Below is a list of how Canadian golfers fared across the major professional tours the week prior.
Hudson Swafford sank an eight footer for eagle on the par-5 16th to break a tie atop the leaderboard on his way to winning The American Express for the second time in five years. Tom Hoge, looking for his first win in his 201st start, finished two shots back. Francesco Molinari, playing for the first time in two months and tied for the lead with two holes to play, bogeyed the final hole to finish four shots behind. …Roger Sloan notched his first top-15 result since last October. …Since missing the cut in the first event of the new season Adam Hadwin has made six consecutive weekend cuts …Nick Taylor equalled his best result of the new season
NEXT EVENT: Farmers Insurance Open (Jan. 26)
CANADIANS ENTERED: Corey Conners, Michael Gligic, Adam Hadwin, Mackenzie Hughes, Taylor Pendrith, Adam Svensson, Nick Taylor
Danielle Kang shot a final round 68 for a three-shot victory over Brooke Henderson in the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, the opening event of the LPGA season. Henderson did not make a bogey over the final two rounds but could only manage two birdies in the final round Sunday. It’s the fifth straight time she has started the year with a top-10 result and marked her best finish in four Tournament of Champions appearances. Kang was the lone player to break 70 on the weekend, and the only player to shoot in the 60s all four rounds. Nelly Korda, the 54-hole leader and No. 1 ranked player in the world, closed with a 75 to finish in a tie for fourth.
Miguel Angel Jimenez birdied the final hole to force a playoff, then beat Steven Alker with a par on the second extra hole to win the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Alker missed a birdie putt on the first playoff for the win, and then failed to save par from a bunker on the second playoff hole. Stephen Ames finished tied for third, one stroke out of the playoff. Ames started the round tied for first – the fifth time in his Champions Tour career he has led or co-led heading into the final round. …Mike Weir notched his third top-20 result in his last five starts
NEXT EVENT: Chubb Classic (Feb. 18)
CANADIANS ENTERED: TBA
Thomas Pieters had 16 pars for a final round 72 and a one stroke win over Rafa Cabrera Bello and Shubhankar Sharma in the Abu Dhabi Championship. It was his sixth career win on the European Tour. Viktor Hovland, going for his third win in his last four starts, finished two shots back. Rory McIlroy had moved to within two shot of the lead but carded three bogeys over his last five holes to finish in a tie for 12th. There were no Canadians entered in the event.
NEXT EVENT: Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic (Jan. 27)
Canada’s Brooke Henderson finishes 2nd at LPGA opener with bogey free final round
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - JANUARY 23: Brooke Henderson of Canada plays her shot from the sixth tee during the final round of the 2022 Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club on January 23, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, Fla. – A bogey-free final round saw Canada’s Brooke Henderson finish second at the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions on Sunday.
Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., finished three strokes behind winner Danielle Kang of the U.S. – the best finish for the Canadian across her four Tournament of Champions appearances.
Despite her 60th bogey-free round since 2016 _ and second in as many days – Henderson managed just two birdies on a blustery, cool day at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club. She also missed a few putts where she was forced to settle for par.
“Wasn’t really the day I was looking for,” Henderson said. “At the same time, you grind it out pretty well, and was happy to make two birdies. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. Still proud of how we played out there today in those tough conditions.
Henderson opened the tournament with a 69 on Thursday. She followed that up with back-to-back rounds of 68 on Friday and Saturday. The Canadian was two strokes back going into Sunday’s final round.
She finished at 13-under 275.
“For the most part, I think I did a lot of things really well,” she said. “It was nice to get up and down as many times as I did, and even a couple of times when I hit the green, I made long putts. It was nice to go bogey-free the last two days.
“I would’ve liked to make a few more birdies, make a little bit more of a charge, but at the end of the day, I can’t complain too much. If you had told me at the beginning of the week I would be in the Top 5, I would be very happy.”
Kang ran off five birdies in a seven-hole stretch in the middle of her round, posted the low score Sunday at 4-under 68 and sprinted away to a three-shot victory.
Kang, who was winless in 2021 after having won in each of her previous four LPGA seasons, finished at 16 under.
The 29-year-old American now has six LPGA titles.
“My mental game was really good,” said Kang. “I had a really good attitude all day today and yesterday. I know I left some putts out there, but I never let it get to me, and I kept having to give myself birdie chances as much as possible.”
