The Ladies European Tour announced their new 2020 schedule, featuring seven new tournaments and a near €18M record-breaking total prize fund
There was a big boost for women's golf this week as the Ladies European Tour announced seven new events to their 2020 schedule, and an increase of €4.5 million on 2019 to be won across the season.
The news comes a few days after Alexandra Armas was named as the Tour's CEO, and less than two months after players voted in favour of a new joint venture with the LPGA Tour which aimed to increase both financial and playing opportunities.
The new schedule includes;
• €18M record-breaking total prize fund
• 24 tournaments, including 15 in Europe and the Olympic Games in August
• Seven new events and seven more with purses of more than €500,000
• Biggest-ever full-field prize fund: $1M in Saudi Arabia; €1.5M mixed event with the European Tour in Sweden and a $1.1M event to be announced
• New Race to Costa del Sol provides biggest-ever LET bonus pool
"The LET and the LPGA only began working together in September 2019, but we've been blown away with the results in the first 90 days and the positive response from across the golf industry," said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, who is also the Chair of the new Joint Venture Board between the LET and LPGA.
"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."
The new 2020 LET schedule will include two new events in Sweden: the €1.5 million Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik & Annika, and the Creekhouse Ladies Open. There is also a new $1 million event in Saudi Arabia, The Saudi Ladies Championship, as well as the Mithra Belgian Ladies Open, the Dutch Ladies Open and the VP Bank Swiss Ladies Open.
The 15 events in Europe also include the Jabra Ladies Open, La Reserva de Sotogrande Invitational, Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open, The Evian Championship, Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, AIG Women's British Open, TIPSPORT Czech Ladies Open and Lacoste Ladies Open de France, as well as a new event in the United Kingdom.
The Race to Costa del Sol, offering €250,000 between the top three finishers on the official ranking, will commence with the Australian Ladies Classic Bonville in February and conclude with the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino in November, the latter having doubled its prize fund to €600,000.
2019 Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew OBE believes that the LET will hit new heights in 2020.
She said: "I committed myself to playing on the LET in Europe 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. I'll be keeping an eye on some of the exciting young players coming through as we look ahead to retaining the Solheim Cup in Toledo next year."