Thursday, in a segment on the Golf Channel, LPGA Tour Commissioner Michael Whan and PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua announced a new partnership between two of golf's governing bodies.
The LPGA and the PGA have combined to form a new major championship that will replace the Wegman’s LPGA Championship in 2015. The new tournament will be sponsored by KPMG and will be named the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
By pooling their efforts and bringing KPMG on board, the total purse for the tournament will be increased from $2.25 million this year to $3.5 million in 2015. It will become the largest purse in women’s golf, $250,000 greater than both the U.S. Women’s Open and the Evian Championship.
The first KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be held in the New York area at historic Westchester Country Club.
NBC Sports is also a partner in the new endeavor and will provide the television coverage through its subsidiary, the Golf Channel.
One of the features of the new event will allow female PGA professionals to qualify for a set amount of spots in the field. This is a feature of the men’s PGA and Senior PGA Championships. It adds a unique aspect to the event and gives female PGA professionals around the country a chance to tee it up with the touring professionals.
The LPGA Tour had already scored a home run this year with the inaugural Race to the CME Globe, which will award a $1 million bonus to the winner of the season-long points race.
New tournaments have been added to the schedule, and now a new and improved Women’s PGA Championship brings another crown jewel to the LPGA Tour for next season.
The new event offers a larger purse with the help of KPMG, a new partnership with the PGA and a television package with NBC—all giving the LPGA more exposure.
It is another big win for Commissioner Whan, who has once again engineered a huge advancement to the women’s game in America.