Ladies European Tour
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|Current season, competition or edition:
2016 Ladies European Tour
|Countries||Based in Europe.
Schedule includes events outside Europe, in Asia, Africa, and the United States.
| Charley Hull
(2014 Order of Merit winner)
|Most titles||Laura Davies (45)|
The Ladies European Tour is a professional golf tour for women which was founded in 1979. It is based in England. Like many UK-based sports organisations it is a company limited by guarantee, a legal structure which enables it to focus on maximising returns to its members through prize money, rather than on making profits for investors. The tour is run by a Board of Directors and a Players' Council. Most of the players on the tour are European, and the largest non-European contingent by far comes from Australia.
The U.S.-based LPGA was founded in 1950, but women's professional golf was slower to get established in Europe. In 1978 the Women's Professional Golf Association (WPGA) was formed as part of Professional Golfers' Association of Great Britain and Ireland and a tour was established the following year.
In 1988 the tour members decided to form an independent company, the Women Professional Golfers' European Tour Limited. This new company moved away from the PGA's headquarters at The Belfry and set up its own headquarters at the Tytherington Club in Cheshire. In 1998 the Tour changed its name to European Ladies' Professional Golf Association Limited and again in July 2000 to its current name, Ladies European Tour Limited. In 2008 the tour relocated to offices at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club, which is just outside London.
Getting a women's tour established in Europe was not easy. Whereas men's tour golf in Europe developed in parallel with that in the United States, the women's tour had to compete against a well established rival in the U.S. LPGA Tour from its foundation. In 2005 the tour dismissed its fifth chief executive in eight years as it continued to find it very difficult to compete effectively against the LPGA Tour for players and media attention, even in its home continent.
However it then entered a period of growth, adding six new events in 2006 and 2007. A record 26 official money events were scheduled for the 2008 season, which also saw the introduction of a new team competition called the European Ladies Golf Cup. Also, for the first time in several years, the LET scheduled an event opposite one of the LPGA's majors, with the ABN AMRO Open held opposite the LPGA Championship. The schedule dropped to 23 official money events in 2009, but increased to 25 for 2010. In both years, the Ladies Open of Portugal was scheduled opposite the LPGA Championship.
The current President of the Women's Golf Association of India, Kavita Singh has been appointed to the LET Board as one of its non-executive directors for a period of three years.
The 2014 schedule was announced on 7 December 2013 with 22 events counting toward the Order of Merit (the biennial Solheim Cup, held in odd-numbered years, is also an official LET event). The total of events has been roughly stable since 2010; the peak was 28 in 2008. The two richest events by far are The Evian Championship (historically the Evian Masters) and the Women's British Open, which are co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour and have prize funds of roughly €2.4 million and €2.2 million at January 2014 exchange rates (fixed at US$3.25 million and 3 million) respectively. The next-richest is the Women's Australian Open, co-sanctioned by both the ALPG Tour and LPGA Tour, with a prize fund of about €900,000 (fixed at US$1.2 million). Three other events (in Morocco, England and Dubai) have prize funds of €450,000 to €500,000, with the remainder having prize funds of between €200,000 and €400,000. Total prize money in 2014 Order of Merit events is expected to approach €12 million.
Unlike in men's golf, the European and American tours do not share a common set of majors, although the Women's British Open and The Evian Championship are currently recognised as majors by both organisations. The significance of this is limited as the LPGA Tour is so dominant in global women's golf that "women's majors" usually refers to the LPGA majors, even in Europe.
2016 schedule and results
Past tour schedules
Individual LET tournaments have purses fixed in a mixture of Australian dollars, British pounds, euro, New Zealand dollars and U.S. dollars, so year on year changes in the total prize fund reflect exchange rate fluctuations as well as prize fund movements in constant currencies.
|Countries||Total purse |
Order of Merit and seasonal award winners
The Order of Merit is awarded to the leading money winner on the tour, though for some years in the past a points system was used. The Player's Player of the Year award is voted by the members of the Tour for the member they believe has contributed the most to the season on the Tour. The Rookie of the Year (known as the Bill Johnson Trophy from 1999 to 2003 and now the Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year) is awarded to the leading first-year player on the Order of Merit rankings.
Notes and references
- "About the Ladies European Tour". Ladies European Tour. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "Kavita Singh is first Indian woman on LET Board of Directors". The Times of India. 9 July 2012.
- "The 2014 Ladies European Tour Schedule Announced" (Press release). Ladies European Tour. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- Individual events counting towards the Order of Merit only. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland counted separately.
- Individual events counting towards the Order of Merit only. Excludes team events and qualifying school.
- "Pettersen wins ISPS HANDA Order of Merit". Ladies European Tour. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "Carlota Ciganda wins the LET’s 2012 Rolex Rookie of the Year Award". Ladies European Tour. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- List of golfers with most Ladies European Tour wins
- Ladies European Tour records
- Women's World Golf Rankings
- Professional golf tours