The fiftieth edition of the first major edition of the year will be held in California April 1-4 after the LPGA delayed it until September of last year due to the coronavirus pandemic; Mirim Lee can’t wait to defend title with 18th hole left to play in its ‘purest form’
Last updated: 02/23/21 10:39 am
The ANA Inspiration – the first major golf tournament of the year – will return to its traditional April slot of this year, although it will again be played without spectators.
The LPGA has confirmed that the 50th edition of the tournament will take place on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., April 1-4.
The event was delayed until September of last year due to the coronavirus pandemic – when it was challenged amid 100-degree temperatures – with South Korea’s Mirim Lee claiming his first major victory in ahead of Nelly Korda and Brooke Henderson with a birdie on the first play – off hole.
The course is located in Riverside County which remains under heavy Covid-19 restrictions by the state of California, so a second year without spectators was required.
“Definitely being the very first opening major of the year is very special for us and not having the different weather conditions and the different course conditions [is important]Said tournament communications director Michele Mair.
Lee can’t wait to see his victory scene again and said lpga.com: “I can’t wait to come back to Rancho Mirage as the defending champion. Usually you have to wait 12 months to be able to defend a title, so it’s quite unusual that we will be going back so soon.
“For me personally, I think it will be wonderful to be back as soon as possible and have the chance to relive all the happy memories and feelings of winning there last year. I am very sad that all the amazing fans still aren’t. to be able to come back this year, but it’s a very understandable and sensible decision to make when we’re in a global pandemic. “
A change in the course setup this year will be that there will be no large sponsor blue wall behind the green on the 18th.
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It was used last year to mimic the location of a fan hospitality area, but players ended up using the wall as a backstop in order to carry water past the green island on the hole par five.
Lee used the wall to help him save an eagle-three on his final hole to earn a place in the play-off.
“We’re not building anything on the island,” said tournament manager Alyssa Randolph. “We will return to its 1972 roots and its purest state as a green island.”
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