Everything’s Bigger In Texas: Revamped Volunteers Of America Classic Increases Purse With New Sponsorship
A classic LPGA tournament is getting a makeover this fall — complete with a purse amount the size of Texas.
Previously known as the Volunteers of America Classic, the LPGA’s only tour event held in the Lone Star State, will now be known as the Ascendant LPGA benefitting Volunteers of America.
The name change comes after a multi-year co-sponsorship agreement with Ascendant National Title, which is a national title and escrow company that's the official Title Insurer of the PGA tour.
The Ascendant LPGA benefitting Volunteers of America is scheduled for Sep. 26 through Oct. 2. The event will be held on the Old American Golf Club course at The Tribute at The Colony Golf Club in The Colony, Texas.
As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas — including the purse up for grabs. The sizable increase from the previous amount of $200,000 to now $1.7 million is an indicator of not only the soaring popularity and demand surrounding women’s golf, but also the positive impact that a single sponsor can have in rewriting the course of women’s sports.
In a statement regarding the tournament announcement, Ascendant National Title CEO Leo Franco discussed the opportunity for Ascendant to join the LPGA event as a co-sponsor.
“We are incredibly honored and excited to join the LPGA Tour family as co-title sponsor for the Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America,” he said. “None of this would have been possible without our parent company and partner, Cypress Ascendant, and their generous support and vision for this partnership. We look forward to expanding our presence in professional golf by supporting and empowering female athletes through our partnership. We are thrilled to be hosting this world-class championship in The Colony this fall.”
The newly named event will feature a playing field of 132 athletes. Notable early entries to the event include seven of the worlds top 10 players, including top-ranked world number one, Jin Young Ko, Nelly Korda (3), Lydia Ko (4), Brooke Henderson (5), Atthaya Thitikul (6), Nasa Hataoka (9) and In Gee Chun (10).
Amateur golfers Bailey Shoemaker, Michelle Zhang and Avery Zweig will also compete on sponsor exemptions.
Shoemaker, a current senior in high school, has committed to USC to continue her career as a part of the Trojan women’s golf team. Shoemaker previously won the Kathy Whitworth Invitational back-to-back years in 2021 and 2022.
Zhang, a native Texan, is an incoming freshman at Southern Methodist University (SMU). She won the 2022 Volunteers of America Classic Girls Championship in July and is a three-time Rolex junior all-American.
Zweig, a high school sophomore from McKinney, Texas, won the Volunteers of America Classic Girls Championship in 2021 and placed second in this year’s event.
Jin Young Ko is among the many professional golfers who currently call Texas home, making the event just a convenient hop away from her Frisco, Texas residence.
The state of Texas is a great environment for those who enjoy the game of golf. Similar to Florida, the Lone Star State features an expansive selection of quality golf clubs and some of the best public courses in the country, as well as having warm weather for majority of the year which allows for more golf to be played (something we can agree we all want more of).
To learn more about the tournament, purchase tickets and more, click here.