LPGA returns July 31 after five-month hiatus

The LPGA Tour will return from more than a five-month hiatus with back-to-back events in Ohio beginning July 31.

The tour has been suspended since the conclusion of the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open on Feb. 16 because of the outbreak of the coronavirus. At the time, the tour was in Asia, where COVID-19 originated.

USA golfer Brittany Lincicome marks her American flag logo ball in the rough. Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Kicking off the comeback will be a new event for the 2020 season, the LPGA Drive On Championship, held July 31-Aug. 2 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. A field of 144 players will vie for a $1 million purse.

The tournament will take place without spectators, sponsors or a pro-am.

The following weekend, the Marathon LPGA Classic will take place Aug. 6-9 at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio. The tournament originally was scheduled for late July and moved the dates at the request of the LPGA.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has given permission for spectators to attend the tournament.

Commissioner Mike Whan said the Toledo event “will allow us to test our COVID-19 protocols before we get to welcome back our fans” at the Marathon.

The state also has given permission for the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament, founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus, to be played July 16-19 at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, with fans in the stands.

The PGA resumed play last week at the Charles Schwab Challenge without spectators.

–Field Level Media