With a new year comes a new group of players on the LPGA Tour, and 2022 will be no different.
While 10-time LPGA Tour winner Brooke Henderson will no doubt continue to push the envelope for Canadian golf, there’s some new and familiar faces ready to join the Smiths Falls, Ont., native on the 2022 schedule, which includes the return of the CP Women’s Open at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club from Aug. 22-28.
Veteran Alena Sharp will carry Symetra Tour status. She’ll have the opportunity to play LPGA events through sponsor exemptions and Monday qualifiers.
The first Canadian to be promoted from the Symetra Tour (the LPGA’s feeder tour) last year was Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que. Leblanc first played on the LPGA Tour a decade ago, after earning her card through the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in 2011. But by late 2019, the then 30-year-old announced her retirement from professional golf.
But just under a year after playing in her last professional golf tournament on the Symetra Tour, Leblanc returned in September 2020 with the IOA Golf Classic, and followed it up with four other events that calendar year.
The following season in 2021 proved to be one of her best seasons to date with nine top-10 finishes, including three as the runner up. Leblanc, now 32, finished sixth on the Symetra Tour money list, granting her an LPGA Tour card for this upcoming season.
She’s not the only Canadian making the step up to the LPGA Tour this year.
Long-standing Team Canada member Maddie Szeryk will be playing on the LPGA Tour this season after finishing tied for 35th at the 2021 LPGA Q-Series in December of 2021.
Szeryk, 25, spent the past three years on the Symetra Tour after playing for Texas A&M University where she set multiple records including the NCAA career record of 91 rounds of par or better, and the SEC record with 32 career top-10 finishes. The NCAA standout also set multiple school records including stroke average, birdies, and eagles.
Although Szeryk is making her appearance on golf’s mainstage for the first time, she’s no new face to Canadian golf, having been a part of the National Women’s Amateur Squad for four consecutive years up until 2018 and then the Young Pro Squad in 2019.
Before her successful amateur career Szeryk made her mark on the junior circuit. In 2013, as a 17-year-old, Szeryk was crowned the Canadian Junior Girls Champion, winning by an impressive 14 strokes over the defending champion—now world No. 10 ranked golfer, Henderson.
Other Canadian names to expect on the LPGA Tour in the coming years include Calgary’s Jaclyn Lee who played in 11 events on the LPGA Tour’s schedule in 2021 and 13 in 2019. The 24-year-old has been playing professionally since 2019 and split last season between the LPGA and Symetra tours. Lee was a member of the National Junior, Amateur, and Young Pro Squads throughout the past decade.
While there are plenty of Canadians who are climbing up the ladder of professional golf for the first time, Leblanc isn’t the only Canadian golfer who’s been making a second go-around of the professional tours.
Toronto native Rebecca Lee-Bentham recently made her own return to professional golf after briefly retiring in 2016. Last year marked her first full season back to professional golf and she went on to finish at No. 88 on the Symetra Tour’s money list.
A common denominator throughout all the players to watch this season, Lee-Bentham too shared an impressive junior and amateur career in Canada prior to turning professional. She most notably won the 2011 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship in a playoff.
Also of note is 23-year-old Selena Costabile of Thornhill, Ont., who narrowly missed out on securing LPGA Tour Cards at the final round of the Q-Series, but received Symetra Tour status as a result.
The 2022 LPGA Tour schedule is set to begin Jan. 20 at the Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Fla., with the Tournament of Champions.
Maddie Szeryk secures LPGA Tour status through Qualifying Series
Fred Weston/ LPGA
After eight gruelling rounds, the 2021 LPGA Tour Qualifying Series has come to an end. In all, 46 players, including Canadian Maddie Szeryk, finished at -4 or better to secure Tour status for 2022.
Szeryk shot a personal-best 4-under 68 in the final round of the Q-Series with crucial birdies on her final two holes to finish T35. The 25-year old – who has played on the Symetra Tour since 2019 – competed in 18 events during the 2021 season with a best finish of T22 at the Copper Rock Championship in April.
Szeryk will join fellow Canadians Brooke Henderson and Maude–Aimée Leblanc on the LPGA Tour circuit next season, which will include the 2022 CP Women’s Open, August 22-28 at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.
