Ladies European Tour vote in favour of 'joint venture' with LPGA
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 27/11/19 2:12pm
Ladies European Tour players have voted to venture into a partnership with the LPGA that could offer many of them a chance to compete in US events.
The merger was announced after the LET annual membership meeting in Spain ahead of this week's Andalucia Costa del Sol Open de Espana Femenino, while it was also revealed that the Order of Merit in Europe would be renamed the Race to Costa del Sol in 2020 with bonus prizes on offer to the top three players.
A joint statement released by the two Tours confirmed the venture will be "jointly managed by the LPGA and the LET and, through their combined resources, will seek to fast track an expanded LET schedule."
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The aim is to give LET players more opportunities to feature in LPGA events offering significantly more prize money, and LET board chair Marta Figueras-Dotti is delighted with the deal.
"Two teams, joining for one common purpose, will create opportunities we simply could not have pursued on our own," said Figueras-Dotti. "At its foundation, this joint venture is about creating opportunities for our members to pursue their passion, and their careers as professional athletes.
"In just the 60 days since we began working on this joint venture, we have already seen a dramatic impact on our LET Tour schedule - an impact that will be a positive result for virtually all of our LET Members."
LPGA commissioner Michael Whan added: "This is an exciting next step for the LPGA's mission to provide more opportunities for women in this game.
"Over the past 10 years, the LPGA has had tremendous success partnering with other golf stakeholders, including the USGA, PGA Tour, European Tour, The R&A and PGA of America, to enhance opportunities for women worldwide.
"We are thrilled to deepen our relationship with the Ladies European Tour in an effort to create the strongest possible women's tour in Europe. We have experienced incredible growth in women's golf in the US, and this is an extraordinary opportunity to accelerate and expand the game in Europe as well.
"I'm excited that this is something we will build together, with the LET."