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Major changes coming to LPGA Las Vegas tournament

The LPGA’s Las Vegas stop is getting a new format and an expanded field as the tournament enters its fourth iteration at Shadow Creek.

The T-Mobile Match Play will now feature a combination of stroke play and match play, with the field expanding from 64 players to 96 for the April 3 to 7 event.

Players will play three rounds of stroke play Wednesday through Friday, with a 36-hole cut after the second round to the top 65 players. Following the third round, the top eight players will advance to the weekend for match play.

Ricki Lasky, the tour’s chief tour business and operations officer, called the changes “a great evolution of the match-play format that has become a staple on the LPGA Tour schedule.”

The tournament’s first three years featured 64 golfers split into 16 four-player pods. Round-robin match play took place the first three days, with one player from each pod emerging to the weekend for knockout rounds.

The changes come as T-Mobile was announced as the tournament’s new sponsor, stepping in after Bank of Hope ended its three-year run as title sponsor.

That change is significant for golf fans, since American star Nelly Korda is a T-Mobile ambassador. Korda, ranked second in the world, will play in Las Vegas for the first time.

“The new format will test all the players, and I look forward to competing at Shadow Creek later this spring,” Korda said in a statement.

The new format and expanded field are just the latest changes for the event, won last year by Pajaree Anannarukarn. When the 2024 schedule was released, the Las Vegas event was moved up to early April from its previous Memorial Day weekend spot on the calendar, and the purse was increased to $2 million from $1.5 million, the lowest on the LPGA Tour in 2023.

Organizers hope the date change will encourage more of the top players to come to Las Vegas when the weather is more inviting for five days of golf. It is also now part of a West Coast swing, following events in Palos Verdes, California, and Phoenix the previous two weeks. An open date the following week also should help attract more players.

Tickets for the tournament, priced at $59.99, will go on sale Friday at axs.com.

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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