March 14, 2018 / 9:52 PM / 5 days ago

Golf-Tournament of Champions to launch 2019 LPGA season

March 14 (Reuters) - The Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, a winners-only event, will open the 2019 LPGA Tour season in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, the Ladies Professional Golf Association announced on Wednesday.

The new event, to be held Jan. 17-20 at the Tranquilo Golf Club, will feature the winners of the last two LPGA seasons along with 45 celebrity participants and 10 amateurs, who will be paired with LPGA Tour players in a Pebble Beach Pro-Am style event.

The LPGA players will compete for a $1.2 million purse while the celebrities will play for a $500,000 at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando.

“This will be an experience like none other on our Tour,” LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said. “It will be revered as a great reward for LPGA players who play well enough to make it into the winner’s circle every year.”

Four players have earned invitations this year to the 2019 Tournament of Champions - Brittany Lincicome, Jin Young Ko, Jessica Korda and Michelle Wie.

They will be joined by other 2018 winners and 2017 champions including Shanshan Feng, Danielle Kang, Cristie Kerr, Anna Nordqvist and Lexi Thompson. (Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond)

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