Sweeping changes are coming to the LPGA’s first major championship of the year.
The tour’s new commissioner, Mollie Marcoux Samaan, announced Tuesday morning that the ANA Inspiration will not only receive a new title sponsor and purse bump next year, but beginning in 2023, the championship will have a new home and move to a new slot on the calendar, away from its usual pre-Masters dates.
The news, first reported by Golfweek, includes a new name, the Chevron Championship, as Chevron U.S.A. Inc. replaces ANA as title sponsor after seven years. The six-year deal with Chevron also includes a purse increase from $3.1 million to $5 million, which again gives the event the largest prize in women’s golf. Future plans include likely relocating to the Houston area (course to be determined and announced in coming months) and moving competition dates to later in the spring, which will allow the championship to be broadcast on NBC.
“This partnership will be a game-changer in so many ways,” Marcoux Samaan said.
This year’s ANA Inspiration, won by Patty Tavatanakit in April, marked the 50th edition of the event, which had been held annually at Mission Hills Country Club’s Dinah Shore Tournament Course in Rancho Mirage, California, since the tournament’s inception in 1972.
Co-founded by Colgate-Palmolive chairman David Foster and entertainer Dinah Shore, “The Dinah,” which the tournament has long been nicknamed, has played an important role in the history of women’s golf. It debuted with a purse almost triple that of the U.S. Women’s Open ($110,000 to $40,000). Its pro-ams attracted many celebrities, and its galleries were the best on tour. In 1982, the first year under new title sponsor Nabisco, it was the first women’s golf event to be televised all four rounds, though it had some TV coverage from the start.
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