Originally created 02/24/01

LPGA tour back in Augusta



The LPGA Tour is returning to the Augusta area after an absence of more than 30 years.

Augusta Mayor Bob Young announced Friday that the Augusta International Championship, presented by Asahi Ryokuken Inc., will be held Sept. 20-23 at Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club in North Augusta.

The 72-hole stroke-play event will feature a purse of $1.2 million and will have a full field of 144 players.

"We celebrated our 50th anniversary last year," LPGA Commissioner Ty Votaw said Friday. "Part of that history is here in Augusta. We're thrilled to come back to a place that is such a rich part of our history."

The Titleholders, a top women's event, was held in Augusta from 1937-66.

Mr. Votaw confirmed that a multiyear deal had been signed with Mount Vintage, a semi-private club that opened last April. Designed by Tom Jackson, it is considered one of the top courses in the area.

No television deal has been made yet, Mr. Votaw said.

The title sponsor is a Japanese firm that specializes in natural food sales, specifically green barley leaves. It had sales of more than $51 million last year.