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$3.75 million purse LPGA Tournament to be held in Los Angeles on April 25

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Following last month’s Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship, LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) players will once again compete in Los Angeles.

The JM Eagle LA Championship will be held at Wilshire Country Club from April 25 to 28. Many Korean-American LPGA players, including Jenny Shin, are participating in the tournament, and the large prize pool is also the tournament’s hot topic.

LPGA player Jenny Shin hands a fan an autographed hat at the fan signing after a press conference at Olympic Golf LA in Koreatown on April 8. [Kyeongjun Kim, The Korea Daily]

On April 8, a press conference for the JM Eagle LA Championship was held at a golf equipment store, Olympic Golf LA, in Koreatown. Jeremy Friedman, the tournament’s media director, and Jenny Shin, a participant in the tournament, attended the press conference.

“We are making every effort to host a flawless tournament,” said Friedman, “and Wilshire Country Club is one of the finest golf courses in the world. We will also be providing complimentary accommodations at a top-notch hotel for the 144 players to help them maintain their conditioning.”

The total prize pool for the tournament is $3.75 million. This is an increase of $750,000 from the original $3 million. This is the largest purse of this year’s LPGA regular season outside of the five majors and the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. The increase also brings the total purse for the 2024 LPGA regular season to $120 million. The inaugural JM Eagle LA Championship also made headlines last year for its $3 million prize pool.

“Our hosts, JM Eagle President Walter Wang and Shirley Wang, are very committed to the tournament,” said Friedman, adding, “JM Eagle is committed to promoting not only women’s golf but women’s sports in general.”

Jenny Shin also welcomed the increase in prize money. “It’s great news for me as a player and a great opportunity for other female golfers,” she said, “and it’s a huge step forward from where women’s golf was 10 years ago.”

“Wilshire Country Club is a difficult place to read the greens, but I practiced reading the greens at Palos Verdes Golf Club (where the Seri Pak Championship was held), which has similar green conditions,” said Jenny Shin. “I will hopefully feel comfortable and confident.” When asked about her resolve for this year’s season, she said, “I want to do better than last year, fulfill my goals step by step, and I want to make a lot of good memories at the tournament.”

The tournament organizers asked for support from not only Korean athletes but also Korean-Americans. “Golf tournaments are a place where individual stories are shared,” Friedman told the Korea Daily, “and the fans’ interest in many players, including Koreans and Korean-Americans, will lead to greater attention to the overall LPGA Tour.”

Gallery tickets for the tournament will be available online as well as at Olympic Golf LA in Koreatown. Sales will begin on August 8 and will be available throughout the Games. There will be no online fees for the $25 daily tickets when purchased at Olympic Golf.

“This is a great opportunity to support not only the athletes from Korea, but also the athletes who grew up in Southern California, and that’s why we decided to do a consignment sale,” said David Noh, CEO of Olympic Golf. “They will be available at Olympic Golf LA, Fullerton, and Roland Heights locations.”

BY KYEONGJUN KIM, HOONSIK WOO [kim.kyeongjun1@koreadaily.com]