Back to the Sunshine State: LPGA Tour Championship to be played at Grand Cypress in Orlando

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The LPGA is coming back to the Sunshine State.

The LPGA Tour Championship will be played this season at the Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando. The season-ending event will feature 120 tour professionals competing for a $1.5 million purse from Dec. 2-5.

"We were committed to finding a premier golf course that would challenge the players and attract fans and media, and we're thrilled to be back playing in Florida," LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said Thursday.

The LPGA had three Florida events — the Ginn Open in Reunion, Stanford International Pro-Am in Aventura, and the ADT Championship in West Palm Beach — in 2008. But the tour, which is based in Daytona Beach, didn't have an event in the Sunshine State last year despite the popularity of golf and the nearly year-round warm weather in its home state.

The tournament will keep the format it used last season, cutting to the lowest 70 scores and ties after 36 holes and an additional cut after 54 holes to the lowest 30 players and ties.

The Jack Nicklaus-designed course has hosted six official LPGA tournaments, most recently in 2001 when the LPGA Classic was won by Se Ri Pak. The LPGA Tour Championship was held in Houston last year.

"Our thanks go out to the Houston community, as well as the Houstonian Golf & Country Club, for their impressive support of last year's event," Whan said. "We hope to find a way to bring the world's best golfers back to the area with another event in the future."