As part of a new deal with Chevron, it's all change at the LPGA Tour's first major of the year
The LPGA Tour has announced a host of big changes are to be made to the year’s first major, previously known as the ANA Inspiration.
It includes a new title sponsor in Chevron as well as a bumper prize pot, with the multinational energy company signing a six-year deal and increasing the purse for the event by over 60 per cent to $5 million.
What will become the Chevron Championship in 2022 is also set to move away from Mission Hills Country Club in California for the first time since its inception in 1972. From 2023, a yet undisclosed course in the Houston area will play host to the best female players in the world.
And with that, gone will be the winner’s tradition of jumping into Poppie’s Pond – the lake beside the 18th green – which began with Amy Alcott in 1988.
Also new will be the tournament’s place on the calendar. While it is to remain the first major of the year, the tour has said it will be played later than its usual end of March slot to make it more appealing for TV companies.
“We could not be more excited to announce our partnership with Chevron,” said LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan.
“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.
“Obviously, the history and the traditions at Mission Hills and the partnership there are very important to all of us and to everyone. So we have talked through that and, overall, the response has been extremely positive.”
As well as Alcott, past winners of the event include Dottie Pepper, Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa, Lexi Thompson and Lydia Ko.