LPGA shifts major event from Rancho Mirage to Texas
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Miami (AFP) –
The LPGA will move its first major of the season from California to Texas after 2022 under a new six-year deal that will shift the event from its April date.
The tour announced the Chevron Championship will replace the ANA Inspiration, debuting at its current home at Mission Hills Country Club Rancho Mirage, California, on March 31-April 3, 2022.
The tournament will shift to a later date in 2023 and move to a new club, likely in the Houston area. An exact home and new date for the event will be announced later.
"We could not be more excited," LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan said.
"Welcoming another leading global company to our portfolio of sponsors that believes in the power of the LPGA to inspire women leaders, to showcase human performance at the highest level and to highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion in all facets of life, is truly game-changing for us."
The deal will see a prize money jump of more than 60% to $5 million, a long-term national telecast agreement and creation of a player advisory board to ensure top LPGA players compete and guide the event's future.
What it will leave behind is a tradition that began in 1972 with entertainer Dinah Shore and businessman David Foster creating what was then the richest event in women's golf. The event carried Shore's name until 2000.
"We do not make the move lightly," said Marcoux Samaan. "Since David Foster and Dinah Shore created this competition in 1972, it has held a special place in the hearts of our players and fans around the world.
"No matter where it is held, Dinah and her influence, along with the history built at Mission Hills, will be an integral part of the Chevron Championship.
"We thank ANA and Mission Hills for their tremendous support and look forward to celebrating the many years of tradition as we continue to add to its footprint in the history of women's sports."
LPGA player Lydia Ko, who won the event in 2016 and serves on the LPGA Board of Directors, noted the history made at Rancho Mirage.
"We have all made some lovely memories at Mission Hills over the years which we will enjoy celebrating in 2022 and take with us to the Chevron Championship's new home, where I know we will make many more," Ko said.
© 2021 AFP