Top women golfers will keep their status on the LPGA Tour for 2021, commissioner Whan says, because the coronavirus-halted 2020 campaign has not delivered the season they earned.
A week after the LPGA's Dow Great Lakes Invitational in Midland was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the other MI event in the LPGA pulled the plug on their rescheduled event in October.
The cancellation of the tournament in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will allow for the ShopRite LPGA Classic, originally scheduled for May in Galloway, New Jersey, to take place October 2-4.
While this year's winners can move up on the priority list, 2020 rookies will still be considered newcomers in 2021.
"As we look to the remainder of the 2020 season and ahead to 2021, we wanted to make sure that the athletes who earned the opportunity to play on the LPGA tour for 2020 have that full season opportunity in 2021", LPGA commissioner Mike Whan stated. "But they don't have a full season to perform under the categories they earned coming into the year".
"You shouldn't find yourself back trying to play your way onto a Tour when you probably didn't get a chance to play your way on or off a Tour in the first place".
"Regardless of how comfortable you are playing, regardless of whether or not you can get out of your home country because of travel restrictions, regardless of you live with your grandparents and they're 82 and they're asking you, 'Please don't go and come back, ' we allow you to play 2020 (with no risk of status for 2021)", Whan said.
Outside of medical and victor exemptions, Whan said, players "will essentially have the same priority position in '21 that you had walking into '20".
We know this event is an annual tradition for many families here in West Michigan, and while we are disappointed that this summer will feel different without it, we plan to continue supporting the community through this tournament in years to come.