Even in an off-week for the LPGA, there's a lot going on in the world of women's golf, not least the news that the LPGA will kick off the 2014 season in the Bahamas and may soon be closing deals for new domestic tournaments in other "destination" locations.
Probably the most important tournament of the week starts tomorrow in Miyagi, Japan, the Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Ladies Open. Consider the way in which their prime-time pairings bring together "rising generation" Japanese players with established Japanese stars: JLPGA money-list leader Rikako Morita tees it up with Ai Miyazato and Chie Arimura; rising stars Mamiko Higa and Yumiko Yoshida join Sakura Yokomine; Yukari Baba and Asako Fujimoto have the privilege of playing with Yuri Fudoh; rising stars Natsuka Hori and Misuzu Narita play with Momoko Ueda; Kumiko Kaneda and Erina Hara start alongside Shiho Oyama; Miki Saiki and Megumi Kido get to test themselves against Ayako Uehara; and Kaori Ohe and Miki Sakai share the stage with Shinobu Moromizato. Next generation Japanese hopefuls also tee it up early, including 19-year-old Ayaka Watanabe, 23-year-old Misae Yanagisawa, and 25-year-old Lala Anai leading off on the 1st tee, followed by 20-year-old amateur Seira Oki and 20-year-old pros Miho Mori and Mami Fukuda. That should help make up for the fact that most of the top Korean players on tour like Mi-Jeong Jeon, Sun-Ju Ahn, Bo-Mee Lee, and Ji-Hee Lee (along with Okinawa's own Mika Miyazato) are taking the week off in advance of next week's major and most prestigious event on the JLPGA's schedule, the Japan Women's Open (which has also drawn Ji-Yai Shin and In-Kyung Kim into its field).
There's plenty of star power in Korea, as well, where Se Ri Pak defends her KDB Daewoo Securities Classic title against Inbee Park, Na Yeon Choi, So Yeon Ryu, and Chella Choi.
Over in Europe, the Lacoste Ladies Open de France kicks off today and features the star pairings of Gwladys Nocera/Carlota Ciganda/Charley Hull and Lee-Anne Pace/Azahara Munoz/Karine Icher.
And last but certainly not least, the Symetra Tour heads over to Daytona Beach for the 72-hole, $125,000 Symetra Tour Championship, where my faves Hannah Yun (last week's winner!) and Mitsuki Katahira are trying like everyone else to come away with a 2014 LPGA card in hand at the conclusion of this season-ending event--or at least win an exemption into the final stage of LPGA Q-School in December. Although the tournament organizers decided to tamp down the drama a little by not pairing everyone based on their position on the money list, expect plenty of fireworks, as everyone in the top 33 still has a chance to end up in the top 10 (LPGA card) and even more golfers can play their way into the next 10 (LPGA Q-School Stage III).