LPGA Tour unveils 2014 schedule

Naples, FL ( - The LPGA Tour released its 2014 schedule on Friday and the 32-event slate features four new tournaments, including three in North America.

The first of the inaugural stateside events will take place in April at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in San Francisco. Also new on the docket is the Meijer LPGA Classic in August, which will mark the tour's first stop in Michigan since 2000.

"It's certainly exciting to introduce the 2014 LPGA Tour Schedule," said LPGA Tour commissioner Michael Whan. "There's no doubt that our schedule has a little something for everyone; but most importantly, it creates more opportunities for our players, more coverage for our fans, and more exposure for the world's best female golfers. The real credit for our growth goes to my incredible, customer-focused team in Daytona Beach, and the overwhelming support we get every week from our players on Tour."

For the first time in 13 years, the LPGA Tour will kick off in January, at the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic from Jan. 23-26 in the Bahamas.

Play shifts Down Under in February, with the Women's Australian Open from Feb. 13-16. From there, the tour heads to Thailand and Singapore before the first stateside event takes place March 20-23 with the LPGA Founders Cup in Arizona.

The tour then heads to California for two tournaments, the second of which is the year's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, April 3-6.

In all, five majors are again on the slate. The U.S. Women's Open will be contested at Pinehurst No. 2 from June 19-22, one week after the men's U.S. Open at the same venue. The Ricoh Women's British Open returns to Royal Birkdale from July 10-13, while the Wegmans LPGA Championship will stop at Monroe Golf Club in New York for the first time from Aug. 14-17. The season's final major, the Evian Championship, will be again held in France, from Sept. 11-14.

The tour's Asian Swing also gained a new event, which has yet to be named, although the Oct. 30-Nov. 2 date and $2 million purse have been set. The circuit heads to China in the fall for the Reignwood LPGA Classic from Oct. 2-5, followed in successive weeks by the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, the LPGA KEB - HanaBank Championship in Korea and the LPGA Taiwan Championship. The new Asian event will follow before the stretch wraps up with the long-running Mizuno Classic in Japan.

Also added to the schedule was the inaugural International Crown event, which will debut July 24-27 at Caves Valley Golf Club outside Baltimore. The biennial, global team match-play event, will feature eight qualifying countries -- represented by South Korea, United States, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Chinese Taipei and Australia in 2014.

"This is by no means a finished product," Whan said. "But it's an enjoyable journey right now for our players and our partners and we're going to continue pushing toward something in which the LPGA's Founders and LPGA fans can be proud. We're excited about where we are, but even more excited about where we're going."