LPGA lands Shadow Creek as site for its latest Match Play event
LPGA Tour officials say they heard from players that there should be some match-play events on the schedule. And the tour listened, announcing on Thursday that the inaugural Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play will take place May 26-30 at what Golf Digest ranks the best course in Nevada: Shadow Creek.
The glitzy course outside of Las Vegas was first on public display in the fall of 2018 when Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson dueled it out into the dark at The Match. It was host again to PGA Tour pros last October when the CJ Cup was moved from South Korea to the U.S. for one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jason Kokrak winning his first tour title. The Tom Fazio design is No. 26 on Golf Digest’s ranking of the top 100 Golf Courses in America, and No. 5 on the list of the top 100 Public Golf Courses in the America. This is the first time the LPGA Tour will play an event there.
As for format, the event will follow the structure used at the WGC-Dell Match Play on the PGA Tour. A 64-player field will be split into 16 groups of four players. Those groups will play round-robin matches, which will determine a 16-player bracket. The matches will be single-elimination from there on, until it’s down to two players in the championship match. The total purse for the event is $1.5 million.
This isn’t the first time the LPGA Tour has had an individual match-play competition on its schedule. Previously, the HSBC Women’s World Match Play was held from 2005-07. The format was revived with the Sybase LPGA Match Play from 2010-12. And in 2017, the tour held the Lorena Ochoa Match Play.
The addition of a match-play event in the first half of the year is good practice for American and European players, as 2021 is a Solheim Cup year.
The Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play is part of a robust 34-event schedule for the LPGA Tour, with players competing for a record-high $77.95 million season-long purse.