LPGA creates new event at Liberty National that will be hosted by Michelle Wie West and include top junior golfers
Kevin C. Cox
Teaming up with Michelle Wie West, Liberty National Golf Club and the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), the LPGA Tour announced on Friday a new event added to the 2023 schedule with a unique field. The Mizuho Americas Open will be held at Liberty National in June and feature top professionals playing alongside junior golfers.
“When I was younger playing in events, I got a taste of it and that was when I knew I could do it,” Wie West said. “I hope this tournament will make a deep impact with junior golfers.”
It’s the first time Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J., will host an LPGA event and the format is the first of its kind. Scheduled for June 1-4, the 120-player LPGA Tour field will compete alongside the top 24 female junior golfers, according to the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Each group will play for their own title.
The juniors and the pros will start the week playing separately and after the LPGA field is cut to 50 after the second round, the entire field will meet over the weekend to play in threesomes of two pros and one junior. Typically, LPGA events cut the field to 70 going into the weekend, but tournament officials say the smaller field will give the juniors more access to the pros.
“It’s not just about the competition; they’ll see how they train, they’ll see the environment they are in,” LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux said. “The juniors will have the opportunity to basically be an LPGA player for the whole week.”
The pros will compete for a $2.75 million purse, one of the largest non-major championship purses on the LPGA Tour, which has recently made an effort to raise prize money across the board.
Wie West, who has taken a step back from competition, will serve as tournament host. She is also a brand ambassador for Mizuho, a global banking group based in Japan.
“When I made the transition away from playing for a time, these are the things I really want to do,” Wie West said. “I’m really passionate about the LPGA Tour, growing the women’s game and access to the game and diversity into the game, and I’m extremely honored that I get the opportunity to hit all the things I want to do in one tournament.”