Golf notes: LPGA Tour's two Michigan stops among the richest of the 2020 season
The 2020 LPGA Tour season will feature a record $75.1 million in prize money, with the two tournaments in Michigan among the richest purses for regular-season events.
The LPGA Tour relesased the schedule Friday.
The Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids is scheduled for June 11-14, and the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational two-person team event will be July 15-18 — featuring a Saturday finish — at Midland Country Club.
Both tournaments will feature a $2.3-million purse, both up from $2 million in 2019.
Only the CP Women's Open in Vancouver ($2.35 million) and the Tour Championship in Naples, Fla., ($5 million) have larger purses among regular-season events. The major tournaments all have larger purses.
This will be the second year of the tournament in Midland, won in a rout by Cydney Clanton and Thidapa Suwannapure at 27 under in 2019.
This will be the seventh playing of the Meijer LPGA Classic, won by Brooke Henderson in 2019. She also won the tournament in 2017.
The LPGA Tour will feature two Michigan State alums in 2020 — Sarah Burnham, who also was an LPGA Tour member in 2019m, and Liz Nagel.
Michigan will feature five tournaments affiliated with the major tours. Here is the complete schedule:
►May 28-31: Rocket Mortgage Classic, Detroit Golf Club
►May 21-24: Senior PGA Championship, Harbor Shores, Benton Harbor
►July 31-Aug. 2: Ally Challenge, Warwick Hills, Grand Blanc
►June 11-14: Meijer LPGA Classic, Blythefield Country Club, Belmont
►July 15-18: Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, Midland Country Club
Chips & divots
The PGA Tour's inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club pulled in an impressive honor this week at the PGA Tour's tournament meetings in Florida.
The Area 313 Celebrity Challenge was named "Beat Special Event." The exhibition event, played out on a three-hole stretch on the back nine, featured the likes of Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Kid Rock, Tom Izzo and Jerome Bettis. Johnson's team, with Bettis and Dylan Larkin, won the event.
More than 10,000 fans were on the grounds for the event, which took place prior to the start of the tournament.
... East Lansing's Dan Ellis was named 2019 Golf Association of Michigan player of the year, an honor keyed by a Round-of-16 showing in the U.S. Mid-Amateur. In the association's points system, he edged out James Piot of Canton.
... Grand Blanc loves its golf, as evidenced by The Ally Challenge announcing this week the 2019 tournament had generated $1,5424,787 for charity. That's nearly double what was raised the inaugural year. That's a big reason Champions Tour officials have decided to move the tournament to a more prime spot, July 31-Aug. 2, in 2020.