Rose Ladies Series to return – with bigger and better format
So much for the Rose Ladies Series being an emergency one-off. Not only is it returning to the calendar in 2021, but doing so in a bigger and better format. Set up by Justin Rose, England’s Olympic champion, and his wife Kate last year to fill the blank summer caused by Covid-19, the pair have once again stepped up to the mark to complete the gaps in the Ladies European Tour schedule. Running in three blocks from the end of April until the start of September, there are 11 one-day events – three more than in 2020 – with increased prize money. The first 10 of the 18-hole shootouts will see the winner walk away with £10,000 – double the amount of 2020 – while the final will feature a £20,000 first prize. The quality of courses will also elevate the mini-circuit with links classics such as Hillside and Royal Birkdale playing hosts. The latter, of course, was where Rose chipped in the 18th as a 17-year-old amateur to come fourth in the 1998 Open Championship. It is remarkable that a germ of an idea which began as a single 18-hole roll-up merely to give somewhere for the UK’s stricken female professionals to play, has grown into a series attracting blue-chip sponsors in an area of British sport where none was supposed to exist. That says everything about Rose, the former world No 1, breaking the mould of the modern male pro in putting his name, fame and indeed his money behind an initiative to assist his female counterparts. American Golf and Computacenter return, while the R&A and BMW have also signed up as backers. Excel, the management company which oversees Rose’s career as well as that of Tiger Woods, will act as promoters, with Rose quick to credit the efforts of Paul McDonnell, his long-time handler, and Molly Bullard, the tournament director.