Two other Canadians who advanced to the final four Q-Series rounds, missed out on the top-45 and ties cut line. Selena Costabile of Thornhill, Ont. finished T68, and Hamilton native Alena Sharp finished T69. Both women will receive Symetra Tour playing status for the 2022 season.
Over the course of the two-week tournament, 110 LPGA Tour hopefuls competed in two 72-hole stroke play events with the low 70 players and ties cut after week one. Scores then carried over into week two held at Highland Oaks Golf Course in Dothan, Ala. from Dec. 9-12.
After the conclusion of all eight rounds of the Q-Series, players who finished inside the top 45 and ties received LPGA Tour membership and playing status for the 2022 season. Players finishing outside the top-20 and ties also received 2022 Symetra Tour playing status.
For complete results and full leaderboard click here.
The 48th playing of Canada’s National Women’s Open Championship is set for August 22-28, 2022 in Ottawa.
Golf Canada, in partnership with title sponsor Canadian Pacific (CP), is pleased to announce that tickets for the 2022 CP Women’s Open are now available.
The 2022 edition of the CP Women’s Open will be held August 22-28, marking the championship’s fifth visit to the nation’s capital, as well as the fourth playing at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club, which previously hosted in 1994, 2008 and 2017.
As the only Canadian stop across 34 official LPGA Tour events, the week-long tournament will draw the world’s best players including 10-time LPGA Tour winner and CP Ambassador Brooke Henderson. Born and raised in nearby Smiths Falls, Ont. Henderson will be backed by the hometown crowd as an honorary member of Ottawa Hunt.
Title sponsor Canadian Pacific will once again be making a charitable donation to the host community through its CP Has Heart campaign. In the first six years of CP’s title sponsorship of the event, more than $10.7 million has been raised in support of children’s heart health across Canada.
The week-long national championship features something for everyone including the ultimate food experience at the Recipe Unlimited Fare Way, premium partner activations, photo-ops, and more!
First conducted in 1973, Canada’s National Women’s Open Championship has allowed the brightest stars of the LPGA Tour to shine on Canadian soil and has inspired the nation’s next generation of female golfers.
Brittany Marchand reflects on two decades of the daily grind
Brittany Marchand (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Brittany Marchand started hitting golf balls on the Practice Tee at Brampton GC 22 years ago under the watchful eye of her grandpa Reg Lawrence. Who would have known at the time that this young girl, who loved to figure skate, would have the drive and determination to make the Team Ontario and Team Canada golf squads, earn a golf scholarship to an American university and then play professional golf for six years?
At the age of 29, Brittany is ready for new challenges in life, but golf will always be in her veins. Here’s a glimpse into the life of a little girl who dreamed of playing on the LPGA Tour and made it happen. Here’s to a life well-played with lots more to come!
Golf can be a cruel game, but something keeps you coming back.
After three consecutive missed cuts in July and August on the Symetra Tour, Brittany Marchand, the most successful professional golfer to come out of Brampton GC in 100 years, made the decision in her head that it was time for a career change.
It is a mind game, isn’t it?
With no pressure and the “weight of the world” off her shoulders, the 29-year-old made two cuts in September pocketing $1,098 and $1,524.
Then came the last two tournaments of her professional career and she closed it out in style. At the Carolina Golf Classic presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Brittany equalled her career best score in a pro event at 17-under (69-69-66-67) to finish T3 and earn $14,102. Then in the Symetra Tour Championship she shot a career low 63, 9-under, in the second round on the way to finishing T30 and earning $1,985. Would almost make one think twice about retirement!
“After only making two cuts in 2019 on the LPGA Tour and having only a half season on the Symetra Tours in 2020 due to COVID-19, I really wanted to give it one more shot,” says Brittany, who played on the Symetra Tour in 2016 and 2017, played on the LPGA Tour in 2018 and 2019 and then planned to play a full season on the Symetra Tour in 2020 after losing her status on the LPGA Tour.
“I played OK in 2021, nothing spectacular, but I did have a strong finish. Even if I had won the Carolina Golf Classic, I would not have changed my mind about retiring, but I probably would have thought about it,” Marchand adds. “The 63 was great. I just was in a flow that was fun. I was enjoying myself out there and felt I couldn’t really miss much. No bogeys, so nine birdies. Again, I wasn’t having any second thoughts. I was just happy to end my career on a fun note.”
