Golf’s first major of the year — ANA Inspiration best moments — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, March 31, 2022
Happy Golf Thursday everyone! As golf fans, we know just how much this game is formulated around traditions, and this week is an amazing example of one of the best and only traditions of the LPGA. As much as I love a good champagne spray, I think a refreshing dip into a crystal blue pond after beating out the world’s best is an even better way to celebrate a victory.
Major season in professional golf has arrived and I. Am. Ready! There’s a lot of chatter occurring in the golf world about the Masters and whether or not Tiger Woods will be playing, but before Augusta even happens — golf’s first major will be held in sunny California.
The LPGA is back at the iconic Mission Hills Country Club, for the Chevron Championship, formerly named the ANA Inspiration.
The name has changed due to a new sponsorship with Chevron, not only as a way to give this event a “facelift” but giving one to the LPGA as a whole. Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan said that this partnership (like so many other new sponsorships) will ” elevate us [the LPGA] to a whole different level.”
It’s no secret that Commissioner Samaan has a goal to revamp women’s golf at the highest level and the introduction of new sponsors enables more money to flow throughout the tour is the best way to get these talented women PAID.
Let’s dive into what this final year at Mission Hills will look like.
The most notable difference of this year’s tournament has got to be the purse total, which (thanks to Chevron) had increased by about 60% $3.1 million to $5 million, with the top place finisher earning $750,000. This is a big time elevation, but when compared to the prize money for The Players down at TPC Sawgrass a couple weeks back, where the first place prize money was $3.6 million, for a NON-MAJOR tournament — this seems like chump change.
For reference, here’s the major prize money list for the PGA:
Masters: $11.5 million/$2.070 million
PGA Championship: $12 million/ $2.16 million
U.S. Open: $12.5 million/$2.25 million
Open Championship: $11.5 million/$2.070
But this is why we are here together every Thursday. What I do as a women’s golf writer, and what you do as loyal fans and readers is how we continue to grow women’s golf. Make no mistake about it, us as fans are just as valuable to any one that’s a part of the LPGA, the Ladies European Tour, and the Epson Tour. Without us fans, the organizations don’t have legs to stand on. So we keep writing, we keep reading, we keep watching, and we keep going out to events and showing our support.
I’m jealous of those who are able to sit in the iconic blue stands (spectators are back for the first since COVID hit) all week long to witness this jam-packed field. Defending champ Patty Tavatanakit returns to “The Dinah”, along with world no. 1 Jin Young Ko, Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko, Stacy Lewis, Hannah Green, Inbee Park and more . Unfortunately, Nelly Korda will not be competing this week due to her recovery, which I hope is going well and I look forward to her return soon!
Coverage on the Golf Channel begins tomorrow at noon ET, I’ll link the coverage schedule below so don’t miss it.
Being that it’s such a special week I figured I drop some of my predictions of who I think will be taking the plunge into Poppie’s Pond on Sunday.
- The race for first: last year’s epic conclusion between Patty Tavatanakit and Lydia Ko has been replaying in my mind all week long! And with the way Lydia has been playing, and putting, I think she is the woman to beat this week. Lydia Ko is my 2022 Chevron Champ.
- I also expect Jin Young Ko to have a big week. She’s been so dominant and her streak of rounds in the 60s should have her playing with some big time confidence. I anticipate her finishes in the top 3, along with Danielle Kang. Kang has had a great start to her season, she’s been in the thick of the mix in just about every event, so we can’t count her out.
- Players to watch: defending champ Patty Tavantanakit won’t go quietly, she’ll definitely shake up the leaderboard. I also have Brooke Henderson and Inbee Park in the mix of the top 10.
- Rookie to watch: I’m excited to see how Pauline Roussin-Bouchard will play this week! She had a great year last year, and completely balled out during the Q-Series so she deserves to be in the field this week!
