Only 14 players earned more than $1 million on the LPGA tour during the 2018 season.
Any event offering that amount of prize money for an LPGA winner in 2019 can be considered significant.
Now, think about earning $1 million for just one hole of golf each week?
The Aon Risk Reward Challenge and its accompanying $1 million prize announced Wednesday carries significant weight for women pro golfers even though it will be a part of both the LPGA and PGA Tour in 2019.
“One-million dollars is more than the winner received at the U.S. Women’s Open last year,” LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said in New York as details of the challenge were unveiled. “It’s really neat that we’re starting to see things rolled out on both tours at the same time, for the same amount of money with the same amount of risk and reward over the course of a season.”
Here’s how the Aon Risk Reward Challenge will work: One hole will be designated at 29 LPGA events. A player’s best two scores on that specific hole from each tournament will be counted. The player with the lowest scoring average in relation to par at the end of the season will receive $1 million. There is a minimum of 40 rounds.
The LPGA version of the Aon Risk Reward Challenge starts at the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions near Orlando on the par-4 16th hole at Tranquilo Golf Club.
Another hole is No. 11 at Mission Hills in California, site of the ANA Inspiration in April. That hole is a par-five that is reachable for those finding the narrow fairway with their drive.
“The line-up includes a wonderful mix of par-three, par-four and par-five holes, all with their own unique elements and challenges,” added Heather Daly-Donofrio, the LPGA’s chief tour operations officer.
“We are excited to bring these holes to life for our fans and to see how the players navigate them.”
The PGA Tour will use the same format at 36 events with the winner also receiving $1 million. Its holes will be announced later this month.