Rancho Mirage Welcomes Spectatorless LPGA Tour  

The 2020 ANA Inspiration, usually the first women’s major of the year, was postponed due to the pandemic. Now rescheduled for September 10-13, play will take place without the famous enthusiastic crowds.

Additionally, COVID-19 concerns leave some question about which of the world’s best women golfers will tee up for the annual event on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage. 

‘Link-ing’ up

Unfortunately, defending champion Jin Young Ko will not head the field. While ascending to No. 1 of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and winning four LPGA Tour titles in total during 2019, the pandemic has kept her from playing any LPGA tournament this year.

Others who will miss this major include 2017 ANA Inspiration Champion Ryu So-yeon, Hyo-Joo Kim (ranked 10th in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings) and No. 11 Jeong Eun Lee6. All four also skipped the AIG Women’s British Open.

Other previous winners expected to return include:

2018 – Pernilla Lindberg

2016 – Lydia Ko

2015 – Brittany Lincicome

2014 – Lexi Thompson  

2013 – Inbee Park  

2012 – Sun Young Yoo  

2011 – Stacy Lewis

2010 – Yani Tseng

Before play was suspended in February, Olympic gold medalist Inbee Park said, “I am very excited to return to Mission Hills. I love everything about the place. It’s so beautiful with all the flowers and the backdrop of the mountains, the amazing sunshine and, of course the crowds are amongst the best of our year. Most important of all, the Dinah Shore Tournament Course really suits my eye, I have managed to win there before, so I always really look forward to returning to play it.”

Watch historic play from home

With health and safety in mind during the pandemic,  the 49th edition of this Major will be played without spectators. 

“This was such a tough decision to make given the hugely important role our fans play in making the ANA Inspiration,” said Alyssa Randolph, Tournament Manager at the 2020 ANA Inspiration, “but their health and safety was front of mind as we reluctantly reached this conclusion.”

Fans who purchased tickets for the 2020 ANA Inspiration should visit ANAInspiration.com for refund information.

The tournament will be broadcast on Golf Channel and Sky Sports. Additionally, fans can follow along with enhanced content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the official website. 

“The champion’s walk at 18 and the jump into Poppie’s Pond are two of the greatest traditions on the LPGA Tour,” Mike Whan, LPGA Tour Commissioner, said in a statement. “While we wish we could have fans with us in person to celebrate these exciting moments, ensuring the health and safety of everyone inside and outside the ropes is of the utmost importance. Tune in to Golf Channel, celebrate with us in your living room and join us again in 2021, when we will have an amazing 50th birthday celebration for the ANA Inspiration.”