It’ll be bittersweet watching the last rounds being played at Mission Hills — this event’s only home. The tournament has plans to move locations, possibly closer to Chevron’s headquarters in Houston, but nothing has been finalized yet. There’s also rumblings about pushing the event to later in the spring next year, so NBC can pick up coverage instead of the Golf Channel which has been the main coverage of the tournament for the last few years. Primetime coverage of women’s golf is huge and I’m crossing my fingers for this to happen sooner rather than later.
See you all next week!
“Tradition means taking account of a wonderful history but remembering that everybody today looks to the future.”— Michael Kadoorie
This week in women’s golf
If you have links you wish to share for Golf Thursday, sources for golf news, or want to talk about anything at all, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ! Discussion of any kind is always welcome…I mean it…MESSAGE ME!
As promised, how to watch the 2022 Chevron Championship.
Ranks for the LPGA and PGA have made a shift ahead of the first majors of the season! Here’s what the latest Rolex Top 10 list looks like:
After Thitikul’s win last weekend, I saw this Golf Digest Ireland article that discusses the expansion of women’s golf in Thailand and the push for developing more junior golfers into elite level players. It’s crucial that we are aware of what’s taking place in golf on a global scale and this story provides good insight!
More golf docu-series! Fun stuff.
I’ll be honest, I had no idea that the LPGA had a 10-year playing requirement in order to be inducted into the HOF. But that’s changed and because of it Lorena Ochoa, one of 13 LPGA founders, will soon be in the LPGA Hall of Fame after criteria change. Ochoa is a legend, she’s been out of the game longer than she played and is still making an impact. She’s well deserving of this honor!
I’m living for all the LET in Africa content. Back in January we had giraffes disrupting practice rounds and now we have possibly the greatest tee markers ever created in the history of the game.
We’ve discussed black women making an impact on golf extensively, but what about outside of the US? Meet Georgia Iziemgbe Oboh, a 21-year-old Nigerian golfer, who is passionate about changing the golfing landscape in Africa!
Epson Tour News
Stepping back from the game to better yourself is a brave thing to do, I loved hearing about Krystal’s story and what’s in store for her!
The Epson Tour is also seeing some desert action in Arizona this week, and here are the players to watch out for.
Top Ranked D-I women’s golf program
Top Ranked D-II women’s golf program
Top Ranked D-III women’s golf program
Exciting amateur news this week as some of the best young girls are in Augusta ahead of Masters week for the ANWA! Here’s a recap of round one:
Every junior golfer’s dream, and she’s living it Meet Avani Prashanth, the 15-year-old breaking barriers at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. The full list of other notable players in the field this week in Augusta.
For your next practice session or round, here’s how you warm up your body effectively, the best golf warm-up: 5 easy stretches to prep your body
Five at The IX: ANA Inspiration best moments
This week’s Five at The IX is all about honoring the old name with some of the best moments in the major’s history! Let’s take a look back at some of the best moments from Mission Hills.
5. Annika’s Ruby Red Shoes:
In true GOAT-like fashion, Sorenstam won back-to-back at Mission Hills and did it in style! There’s no yellow brick road in sight but the red golf shoes are just as iconic as the slippers.
4. Pernilla Lindberg’s epic finale
As if you need the reminder that golf is hard, Lindberg’s victory at Mission Hills was not easily won. She had played in almost 200 LPGA events without a single title, and this one didn’t come easy. She faced Inbee Park in eight playoff holes — most of which were played in the dark…on a Monday!
3. Lydia Ko becoming the youngest two-major winner
At 16, I watched Lydia Ko, who was 18, win not just one major but TWO. I molded my swing and demeanor to match hers and I want to see her back on top at Mission Hills one last time.
2. Lorena’s 62
The latest HOF inductee made history in 2006, by firing a first round 62 at Mission Hills. She went on to win that year (as you can imagine).
1. Amy Alcott
What could be better than the moment that started it all? Thank you, Amy.
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