that other sports have with their post-season in a manner that is similar to NASCAR’s Race for the Cup. There will be various ways to qualify for the 32 woman field with the emphasis being on majors, the Asian swing and consistent play in the lesser events. The LPGA is implementing this playoff system to boost the end of the year rating but more importantly to get their stars to play a more diverse group of tournaments throughout the year. Even more so that the PGA, the LPGA desperately needs their big guns to play some of the smaller events to boost ratings and secure the future of their tour. The LPGA has struggled to find an identity and this might be one step to help. Given that the average winner’s prize is about $200k a week, I think a $1.0M bonus might get the stars to play a few more tournaments a year.

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