“I think the announcement surprised some people, but the fire to keep playing was dying inside me. The grind, the travel, the missed cuts, being away from my husband was all adding up,” says Brittany, who married her North Carolina State sweetheart, Jorge, in a COVID courthouse wedding in 2020, after being together for seven-plus years. The two Chemical Engineering graduates from NC State moved to the Charlotte area in April to be close to his parents and are planning a big, family and friends, wedding in 2022.
Brittany’s path to professional golf started at the age of seven when her grandfather, Reg Lawrence, a long-time member at Brampton, brought her to the club for the first time.
“You could say that my grandpa lived, ate and breathed golf and he was a good player,” Marchand says, noting he came from South Africa where he had played cricket and soccer and ran marathons. He learned to play golf in Canada.
“He tried to get all of his grandchildren into golf. He brought us to the range and let us hit balls, but he was pretty serious and wanted us to stay focused, which is tough when you’re so young. My first memories of golf are of not really liking it. I was so into competitive figure skating. He put me into a junior program at Brampton with all boys and I thought, “This isn’t much fun. I want to be with my girlfriends having fun,” says Brittany, who moved from Mississaugua to Orangeville with her family when she was 10.
It was at nearby Shelburne G&CC where she met some girls, made some friends, started playing and then competing as her love for the game grew. Four years later Brittany returned to Brampton to refine her game. She made Team Ontario at the age of 15 and met golf coach Ann Carroll who started to guide, teaching and mentor Brittany.
In 2009 she started to make headway qualifying for the US Girl’s Junior Championship at Trump National GC in Bedminister, NJ. “I didn’t make the cut, but I do remember Donald Trump making a grand entrance flying into the course in his helicopter to meet the competitors. I got my photograph taken with him. Can you imagine that?” she says with a laugh.
“My family and I knew nothing about golf scholarships and how to apply, so I decided to play a couple of tournaments in the US to get some exposure and I must have sent out applications to most of the top-50 schools and universities in the US. I went on some school visits and dropped by some other ones just to check out the campuses. I read somewhere that a Canadian (Matt Hill) won the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Golf Championship in 2009 when he was at NC State, so I looked up the school and went for a visit,” says Marchand, who finished T2 at both the 2010 Ontario and Canadian Girls Championships. Brittany committed to NC State in late 2009 for the fall of 2010 and in 2011, two more Canadians, Augusta James, and Vivian Tsui, joined the squad. She would go on to win the Ontario Women’s Amateur in 2012, finish third in 2014 and T2 in 2015.
“I loved it there,” says Brittany, who won three college tournaments individually and had a T6 at 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Championship. She attended NC State, playing golf for four years and staying one more year to finish her Chemical Engineering degree and graduate in 2015.
“When I was in high school my teacher suggested I should think about Engineering as a career. I was really good in math and science and physics. International students weren’t allowed to opt of a general degree, so I had to choose a major at NC State. I remember going on the internet and typing in, “highest paid engineering job” and it said, “Chemical Engineering,” so I decided on that,” says Marchand, who was not ready to put her new degree to work just yet.
She went to the LPGA Tour Q-school in the fall of 2015 and missed qualifying for the final stage by just one stroke. It was heartbreaking at the time, but a lesson well learned, she says. The next two years were spent playing, learning, and living on the lower tier Symetra Tour until she broke out in 2017 with a victory at the PHC Classic, which would help propel her onto the LPGA Tour for 2018 and 2019.
“I learned a lot in 2016 and 2017. It was a big adjustment. The travel, being on my own, living out of my car, not having any money, staying with billet families, learning the courses, the daily grind, the pressure of needing to make the cut on Friday and finding a team of people who could support me with my game and my health. It doesn’t just prepare you for golf, but the process prepares you for life and trying to get better every day,” she says.
The highlight of 2017, as well as being career highlight, was making the most of a sponsor’s exemption to play in the Manulife Classic in Cambridge. Marchand shot rounds of 67-70-67 and was T9 heading into the final round, five shots behind Lexi Thompson. It was the first time Marchand made the cut in an LPGA event, and she would go on to card an 81 on the Sunday to finish T46. Inspiring is the word that still comes to mind when she thinks back on the tournament.
“It was a turning point in my career. It really showed me and allowed me to believe that I belonged there. That I could compete with the best women in the game. Despite the final round, it was a real confidence booster and to do it with the support of all those Canadian fans and my family and friends in attendance was extra special,” she says.
