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Deals struck for LPGA senior tour

The LPGA has authorized the Women's Senior Golf Association to be its official senior tour, with four events planned for 2002.

"Having an official senior tour for the LPGA is the perfect complement to the LPGA Tour and the SBC Futures Tour, the LPGA's official developmental tour," said LPGA Commissioner Ty M. Votaw. "We now have a complete cycle for women professional golfers."

Participation in 2002 women's senior tour events is open to players who have had an LPGA Tour card and who will be 44 years of age or older on December 31, 2002. For 2003 and beyond, the age moves to 45 as of December 31, 2003.

"This tour has been the dream of many former and current LPGA players and has been five years in the making," said WSGT founder Jane Blalock, who won 27 LPGA events. "This creates a viable stage to showcase the skills and talents of LPGA members who are 44 years old and older."

The WSGT expects to host four events in 2002 and marquee players such as Nancy Lopez, Beth Daniel, Patty Sheehan, Betsy King and Pat Bradley are expected to participate.

The tour held two events in 2001 and one in 2000. Purses are expected to range from $350,000 to $500,000.

Under the agreement, WSTG events may be scheduled during off weeks of the LPGA Tour, as well as the same time as limited field events, including the Evian Masters and Weetabix Women's British Open. If an LPGA Tournament agrees, WSGT events could also be scheduled during the tournament's competition week.

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