Belleair to host new LPGA tournament next year

It will be a short drive down the road to drive a golf ball at the newly renovated Pelican Golf Club. 

Monday morning, the LPGA Tour announced it will be making its return to Tampa Bay next year after a 30-year hiatus. 

"I'm just really excited to have a tournament where I can drive to!" exclaimed Brittany Altomare, a six-year pro on the LPGA Tour. 

The Pelican Women's Championship Presented by DEX Imaging will feature a field of 144 players vying for a $1.75 million purse.

"I hope the fans get behind this," said LPGA commissioner Michael Whan. "When you see this come to town, expect the Olympics. Players from all over the world. Camera crews from all over the world. It's going to be showcased and televised all over the world. This is going to be a great hometown event, but the rest of the world is going to watch," he said. 

Altomare, who resides in Tampa, isn't the only one looking forward to a hometown tournament. Nelly Korda is from Bradenton, and currently ranked number 10 in the world. 

"I'm going to have a lot of family and friends, hopefully, that will come out," she said. "A lot of girls on Tour live in Florida, so I think this is really going to be a very family-filled event and I just think it's going to be a blast!" 

According to Whan, it will also drive money into the local economy. 

"If you think about it, we bring media trucks and families. We bring caddies and coaches, and families and players. We bring all of the entourage that follows them, and then you've got fans that come in from all of Florida to see this," said Whan. "You should expect a significant economic impact, somewhere in the $15-$35 million range is a typical LPGA media economic impact." 

It's a hole-in-one for these women, and the city of Belleair. 

Tournament week will be May 11-17, 2020. Belleair will be one of four stops on the LPGA Tour next year.