Woods Looking Good, LPGA Adds Four New Tourneys
Published on December 1 2016 6:24 am
Last Updated on December 1 2016 6:24 am
If he were keeping score -- which he wasn't -- Tiger Woods would have tallied a loosely recorded 2-under-par 70 on Wednesday at Albany Golf Club in the pro-am that precedes the Hero World Challenge.
Two eagles, two bogeys and no birdies summarize the five-hour round that included four amateurs on a muggy, windy Caribbean day.
Pro-ams are standard fare preceding tournaments, and Woods has almost always treated them as a leisurely way to get a look at the golf course and greens, without much grinding. That was the case Wednesday, and he acknowledged that it was a serious endeavor for only about 12 of the 18 holes.
"I felt good with pretty much everything," he said. "I was be able to hit all the shots I needed to hit. The wind was definitely pumping today, and it was good to see it in this direction. The time since I've been here on Saturday, it's been blowing out of the other direction, so it's good to see it out of this direction.''
Woods has been dedicating the time to get ready for his first tournament in 15 months and said he would make his way to the putting green later in the afternoon.
The Hero World Challenge, which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation and has a field of just 18 players, is Woods' first tournament since August 2015, when he tied for 10th at the Wyndham Championship before having two back procedures.
LPGA Adds Four New Tournaments
The LPGA Tour will have four new tournaments next year with an increase of $4.35 million in total prize money.
Commissioner Mike Whan announced the 2017 schedule Wednesday. It features 34 official tournaments, 21 of them in North America and 16 with prize money of $2 million or more. Whan said the U.S. Women's Open would have a $5 million purse, the largest ever in women's golf.
"While we receive credit for being a global tour, we're just as proud that we've added more events in North America since 2011 than we have abroad," Whan said. "It's an exciting time for our organization and we cannot wait to start another great season in January."
Some of the events previously were announced.
The surprise was the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico moving from November to May and switching to match play. The field was particularly weak this year because it was between the end of the fall Asia swing and CME Group Tour Championship in Florida.
The season starts Jan. 26 in the Bahamas with the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic. The Coates Championship played in Ocala, Florida, is no longer on the schedule. Another domestic event, the Swinging Skirts Classic in San Francisco in April, has moved to Taiwan in the fall.
Total official prize money is $67.35 million, up nearly $10 million from 2014.
Two of the new tournaments are in the United States -- the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic in Oneida, Wisconsin, and the Indy Women in Tech Championship at Brickyard Crossing that weaves through Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The other two are the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open and the McKayson New Zealand Women's Open.