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Jay Busbee

LPGA introduces new tournament, and it's match play

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

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One of the more troubling aspects of the coming LPGA season was the fact that the 2010 schedule has more holes than NBC's primetime schedule. Monthlong layoffs are routine; how are you going to draw an audience when you're only showing up once every few weeks?

Very good news, then, that the LPGA has announced a new tournament, to be sponsored by Sybase and played this May at the Hamilton Farm Golf Club in New Jersey. And the icing on top of this delicious, fat-free cake: it's match play! Yep, the full name of the tournament is the Sybase Match Play Championship, and it's heir to a tradition of LPGA match play.

The Sybase, the 25th of the LPGA season, will be the first official LPGA match play tourney since the HSBC Women's World Match Play petered out after the 2007 season. Hamilton Farm hosted the 2005 and 2006 editions of this event.

Match play, which bounces golfers out round-by-round in one-on-one matchups, drives tv execs insane, but it makes for great drama. Sure, your big dogs -- hang on, that's not the term I want to use with the LPGA -- big stars could go out early, but the drama of all-or-nothing play is so much better than watching golfers slap a ball around the course and play for a top-ten berth.

The Sybase will be held from May 20-23 and will have a purse -- wait, is that sexist to use that term in this context? -- of $1.5 million, with the winner taking home $375,000.

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