While the honorary member at Brampton GC had played in the LPGA Tour Canadian Women’s Open in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 her dream of being a member of the LPGA became reality in 2018. She will never forget teeing it up in her first card-carry tournament in the LOTTE Championship at Ko Olina GC in Kopolei on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. She went 72-72-74-75 to finish T50, at plus-5 and pocket $6,053.
She posted her one and only top-10 on the LPGA Tour at the 2018 Thornberry Creek Classic finishing T-7 with rounds of 64-72-66-69 to finish at 17-under par and earn $40,862 – the largest paycheque of her career.
Another career highlight came in the first round of the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship when Marchand aced No. 17 to win a KIA Sorento that she still drives today. By season’s end she made 13 cuts in17 events and earned $138,422 to finish 89th on the money list and keep her card.
2019 wasn’t what she had hoped it would be. In a nutshell, she made two cuts on 17 starts on the LPGA Tour and lost her playing card. She made some off-season changes to try and improve her distance off the tee and she quickly lost confidence in her ability to compete. I had no idea where the ball was going. Missed cuts, mentally shaken, losing money every week “led me down a very dark spiral of not playing well,” she says. “Every Friday after missing a cut I was looking for a job as a chemical engineering and thinking about calling it quits. In the moment it was a very difficult time, but I learned to preserve, to work through the challenges and I’m proud of that.
2020 was another disappointment with COVID and missing practically an entire season. She decided to give it one more go around and that’s what she did in 2021.
Another career highlight included being a member of Golf Canada’s Team Canada for the past seven years, plus a year on the development squad in 2011. She traveled to the World Amateur Championships in Japan, the British Amateur three times and experienced many training camps with Team Canada members. “Those are opportunities and experiences I would never have had on my own and certainly helped me develop into a seasoned professional golfer,” she says.
“I have my Brampton family, my NC State family, my Team Canada family and all of my family and supporters who have been with me for this journey. It has been a fantastic experience that all started with my grandpa’s love for the game. Sadly, he has Alzheimer’s Disease and doesn’t know us anymore, but I’m so thankful for the gift he gave me,” she adds. “I also need to thank the Brampton members who supported throughout my journey. Without their support I would not have been able to stay out on tour for those six years.”
What’s next, we that is what she is trying to figure out. “I’d love to be working in 2022, but I’m not sure if I am going to go the engineering route. I have learned that I am really a people person,” Brittany says, noting that taking an MBA online is a possibility.
She ends the interview with one last memory.
“I’m playing in the Toronto Star Amateur at Weston G&CC. My mom’s at the green watching and my grandpa is beside me on the tee. “I’m thinking eight-iron is too much club. He tells me to hit the eight-iron. So, with a lot of defiance, I took the eight-iron and I hit it heavy. It goes in the hole for an ace. My mother is screaming in delight from the green and my grandfather says, “I told you it was an eight-iron. We walked off the tee together smiling. I’ll never forget that one!
Jin Young Ko of Korea poses with the Rolex Player of the Year trophy after winning the CME Group Tour Championship - the season-concluding event for the LPGA Tour (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
LPGA Tour Communications
NAPLES, Fla., Nov. 22, 2021 – After a year of stops, starts and long stretches of global travel, the 2021 LPGA Tour season came to a sensational end at the CME Group Tour Championship, a true celebration of the best female athletes in the game of golf.
With her victory at the CME Group Tour Championship, Jin Young Ko won her second Rolex Player of the Year title, joining 2019. She is the 14th player in Tour history to win the award at least twice and the first player from the Republic of Korea to win more than once. It was the culmination of a season that saw Ko earn five LPGA Tour titles, including the $1.5 million win at the season finale, and eight additional top-10 finishes. Nelly Korda, who took four wins in 2021 along with six additional top-10 finishes and the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, finished second.
“So proud of myself, and, well, I would say Player of the Year, it’s cool,” said Ko, who battled with Korda all year for the Tour’s largest honor. “I would say Player of the Year is best, and it’s really tough to get Player of the Year, especially this year with Nelly.”
Ko’s win at the CME Group Tour Championship also gave her the title of Race to the CME Globe Champion, after she also won the title in 2020. She is the first player to win the season-long race more than once.
