A new decade brings a new-look Ladies European Tour and for the first time in history, LET Members will play for a combined prize fund of almost €18 million in 2020, an increase of €4.5 million on 2019.
The 2020 schedule will feature 24 tournaments, including 15 in Europe, in addition to August’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. 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.
The 2020 LET schedule includes 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 significantly improved schedule demonstrates the immediate success of the new LPGA-LET Joint Venture, with a new Board of Directors working together to grow the opportunities for LET Members, especially in the continent of Europe. Chaired by LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, the new Joint Venture Board includes six Directors from the LET (Marta Figueras-Dotti, Eleanor Givens, Catriona Matthew, Liz Young, Justin Abbott and Alastair Ruxton), four Directors from the LPGA (Commissioner Mike Whan, Liz Moore, Kathy Milthorpe and Mike Nichols), one from The R&A (Chief Executive Martin Slumbers) and one from the European Tour (Chief Executive Keith Pelley).
“The LET and the LPGA began working together in September, but we’ve been blown away with the results in the first 90 days and the positive response from across the golf industry,” said Whan. “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.”
LET CEO Alexandra Armas commented: “I want to thank all the federations who have shown their belief in our new team and vision, but also recognise the important contribution of our existing event Promoters and sponsors, whose long-term support and commitment is immensely valuable to our organisation. What we have achieved in the last 90 days in incredible and this is just the start of a new direction for the LET.”
Victorious 2019 Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew 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.”
Pictured top: from left European Tour Executive Director Keith Pelley; Ladies European Tour Chair Marta Figueras-Dotti; Ladies European Tour CEO Alexandra Armas; European Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew; and LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan together at the LET’s headquarters at Buckinghamshire Golf Club in England, for an historic board meeting.
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