The LPGA Tour, the world’s preeminent tour for female golfers, kicks off a record-breaking season in January. The 2022 season is setting up to be one of the most successful in the more than 70-year history of the Tour. Here’s a look at the tournaments, players, and storylines you’ll want to follow as the 2022 LPGA Tour season is underway.

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Record prize money in 2022

The 2022 LPGA Tour schedule will be made up of 34 events with a record-setting total purse of $85.7 million. In January, the USGA announced they will double the purse of the U.S. Women’s Open from $5 to $10 million in 2022, and the CME Group Tour Championship, the final event of the season, will feature the largest winner’s check in the women’s game, increasing the total prize money from $1.5 to $2 million.

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New major venues for women’s golf

In recent years, there has been a growing effort by the three of the five LPGA majors that are not hosted at the same location each season to stage their championships at the same, historic venues on which the men have competed. In June 2022, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be held for the first time at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. Since opening in 1924, Congressional has hosted five of the men’s majors and has long been considered one of the most prestigious clubs in the country. Joining the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the AIG Women’s Open will be held for the first time at Muirfield in Scotland. The club’s earliest records date back to the 1700s, but women were only recently admitted as members within the last five years.

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The final leap into Poppie’s Pond

In April, the LPGA Tour will say farewell to Mission Hills Country Club, home the women’s first major championship of the year since 1972. Sometimes nicknamed the Dinah or the Kraft, in 2022, the tournament will become known as the Chevron Championship with Chevron taking over for ANA Airways as the title sponsor and will move the Championship to Texas in 2023. The new venue has not yet been announced, but the leap by the champion into Poppie’s Pond is one of the most beloved traditions at Mission Hills and will be missed by fans and players alike.

Players to watch

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Nelly Korda

Nelly Korda enters the 2022 LPGA Tour season ranked No. 1 in women’s golf, a position that she has held longer than any other female American golfer since the Rolex Rankings were established in 2006. In 2022, Korda is coming off a career-best season in which she won four times on Tour and captured the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

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Patty Tavatanakit

Patty Tavatanakit captured the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award for her performance during her first season on the LPGA Tour in 2021. Tavatanakit won her first major at the Chevron Championship with a jaw-dropping performance that saw her average more than 320 yards off the tee that week.

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Jin Young Ko

Jin Young Ko was unseated at the top of the world rankings by Nelly Korda but put up an incredible fight at the season’s end to secure the Rolex Player of the Year award. Ko battled through an ongoing wrist injury to win five times over the latter half of the season to wrestle away Player of the Year honors from Korda. Ko is tightly locked with Korda as she sits at No. 2 behind the American in the world rankings to start the 2022 LPGA Tour season.

Rookie watch

Each season on the LPGA Tour, there are players that will maintain their membership, others lose that status, or become first-year rookies to join the Tour.

While the rookies are new members to the Tour, many have already competed in professional events, like the two-week qualifying tournament known as Q-Series, or on other Tours around the world, making them tried and true veterans before they even tee it up for the first time as an official member of the LPGA.

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Hinako Shibuno

Take for example Hinako Shibuno, a rookie in 2022. Shibuno, who competed at the time primarily in Japan, chose not to pursue LPGA membership even though her victory at the AIG Women’s Open in 2019 earned her the opportunity. When she changed her mind in 2021, Shibuno qualified via Q-Series and in 2022 will be considered a rookie despite already winning a Tour major championship.