Patty Tavatanakit received multiple awards at Thursday night’s Rolex LPGA Awards, accepting Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honors and the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award. Tavatanakit earned LPGA Tour status after finishing second on the Symetra Tour’s 2019 Race for the Card, where she won three times and earned Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year honors. The Thai native became a Rolex First-Time Winner at The Chevron Championship, becoming the first Tour rookie to win the major title since Juli Inkster in 1984. In addition to her win, Tavatanakit notched nine top-10 finishes, including a tie for fifth at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and a tie for seventh at the AIG Women’s Open.
“I knew that my potential was there. I just needed to figure some stuff out to put it together and finally close it out, which I did when I won our first major at the ANA Inspiration (now The Chevron Championship),” said Tavatanakit. “My entire outlook changed because I had proven to myself that I belong out here and I have what it takes to win on the LPGA Tour, not only that but a major championship.”
“I have received many awards both for my athletic ability and my performance on the golf course. This is the first award I’ve received for being me,” said Sagstrom. “For a long time, I based my self-worth on my results on the golf course. I have worked for a long time to see and honor the other sides of myself. This is why this award means a lot to me. It’s been a lot of hard work and I’m just so happy to stand in front of you guys as the person I am today.
“My goal every morning when I wake up is to be the best version of myself, both as a golfer but most importantly as a human being. Deciding to speak about my sexual abuse story means just that for me. I hope that by sharing my darkness, I can bring some light and hope into somebody else’s life. As we all know, life isn’t always easy. But together as human beings, we can be there for each other. Thank you all for showing me that my story is important and for showing others that they’re not alone.”
Established in 1994, the Heather Farr Perseverance Award celebrates the life of Farr, an LPGA Tour player who died on Nov. 20, 1993, following a four-and-a-half-year battle with breast cancer. Previous winners of this award include Heather Farr, Lorie Kane, Nancy Scranton, Brandi Burton, Kris Tschetter, Kim Williams, Beth Daniel, Se Ri Pak, Leta Lindley, Sophie Gustafson, Lisa Ferrero, Stephanie Meadow, Ariya Jutanugarn, Jessica Korda and Suzann Pettersen.
Lydia Ko received the 2021 Founders Award, an honor previously known as the William and Mousie Powell Award and now named in honor of the LPGA Tour’s original 13 Founders. The award is given to an LPGA Member who, in the opinion of her playing peers, best exemplifies the spirit, ideals and values of the LPGA through her behavior and deeds. The award has been given out since 1986, with a list of previous recipients that includes Kathy Whitworth, Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley, Betsy King, Juli Inkster, Lorena Ochoa, Chella Choi, Juli Inkster, Karrie Webb, So Yeon Ryu and Brooke Henderson.
“I’m extremely grateful knowing that this award was voted by my fellow peers on the LPGA,” said Ko. “In my eight years on Tour and playing against the best female golfers, I’ve been so fortunate to have met so many friends, mentors and people I will know for the rest of my life. Even though we are all competing against each other, one of the greatest attributes of our Tour is that we genuinely support one another. We’re here to grow as professionals and people. This allows the Tour to continue to inspire the future generation of young women and inject them with the inspiring vision and spirit of the Founders. The LPGA is much more than an organization, but a family.”
Following Sunday’s completion of play, Ko also earned the Vare Trophy for the season’s lowest scoring average. Ko averaged 69.329 strokes per round in 2021, with Lexi Thompsoncoming in second at 69.629.
LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan, celebrating her first Rolex LPGA Awards after being named to her position earlier this year, selected LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame member and long-time LPGA and PGA Tour announcer Judy Rankinas the recipient of the Commissioner’s Award. The award, introduced in 1991, honors a person or organization that has contributed uniquely to the LPGA and its Members, furthered the cause of women’s golf, and possesses character and standards of the highest order. Past recipients include KPMG, Jamie Farr, Rolex, the J.M. Smucker Company and Golf Channel.
“I’ve seen Tiger (Woods) from the beginning to not so long ago. I saw Nancy Lopez up close and personal and then in television. I saw all of Annika Sorenstam’s career. I saw all of Karrie Webb’s career and I could go on and on and on. But I guess I’ve had the best front-row seat ever,” said Rankin, who will step back from full-time announcing in 2022. “The LPGA has been my neighborhood and I love this neighborhood. I’ve been really fortunate to have a second chance after being a player to spend so much time out here and to be friends with young players. It has really been extraordinary for me.”
