Lydia Ko, Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis will battle for the top spot in women's golf in 2015.

The LPGA just completed one of the most memorable seasons in the history of the women’s tour.

Stacy Lewis and Inbee Park battled for the No. 1 spot on the Rolex Ranking. A host of young players won on tour, including Lexi Thompson, who won her first major title at the Kraft Nabisco in March.

Michelle Wie won in Hawaii at the LPGA Lotte Championship in April, as well as, the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst in June and collected a host of top-10 finishes along the way.

Teenage-sensation Lydia Ko earned over $2 million in prize money, plus cashed the biggest prize in women’s golf a $1 million bonus for winning the Race to the CME Globe.

The LPGA has announced its schedule for 2015 and will look to duplicate the excitement it generated for golf fans this year.

The tour will open its season with the Coates Golf Championship in Ocala, Florida, January 28-31. It will host 33 events and total prize money has been increased by $4 million to $61.6 million.

22 of the 33 tournaments will be held on the North American continent, nine in Asia and two in Europe.

The first major of the year has a new sponsor in All Nippon Airways and will be called the ANA Inspiration. It will continue to be hosted by Mission Hills in Palm Springs, California and preserve all of the tradition of the Dinah Shore/Kraft Nabisco Championship.

The old LPGA Championship will become the Women’s PGA Championship. The purse has been increased by $1.25 million to $3.5 million and will be held at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York.

The season-long Race to the CME Globe will once again keep players committed to earning as many points as possible throughout the year to stay in contention for a chance to win the $1 million bonus at season’s end.

The Solheim Cup, which pits a 12-woman team from Europe versus a team from the U.S, will be held September 18-20 at the Golf Club St. Leon-Rot in Germany. This will be the 14th edition of the hotly contested event and the Americans will be looking to get revenge for their loss in 2013.

More young players won in 2014 than ever before and they will continue to challenge the established veterans on the LPGA Tour.

Charley Hull and Minjee Lee will try to earn tour cards via LPGA Tour Q-School in December and will add to the youth movement.

More events, bigger purses and hungry young players make for interesting stories on the LPGA Tour.

 

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Suzy Whaley is now in line to become the first woman president of the PGA of America.

Suzy Whaley, a PGA Professional from Connecticut, became the first woman elected to an administrative office in the PGA of America at their annual meeting held in Indianapolis last week.

Whaley is accustomed to coming in first. She was the first woman to qualify for a men’s PGA Tour event, when she won the 2002 Connecticut PGA Championship. By winning the event over male professionals, she earned a spot in the 2003 Greater Hartford Open.

She also qualified for the LPGA Championship in 2003, 2004 and 2005, but missed the cut in all three women’s major tournaments.

Whaley won a hotly contested battle over fellow PGA Professionals Russ Libbey and Michael Haywood. She had come under some fire from inside the rank and file of the PGA of America, when she publicly supported the impeachment of former PGA of America President Ted Bishop.

With her election as Secretary of the PGA, she is on track to become the first woman president of that organization in 2018.

“It’s an incredibly special day for me, my family, the Connecticut section and our members,” Whaley said. “Our association has a long-term strategic plan and I’m excited to part of implementing that plan. We have so many opportunities to bring diverse groups into the game, that’s what I’m excited about.”

Derek Sprague, who was named Interim President after the dismissal of Bishop, was elected to fill the two-year Presidential term. Paul Levy was elected Vice-President and is in line to replace Sprague in 2016.

Sprague said of Whaley’s election,

“I think it’s great to have a woman in a national leadership position because I think it opens the door for women in other leadership positions, It can only inspire other women to get into leadership positions.”

Women are continually breaking down barriers and accepting roles in the top echelons of golf. In September, The R&A elected to admit women members. Augusta National recently announced the addition of its third woman member, IBM Chairwoman Virginia Rometty.

The PGA announced a new partnership with the LPGA earlier this year to replace the LPGA Championship with the PGA Women’s Championship. The new tournament will have one of the largest purses on all of women’s golf and will put it on par with the men’s major PGA Championship.

The PGA of America has been taking some lumps recently over its selection of Ryder Cup Captains and the unfortunate social media mishap of Ted Bishop.

The selection of Suzy Whaley and her progression up the ladder to the top spot, will give women one of the biggest voices in the game of golf.

Quotes in the article from: http://www.golf.com/ap-news/suzy-whaley-becomes-1st-female-officer-pga

 

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