As soon as once more, the season started with The Chevron Championship, the primary ladies’s golf main. But on Thursday, that tee is transferring some 1,580 miles away from its Californian desert roots.
After 51 years at Mission Hills Nation Membership in Rancho Mirage, the LPGA Tour’s inaugural main is taking over new residence at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas, beneath a sponsorship take care of vitality firm Chevron.
The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course – personally designed by ‘The Golden Bear’ – will host a 132-player discipline with 29 main winners together with defending champion Jennifer Kupcho and world No. 1 Lydia Ko.
US viewers can watch the primary and second rounds on Golf Channel, with protection working from 10 a.m. CST to 7 p.m. CST. Golf Channel will then present dwell protection of the ultimate two rounds of the weekend from 2 p.m. to three p.m. CST earlier than the motion resumes on NBC from three p.m. to five p.m. CST.
Within the UK, Sky Sports activities Golf will broadcast the opening two rounds dwell from 4pm to 8pm BST and 11pm to 1am BST, adopted by the Saturday and Sunday rounds from 7pm to 11pm BST on Sky Sports activities Combine Will change on.
A transfer to The Lone Star State marks solely the most recent – albeit most substantial – growth of a event that has seen a lot change through the years.
Established in 1972 because the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winners’ Circle—a nod to co-founder actress and singer Dinah Shore—the occasion was not upgraded to main standing till 1983. Following on from the Nabisco Championship, The Kraft Nabisco Championship and ANA Inspiration, Chevron’s take care of the event was introduced in 2021, together with a brand new title, a brand new venue and an elevated prize pool of greater than $5 million.
Saying goodbye to Mission Hills, the present additionally bid farewell to one in every of its most well-known traditions – Poppy’s Pond Leap, a development began by Amy Alcott in 1988.
Virtually 34 years to the day, Kupcho turned the final ‘Girl of the Lake’ in 2022 with a dive into the water subsequent to the 18th inexperienced after profitable her first main.
Nonetheless, a lake alongside the boundaries of the par-five 18th inexperienced at Carlton Woods offers Sunday’s champion with a chance to revive the custom.
World No. 20 Kupcho will face powerful competitors to retain her crown. In accordance with event organisers, all top-20 ranked gamers on this planet will lead a powerful discipline that has amassed 41 main wins and 247 titles between them.
The 2-stroke benefit over US compatriot Jessica Korda sealed a powerful win for Kupcho ultimately 12 months’s occasion, having shared the lead from the tip of the primary spherical.
The win lifted Kupcho, who had reached No. 53 on this planet, however recovered from a run of dangerous kind. The 25-year-old returns to a extra snug venue to defend her title.
“I believe final 12 months I used to be somewhat nervous,” Kupcho informed reporters on Tuesday.
“I used to be struggling to hit the ball, so I bought somewhat nervous, known as my swing coach… making an attempt to determine what was going fallacious with my swing and hitting the ball.
“I’d say I am somewhat extra relaxed this 12 months. Really feel like my legs are beneath me and able to go.
New Zealand’s Key is available in because the participant to beat, with three wins in her final eight begins to consolidate her place on the summit as she appears to finish a seven-year await a 3rd main after profitable at Mission Hills in 2016 needs to do
The win would include the added bonus of catapulting the 25-year-old into the LPGA Tour Corridor of Fame, with Ko simply two factors – or a significant win – shy of assembly the purpose threshold for entry.
Ko informed reporters, “It could be nice to be within the first main of the 12 months and be within the Corridor of Fame, however that is not essential to me.”
“I simply wish to have a very good week and put myself in place, and if I’ve an opportunity to do this and be the man holding the trophy on the finish of the week, that is superior. Years could be my driving power for going into any of those packages.
A win for world No. 2 Nelly Korda, who missed final 12 months’s occasion resulting from a blood clot in her hand, would see the 24-year-old American be part of the primary main title gained on the 2021 Girls’s PGA Championship.
Ought to he win, Korda has promised to duck on the 18th inexperienced, a convention he’s completely satisfied to proceed regardless of the change of surroundings.
“I believe Chevron and everybody concerned within the event is doing a tremendous job protecting the traditions alive,” she informed reporters.
“Clearly, altering location is certainly totally different, however … for those who win, you’ll be able to nonetheless bounce … and you’ll nonetheless hoist the trophy, so on the finish of the day, that is what issues. They’re stepping up and supporting ladies’s golf, and I believe that is the larger image that everybody must be being attentive to going ahead and they’re those who’re supporting us.
World No. 10 Georgia Corridor, England’s highest-ranked participant, touches down in Texas in defiant kind. With two runner-up finishes in his final three occasions, the 2018 British Open champion has not positioned exterior the top-15 at any 2023 occasion.
Corridor informed reporters, “I do not assume I’ve any weaknesses in my sport, and I believe that is partly why I have been so constant.”
“I believe my mindset is the strongest a part of my sport, and that’s the key to why I play effectively. It’s a mixture of arduous work over the past 12 months or two and taking it to a different stage.
“Now, it is coming collectively very properly, and I am glad the arduous work is paying off.”