Deb Vangellow, a LPGA Master Professional and Director of Golf Instruction at Riverbend Country Club in Houston, Texas, joined an elite group of her peers as the recipient of the 2021 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award. Instituted in 1989, the award honors the late Ellen Griffin, the best-known woman golf teacher in U.S. history. The award recognizes an individual, male or female, who has made a major contribution to the teaching of golf and who has demonstrated, through teaching, Griffin’s spirit, love and dedication to the golf student, teaching skills and game of golf.
“Thank you so much to Ellen Griffin. Her incredible teaching spirit while never forgetting that she was always teaching people and to allow the frustrations of golf to be overcome by fun was really instrumental to me, from being a young teacher to this day,” said Vangellow, a former national president for the LPGA Professionals.
The Rolex LPGA Awards also celebrated Rolex-First Time Winners Pajaree Anannarukarn (ISPS Handa World Invitational), Matilda Castren (LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship), Wei-Ling Hsu (Pure Silk Championship), Ryann O’Toole (Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open), Yuka Saso (U.S. Women’s Open) and Tavatanakit (The Chevron Championship).
Earlier in the week, the LPGA Tour celebrated the winners of two season-long competitions. Hannah Green captured the Aon Risk Reward Challenge and earned the $1 million prize. The competition, which measured the performance of LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR golfers on a series of holes across multiple tournaments, tested players’ ability to analyze risk, utilize data-driven insights to identify opportunities and maximize performance in the moments that matter most. Green joined PGA TOUR winner Matthew Wolff in taking the Aon title, with both players receiving equal prize money.
Additionally, Jin Young Ko won the LEADERS Top-10 competition for the second time, earning $100,000. She earned 12 top-10 finishes in 18 starts this season entering the CME Group Tour Championship, including four wins and two additional top-three results.
CP Women’s Open shines as only Canadian stop in LPGA’s record-breaking 2022 schedule
Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club, host of the 2022 CP Women's Open
LPGA Tour Communications
World’s best female golfers to compete for nearly $86 million in official prize money
Nine tournaments announce elevated purses, with the CME Group Tour Championship increasing to $7 million
NAPLES, Fla., – The 2022 LPGA Tour season is set to present yet another year of record-setting purses and playing opportunities. Thanks to the support of new and long-time partners, LPGA Tour Members will compete for $85.7 million in official purses in 2022, the largest total ever presented to the world’s best female golfers, across 34 official events.
“The stage is set for 2022 to be one of the most exciting years in the history of the LPGA Tour, with the addition of new events, the largest total purse ever, over 500 hours of broadcast television and a collective commitment to being the leading women’s professional sports property in the world,” said LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan. “We have never had such a robust team of partners from around the globe who see both the commercial value in investing in the LPGA and the opportunity to utilize the partnerships to have a positive impact on their communities and on the world. As the home to the best female golfers in the world, we will continue to focus on offering a dynamic schedule that allows players to reach their peak performance in golf and in life and that provides the platform to inspire young girls and women around the globe to dream big.”
So far, nine tournaments have announced purse increases for the 2022 season, including The Chevron Championship ($5 million, up $1.9 million from 2021) and the AIG Women’s Open ($6.8 million, up $1.3 million from 2021). As announced on Wednesday, the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship purse will grow to $7 million, up $2 million from 2021. The winner will receive $2 million, the largest first-place prize in professional women’s golf history, and all players who complete in the championship will receive at least $40,000.
Other tournaments to announce elevated purses are the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open ($2 million, up $500,000 from 2021), the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship ($1.8 million, up $300,000 from 2021), the Pelican Women’s Championship ($2 million, up $250,000 from 2021), the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational ($2.5 million, up $200,000 from 2021), the Meijer LPGA Classic ($2.5 million, up $200,000 from 2021) and the HSBC Women’s World Championship ($1.7 million, up $100,000 from 2021). Additional purse increases are expected to be announced throughout the season.
The 2022 season will open with three weeks in Florida, leading off with the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, moving to a new host venue at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando. The Gainbridge LPGA will return to Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton after a one-year stop at Lake Nona, and the Florida trio will culminate at the fourth playing of the LPGA Drive On Championship, with a date and venue to be announced in the coming weeks.
