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A long, slow goodbye for an LPGA major whose time might simply have run out

Was it really the conflict with the Augusta National Women’s Amateur that brought about the end? Or was it the galleries that seemed to get a little smaller each year? Or was it the lack of an immediately recognizable title sponsor?

Or maybe it was just the march of time that will see the LPGA’s first major championship of the year be played for the final time in the Coachella Valley next April. An event that seemed woven into the fabric of the desert, the newly christened Chevron Championship will be ripped out of Southern California and transplanted to a yet-to-be-named course in the Houston area for 2023.

New dates later in the spring, a shiny new sponsor in Chevron, a huge jump in the purse and even the promise of network television times await the tournament in Texas. What will be left behind will be history, tradition, a great golf course and memories, things that don’t resonate all that much in the modern world of sports.

Make no mistake, the tournament most recently known as the ANA Inspiration had its problems, not the least of which was the looming loss of All Nippon Airways as a sponsor after 2022. As an international airline, ANA was hemorrhaging money like all…

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