The LPGA Tour announced on Wednesday its 2017 schedule, and sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda will be playing for their share of an LPGA-record $67.35 million in total official prize money. The total represents an increase of $4.35 million from the 2016 season.
The Bradenton natives have 34 official events, 35 tournaments in total, to compete in, beginning with the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic in late January.
The new events are the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic (outside of Green Bay, Wisc.), the Ladies Scottish Open (Ayrshire, Scotland), Indy Women in Tech Championship (Indianapolis), and the New Zealand Women’s Open (Auckland).
The lone Florida stop is the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon G.C. in Naples. Overall, 22 of the 35 events are scheduled for North America.
Jessica Korda finished 24th on the LPGA Tour money list last year, which was her fifth season on the women’s top circuit.
Nelly Korda is an LPGA Tour rookie after she secured a 2017 tour card through her season-long performance on the LPGA Symetra Tour in 2016.
Next year is also a Solheim Cup year. The bi-ennial event is scheduled for Aug. 18-20 at Des Moines G.& CC. Jessica Korda currently ranks high enough in the points standings to be an automatic qualifier for the American team, but the points race is weighted toward results during the year of the event.
The West Florida Golf Tour has a new home: Moccasion Wallow G.C., which was rebranded over the summer when Noah Zelnik purchased the course formerly known as Imperial Lakewoods in Palmetto.
The course began renovations during the summer, and is offering limited memberships to WFGT pros. That year-round membership is $3,600 and includes golf cart fees, range balls and access to the member-only short game center. A second option does not include cart fees. That fee is $2,200. There will also be a summer seasonal membership and an in-season daily fee option. The course is set to host the WFGT’s Winter and Summer Tour Championships starting in September 2017.
Kelly picks up first win
Saint Stephen’s and University of South Carolina alumnus Sean Kelly captured his first professional win this month at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club. Kelly collected $1,000 after shooting a 67 to win the one-day WFGT event on Nov. 21. Kelly bested Bradenton’s Samuel Chavez by two shots for the win. This past Monday, the WFGT stayed in Manatee County with a one-day tournament at Bradenton C.C.. North Port’s Sebastian Mark fired a 68 for a one-shot victory.
Three Bradenton-based junior golfer made it to the match play portion of the American Junior Golf Association’s Polo Golf Junior Classic at Palm Beach Gardens’ PGA National Resort & Spa. In the girls division, IMG Academy players Jaravee Boonchant and Rino Sasaki were joined by Bradenton’s Lei ‘Angelina’ Ye in the match play portion after qualifying from stroke play. Boonchant was the lone county player to win a first-round match. She defeated California’s Brooke Seay 2-up. Sasaki and Ye lost their respective matches 1-up. Tennessee’s Rachel Heck knocked out Boonchant with a 2-and-1 victory in the second round. South Korea’s Hye-Jin Choi won the girls title.
Low scoring at Sarasota City Senior Better Ball tournament
Dan and Jimmy Smith recently captured the 2016 Sarasota City Men’s Senior Better Ball Championship at Bobby Jones G.C.. The duo fired a 60 in the first round and followed it up with a 71 for a 131 total. That was good enough for a two-shot victory over Randy Spring and Cary Spicuzza. Rick Bibler and Tom White won the first flight by four shots after back-to-back 70s. Ted Roberts and Rene Musquiz were the second flight winners following a playoff when they posted a 152 total with two other teams.
On Nov. 25 at Pinebrook/Ironwood, Ron Luckerman aced the 124-yard 18th hole with an 8-iron. Witnessed by Rhoda E’Ambra.
On Nov. 27 at Pinebrook/Ironwood, Marcia Rush aced the 78-yard third hole with an 8-hybrid. Witnessed by Pete Frye.
On Nov. 29 at The River Club, Ron Baker aced the 135-yard second hole with a pitching wedge. Witnesses were Jack Munthe and Jeremy Carter.
