The 2021 ANA Inspiration golf tournament will go forward beginning next week in Rancho Mirage although no fans will be permitted to watch from the course due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials confirmed Friday.
The tournament will return to Mission Hills Country Club for its 50th inception from April 1-4. It will be the first major tournament of the year for the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Despite not allowing fans on the course, the tournament will still be broadcast on the Golf Channel and Sky Sports.
The LGPA initially announced the 2021 tournament would be played without fans back in February, while Riverside County remained in the most restrictive “purple” tier of the state’s reopening framework.
Despite the county shedding some of its restrictions by moving into the “red” tier earlier this month, a LPGA spokeswoman confirmed Friday the plan to hold the tournament without fans remains unchanged.
Outdoor sports venues in California can reopen as early as April 1 with capacity limits based on the county’s tier ranking, according to the most recent guidance released by state health officials earlier this month.
For counties like Riverside, in the red tier, 20% capacity will be allowed. Counties in the purple tier, however, will be strictly limited to a total of 100 people, with only local residents permitted, advance reservations or tickets required and no concessions or concourse sales allowed.
Golf fans may remember the tournament being played locally only a few months ago, when the 2020 version was pushed from its typical April date to September due to the pandemic. South Korea’s Mirim Lee emerged victorious, taking home $465,000 in prize money. She is set to return to defend her title this year.
The ANA Inspiration is one of five major championships in professional women’s golf.
Previously known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the tournament was founded in 1972 by David Foster and Dinah Shore. It earned the designation as a major championship in 1983, and has been played at the Mission Hills Country Club since its inception, according to organizers.
The purse for this year’s tournament is $3.1 million. The winner will again receive $465,000.
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