Three-Year Partnership Provides Weekly Epson Tournament Exemptions and Top Players Advancement to LPGA Tour Q-School’s Stage II
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Ladies Professional Golf Association’s Epson Tour and the new ANNIKA Women’s All Pro Tour (ANNIKA WAPT) announced today the extension of their partnership, which began in 2019.
The ANNIKA Women’s All Pro Tour will award spots in a future Epson Tour event for the top two finishers at every ANNIKA WAPT tournament in 2024, which provides valuable starts and experience playing at the next level. Additionally, the top five players on the season’s ANNIKA Race to Stage II program will receive exemptions into Stage II of LPGA Tour Qualifying School. Both opportunities will be available up to Stage I of LPGA Tour Q-School, which is scheduled for August 22-25 in Rancho Mirage, California.
“The Annika Women’s All Pro Tour has demonstrated since the beginning of this partnership, that athletes that achieve success on their Tour, arrive to the Epson Tour ready to compete, many of whom have moved on to the LPGA Tour,” said Epson Tour Chief Business and Operating Officer, Jody Brothers. “I’m thrilled that we are extending this partnership and look forward to working closely with Gary and the ANNIKA WAPT team to make certain that all talented female golfers have the opportunity and pathways they need to achieve their dream of playing professionally at the highest level.”
The Epson Tour and WAPT partnership has provided a path for athletes to make their way into the highest levels of women’s professional golf. The partnership's success speaks for itself, with previous ANNIKA WAPT winners and top five players succeeding at the next stage. Former ANNIKA WAPT players include LPGA Tour winner Grace Kim (2x ANNIKA WAPT winner), LPGA Tour member Gabby Then (ANNIKA WAPT Top 5 and winner) and Epson Tour member Miranda Wang (Epson Tour winner – ANNIKA WAPT Player of the Year 22’). Since introducing the Race to Stage II program in 2021, 75% of the top 10 players on the ANNIKA WAPT now play on the Epson Tour or LPGA Tour.
“The ANNIKA Women's All Pro Tour provides playing opportunities and a true path to the Epson Tour and the LPGA Tour,” said WAPT President Gary DeSerrano. “This partnership furthers the mission of Annika and the Tour to further develop and empower young women through the game of golf and prepare them for a life on tour.”
In July, World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sörenstam and the Women's All Pro Tour (WAPT) announced a strategic alliance set to begin in 2024, in which the Women’s All Pro Tour would become the ANNIKA Women’s All Pro Tour.
“By joining forces with the WAPT, we have a unique opportunity to solidify further an essential platform that has already advanced the professional playing careers of many talented players,” states Annika. “I’m proud and thrilled the LPGA’s Epson Tour has agreed to continue supporting this tour and providing more opportunities for women to pursue their dreams of playing the LPGA like me.”
The 2024 ANNIKA Women's All Pro Tour season is set to begin in Mandeville, Louisiana, April 3 - 6, at the US Restoration Northshore Championship. The tour will conduct at least ten events through early August.