2017 LPGA Schedule
Jan. 23-29 Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, Ocean Club, Paradise Island, Bahamas, $1,400,000
Feb. 13-19 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, The Royal Adelaide G.C., South Australia, $1,300,000
Feb. 20-26 Honda LPGA Thailand Siam C.C., Old Course, Chonburi, Thailand, $1,600,000
Feb. 27-Mar. 5 HSBC Women’s Champions, New Tanjong Course, Sentosa G.C., Singapore, $1,500,000
Mar. 13-19 Bank of Hope Founders Cup, Wildfire G.C., JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa, Phoenix, Ariz., $1,500,000
Mar. 20-26 Kia Classic, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, G.C. & Spa, Carlsbad, Calif., $1,800,000
Mar. 27-Apr. 2 ANA Inspiration, Mission Hill C.C., Rancho Mirage, Calif., $2,700,000
Apr. 10-16 LOTTE Championship, Presented by HERSHEY (Sat. finish) Ko Olina G.C., Kapolei, Hawaii, $2,000,000
Apr. 24-30 Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, Las Colinas C.C., Irving, Texas, $1,300,000
May 1-7 Lorena Ochoa Match Play, Club de Golf Mexico, Mexico Distrito Federal, Mexico, $1,200,000
May 15-21 Kingsmill Championship, Kingsmill Resort, River Course, Williamsburg, Va., $1,300,000
May 22-28 LPGA Volvik Championship, Travis Pointe C.C., Ann Arbor, Mich., $1,300,000
May 29-Jun. 4 ShopRite LPGA Classic, Stockton Seaview Hotel & G.C., Galloway, N.J., $1,500,000
Jun. 5-11 Manulife LPGA Classic, Whistle Bear G.C., Cambridge, Ontario, $1,700,000
Jun. 12-18 Meijer LPGA Classic, Blythefield C.C., Grand Rapids, Mich., $2,000,000
Jun. 19-25 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Presented by P&G Pinnacle C.C., Rogers, Ark., $2,000,000
Jun. 26-Jul. 2 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Olympia Fields C.C., North Course, Olympia Fields, Ill., $3,500,000
Jul. 3-9 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, Thornberry Creek at Oneida, Oneida, Wisc., $2,000,000
Jul. 10-16 U.S. Women’s Open, Trump National G.C., Bedminster, N.J. $5,000,000
Jul. 17-23 Marathon Classic, Highland Meadows G.C., Sylvania, Ohio, $1,600,000
Jul. 24-30 Ladies Scottish Open, Dundonald Links, North Ayrshire, Scotland, $1,500,000
Jul. 31-Aug. 6 Women’s British Open, Kingsbarns G.& Links, Fife, Scotland, $3,250,000
Aug. 14-20 Solheim Cup, Des Moines G.&C.C., West Des Moines, Iowa
Aug. 21-27 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, The Ottawa Hunt and G.C., Ottawa, Ontario, $2,250,000
Aug. 28-Sept. 3 Cambia Portland Classic, Columbia Edgewater C.C., Portland, $1,300,000
Sept. 4-10 Indy Women in Tech, Brickyard Crossing G.C., Indianapolis, $2,000,000
Sept. 11-17 Evian Championship, Evian Resort G.C., Evian Les Bains, France $3,350,000
Sept. 25-Oct. 1 New Zealand Women’s Open, Windross Farm G.& Course, Auckland, New Zealand, $1,300,000
Oct. 2-8 Alisports Reignwood, Pine Valley G.C., Beijing, China, $2,100,000
Oct. 9-15 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship, Sky 72 G.C., Ocean Course, Incheon, Korea, $2,000,000
Oct. 16-22 LPGA Taiwan Championship, Taipei, Taiwan, $2,200,000
Oct. 23-29 Sime Darby LPGA, Malaysia Kuala Lumpur G.& and C.C., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, $1,800,000
Oct. 30-Nov. 5 Toto Japan Classic, Taiheyo Club, Minori Course, Ibaraki, Japan, $1,500,000
Nov. 6-11 Blue Bay LPGA (Sat. finish), Jian Lake Blue Bay G.C., Hainan Island, China, $2,100,000
Nov. 13-19 CME Group Tour Championship, Tiburon G.C., Ritz Carlton G.& Resort, Naples, $2,500,000