Following the usual early-season swing through Asia, with stops in Singapore and Thailand, the Tour will spend five weeks in the Western region of the United States. In early April, the golf world will celebrate Mission Hills Country Club and its 50-plus years of LPGA Tour history with The Chevron Championship, the first major of the golf season, with a new title sponsor. The LPGA announced in October that 2022 will mark the major’s final playing in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and the week promises to be an exciting celebration of Dinah Shore, Mission Hills and the famed jump into Poppie’s Pond.
After beginning with The Chevron Championship, the 2022 women’s major championship season will continue at the U.S. Women’s Open, which returns to Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in North Carolina, the venue for Cristie Kerr’s 2007 national championship title. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will head to Congressional Country Club in Maryland, a five-time men’s major venue that is set to welcome its first major women’s event.
A four-event European Swing will feature two major championships, starting with the Amundi Evian Championship, the Tour’s annual visit to the French Alps. The first week in August will bring the much-awaited AIG Women’s Open visit to Muirfield, marking the first time in its illustrious history that the famed links will host a major women’s championship.
The season will include two tournaments making their LPGA Tour debuts on the calendar. The JTBC Championship at Palos Verdes will be held at Palos Verdes Golf Club in late April, joining the previous week’s JTBC LA Open at Wilshire Country Club for a two-week tour through suburban Los Angeles. In September, the Tour will visit Kenwood Country Club for the Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G, marking a return to Cincinnati for the first time since 1989.
After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, the LPGA Tour will return to Canada in late August for the CP Women’s Open at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club in Ontario. It will kick off a summer sprint across the United States, ending with the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship being held for the first time at The Saticoy Club, located outside Los Angeles. The Tour will then return to Asia for its Fall Swing, making appearances in the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Chinese Taipei and Japan, before ending the season at the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla.
CME Group Tour Championship purse to increase to $7 Million in 2022
Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla
LPGA Tour Communications
Winner of LPGA Tour’s season-ending event to earn $2 million, the largest single prize in women’s golf
Players who compete in the championship guaranteed at least $40,000
NAPLES, Fla. – In a ground-breaking moment for women’s golf, CME Group and the LPGA Tour announced today that the prize fund for the 2022 CME Group Tour Championship, the Tour’s season-ending event, will grow to $7 million, up from $5 million in 2021. The winner will receive $2 million, the largest single prize in the history of women’s golf, while all players who compete in the championship will receive at least $40,000.
“We could not be more grateful to CME Group, under the bold and visionary leadership of Group Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy, for helping provide the best female golfers in the world with the opportunity to live their dreams,” said LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan. “The Race to the CME Globe and the CME Group Tour Championship have transformed the LPGA since their inception in 2014. Today’s announcement is another example of CME’s continued pioneering support of the LPGA and their commitment to leveling the playing field for female golfers, and female athletes in general, from around the globe.”
“CME Group is proud to support women in business and women in sports,” said CME Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Terry Duffy. “We are extremely pleased to announce significant enhancements to the CME Group Tour Championship that will further reward these world-class golfers while also creating more equity within the sport. We are impressed with the leadership Commissioner Marcoux Samaan has demonstrated and are thrilled to help elevate women’s golf.”
LPGA Tour players compete throughout the season in the Race to the CME Globe, working to earn one of the coveted 60 berths in the CME Group Tour Championship, conducted annually at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla. The championship’s list of winners is a who’s-who of the greatest names in the game, including World No. 1 players Jin Young Ko (2020), Ariya Jutanugarn (2017), Cristie Kerr (2015) and Lydia Ko (2014).
Brooke Henderson at the Pelican Women's Championship at Pelican Golf Club (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
BELLEAIR, Fla. – Brooke Henderson finished the Pelican Women’s Championship at 14 under, earning her the fifth position on the leaderboard. The performance was her seventh top-ten finish of the year.
“It was a really nice week and it’s nice to finish off well today,” said Henderson. “I made a lot of birdies and it got really tough there on the back nine with strong gusts of wind so you know I’m happy to shoot 500 today and climb up the leaderboard. Hopefully it’s a good sign for next week.”
Henderson is set to compete next in the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla.
Fellow Canadian Alena Sharp fired a 69 to wind up 3-under 277 in a tie for 52nd.
American Kelly Korda came out on top after a four-way playoff.