There was more good news with the revealing of the LET schedule for 2020 with 24 tournaments now the calendar for the year ahead
The Ladies European Tour Q School is taking place at La Manga this week. In recent years the optimism will have been somewhat tempered by the limited opportunities to play should they be successful, now the future has rarely looked brighter.
This season the Ladies European Tour will offer record prize money of £15.2 million, a rise of nearly £4m on 2019, with the merger/takeover with the LPGA Tour, there are now 24 events, 15 of which are in Europe and seven that are new.
The real fillip is the arrival of the Saudi Ladies Championship in March, the Scandivanian Mixed Hosted By Henrik and Annika and a new event in the UK in August which all offer prize pots of $1m or more.
In among all the good news, and this is a world apart from the dark days of a few years ago, the UK event on August 6 is the real head-scratcher.
It clashes with the women’s golf in the Olympics and with the space on the European Tour calendar for that week a TBC the assumption is that there will be another collaboration.
A grand announcement over this is expected in February.
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Preceding this is the Evian, the week after is the Ladies Scottish Open which already, given its co-sanctioning with the LPGA, offers $1.5m and that precedes the Women’s British Open. So in the space of four weeks there is over $10m to play for.
Come the end of the year there will be the Race to the Costa del Sol which will mirror the men’s Race to Dubai and offers €250,000 between the top three finishers.
Europe’s Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew OBE said: “I committed myself to playing on the LET last year and I couldn’t be more excited about what’s been achieved over the last 90 days to improve the schedule. This is a tour that existing players and those joining for the first time should be proud to be part of.”
Last week Alexandra Armas was confirmed as the permanent chief executive of the LET, having done the job previously from 2005-12, and she will be mentored by the head of the LPGA Tour Mike Whan.
The LPGA Tour will this year offer a prize pot of over £57m and their commissioner Whan was unsurprisingly buoyant about the two tours’ early ventures.
“The LET and the LPGA only began working together in September 2019, but we’ve been blown away with the results and the positive response from across the golf industry. With overall purse increases and seven new events, our athletes will have more opportunities for success.
“It’s exciting to think what we can accomplish after a full year of working with our new board. We have a long way to go, but I’m so happy to say that this is the best position that European women’s professional golf has ever been in.”
- Related: See the LET 2020 schedule