For the first time in three years, the LPGA’s first major championship of the year will finally have this essential ingredient


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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — The LPGA’s first major championship of the year was held twice in the last two years despite the COVID-19 pandemic. But both in 2020 and 2021, the tournament was played without one essential ingredient for sports events: fans.

That changes this week at the newly named Chevron Championship, formerly known as the ANA Inspiration.

“Finally. We have been counting down,” said Alyssa Randolph, tournament manager for the Chevron Championship. “We really look forward to it. I mean, fans really bring energy and excitement and the players feed off of that. What a great year to bring that back, and we can’t wait to have them.”

The Chevron will be the first major sporting event played in the desert with full ticket sales, no vaccination mandate, no requirement for proof of a negative COVID-19 test and no mask mandate since the American Express on the PGA Tour was played in La Quinta in January of 2020.

Other non-sports events like the Coachella Music Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival were either canceled or held in modified fashion since the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020.

At both the 2020 tournament, rescheduled to September from April, and the 2021 event that was held in its traditional April dates, the Chevron allowed only members of Mission Hills Country Club onto the Dinah Shore Tournament Course, and then only in the backyards of their homes or in homeowners’ association common areas. Ticket sales were eliminated because of state and County of Riverside restrictions on gatherings of large crowds. But those restrictions have been eased as the COVID-19 case numbers have dramatically dropped.

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“We are following closely with the state of California and we were advised that the county is following State of California guidelines on the mega events, which we fall under,” Randolph said. “That’s outdoor sporting events for more than 10,000 people need to require (stiffer protocols). So we don’t have 10,000 people per day, so we are just following state guidelines on this.”

While fans won’t need to be vaccinated to buy tickets because of local regulations, others at the tournament will need to be tested or vaccinated under LPGA protocols, including amateurs playing in the tournament’s pro-am. That’s because pro-am players will be in relatively close contact with the LPGA pros.

List

Top 10 most unforgettable moments over five decades of the LPGA’s Chevron Championship

1988 Nabisco Dinah Shore

1988 Nabisco Dinah Shore



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