The Drive On Championship at the Inverness Club, with 144 players teeing off on Friday, will see the return of competitive golf at the LPGA Tour for the first time in 166 days.
The LPGA entered 2020 with more prize money and greater television exposure than ever. A new TV contact beginning in 2022 was even more good news.
And then the world stopped!
Every step of the way the LPGA has proceeded with prudent caution. The first cancellation came Jan. 30 at the Blue Bay China and the second and third on Feb. 2 with the Honda Thailand and the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. On March 12, the first tournament in the U.S. – the Volvik Founders Cup – was placed on hold.
The return to competition in Toledo, Ohio, with first the Drive On Championship and then the Marathon Classic Presented by Dana, will put the familiar faces of the LPGA in a town with long ties to the Tour but under very new conditions.
Thailand’s Jasmine Suwannapura and Patty Tavatanakit, will be two of the few Asian players teeing up this week. However, due to travel restrictions and quarantine periods, quite a few of the Asian LPGA players are not planning to risk going to the States.
The likes of the Jutanugarn sisters, plus several Korean and Japanese stars will rejoin the tour for the Scottish Open in mid-August.
Still, it will be great to see some talented girls hit the fairways at last.