By John Strege
Welcome news emanated from LPGA headquarters Tuesday when the tour announced that it will resume its season next month with back-to-back tournaments in Northwest Ohio, one of them a new event.
The new addition is the LPGA Drive On Championship, a 54-hole tournament scheduled for July 31-Aug. 2 at the storied Inverness Club in Toledo, site of the 2021 Solheim Cup. It will feature a 144-player field and a $1 million purse and will be played without spectators, sponsors or pro-ams.
The Marathon LPGA Classic presented by Dana, originally scheduled for July 23-26, will be played on Aug. 6-9, at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio. It will allow spectators based on Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s recent approval.
“Thanks in part to the generosity of our partners who could not reschedule their events in 2020, we are adding a valuable additional playing opportunity for our LPGA Tour members,” LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said in a news release.
“We are so appreciative of our longtime partners, Marathon and Dana, as well as the memberships at Highland Meadows and Inverness, for adjusting their schedules and helping us create a valuable two-week stretch in the Toledo area as we work to safely return to competition. This new event will allow us to test our COVID-19 protocols before we get to welcome back our fans at the Marathon LPGA Classic presented by Dana.”
Inverness has hosted four U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships.
The LPGA has been idle since the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, which concluded on Feb. 16. It was won by Inbee Park.