LPGA lands new big-time title sponsor for Arizona tournament

LPGA announcement

LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan (center) poses with LPGA players Alena Sharp (left) and Mina Harigae (right).

Jessica Marksbury/GOLF

GILBERT, Ariz. — On Tuesday, the LPGA announced a new big-time title sponsor for the upcoming LPGA tournament in Arizona: Ford Motor Company.

The newly-named Ford Championship will be played March 28-31 at Seville Country Club in Gilbert, Ariz., about 20 miles southeast of downtown Phoenix. The LPGA has been a frequent visitor to the state of Arizona in its 74-year history, but this year marks the first year an Arizona tournament has had a title sponsor since the Founders Cup moved to New Jersey in 2021.

The new title sponsor is yet another positive step for the LPGA in terms of financial momentum. Last year, tour members competed for purses worth a total of $108 million. This year, that figure is $118 million.

“The money is important, but it’s more important what it symbolizes,” LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan said at the announcement. “It symbolizes the growth in women’s sports. It symbolizes the value that our partners and our and our sponsors have in our women and in what we do. So we’re really lucky and fortunate to have an amazing group of sponsors and partners who understand our multifaceted mission and who understand the unique opportunity that we have together.”

Representatives from Ford were also in attendance for the announcement.

“Ford is excited to be back and bring golf and the LPGA back to the Valley,” said Ford Motor Company Phoenix regional manager Brandon Nix. “This is going to be an exciting event and most importantly, it’s just a fantastic opportunity for us to continue to support the excellence of women in sports in the competitive sports field, and especially golf.”

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While the current sponsorship is just a one-year deal, Marcoux Samaan said the tournament’s future is still in the works.

“We’re still working on the final terms, but we hope to be here for a long time,” she said.

LPGA player Alena Sharp has lived in the area for nearly two decades and has been a member of Seville Country Club since 2009 and was present for the announcement. She will compete in the tournament on a sponsor’s exemption.

“I’m so grateful to the LPGA for giving me this chance to compete,” she said. “I really can’t wait for the membership and the staff here to host my fellow LPGA players at one of the best courses in Arizona. In particular, I really think that the girls are gonna love our greens. We have the best greens around and I can’t wait to see how our finishing holes look on TV.”

The LPGA Tour has been on an upward trajectory, with a 70 percent increase in purse sizes over the last three years. Marcoux Samaan said she believes there’s plenty of room for continued growth.

“We think this is our time,” she said. “We think the best is yet to come. We think that people are waking up to the idea that women’s sports is really a tremendous value. They have tremendous entertainment value, they have cultural value and they really do show that women can do anything in the world.

“I think we’re just getting started.”

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