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LPGA major has new title sponsor

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For a tour that was founded in 1950, the LPGA doesn’t have many traditions. Longevity is a precious commodity in the women’s game, even when it comes to major championships. Which is why word that the ANA Inspiration is getting a facelift — new name, new location, new purse — is blockbuster news.

The LPGA and IMG are set to announce Chevron as the event’s new title sponsor, Golfweek has learned, signing a six-year contract with the global giant.

“This partnership elevates us to a whole different level,” LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan told Golfweek.

The Chevron Championship will stay at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills for 2022 in its traditional spot ahead of the Masters, and ANA will stay on as a partner for next year.

The purse will increase 60 percent from $3.1 million to $5 million, putting it now ahead of the $4.5 million purses both the Amundi Evian Championship and KPMG Women’s PGA awarded in 2021.

After 2022, however, several more significant changes are in store.

The event will move away from Mission Hills, its only home since the event’s founding. The tour is looking to potentially relocate the tournament to the greater Houston area, home to roughly 8,000 Chevron employees and contractors.

There are also plans in place to move the tournament dates to later in the spring in 2023, allowing the event to be shown on NBC. The LPGA’s first major has been shown solely on Golf Channel in recent years. The current dates have also conflicted with the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, which airs its final round on NBC.

The ANA Inspiration celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021, though fans weren’t allowed on property for a second straight year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2022 edition is set to take place 31 March to 3 April, giving players one more chance to take a final leap into Poppie’s Pond.

Colgate-Palmolive CEO David Foster created the event in 1972 and tabbed Dinah Shore as hostess on the new Mission Hills course. It was a marquee tournament from the start. The first purse at the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle was $110,000 at a time when the average purse on tour was roughly $30,000.

golfweek.usatoday.com

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