The year's first major championship has a new date.
The LPGA announced Friday that the ANA Inspiration has been rescheduled to Sept. 10-13 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California. The event was previously slated to take place April 2-5 but was postponed last week because of coronavirus concerns.
The Cambia Portland Classic, which had previously been scheduled for those dates, was pushed back to Sept. 17-20.
In addition to the ANA announcement, the LPGA also postponed three more tournaments: the Lotte Championship in Ko Olina, Hawaii (April 15-18), the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open in Los Angeles (April 23-26), and the LPGA Mediheal Championship in Daly City, California (April 30-May 3).
“I’m sure this isn’t shocking news to any of you, given the COVID-19 challenges we are facing in virtually all parts of the world,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan wrote in a letter emailed to his players Friday morning. “We held out on these events as long as we could, hoping conditions would improve. Unfortunately, the current combination of the World Health Organization categorizing COVID-19 as a pandemic, local markets implementing very aggressive event/gathering limitations, and unprecedented, broad-scale travel restrictions that impact so many of our players and caddies, made hosting an LPGA official event under these conditions simply not possible or prudent.”
Whan informed players his staff is busy working on possible new dates for the postponed events. He told GolfChannel.com earlier this week that some creative solutions are also being worked on, like possibly combining events, with two title sponsors teaming up to stage one event with combined purses.
“Assuming we get some relief from the COVID-19 issues soon, it’s pretty clear that the rest of the 2020 season will be quite busy and crowded,” Whan wrote the players. “We are focused on giving you as many playing opportunities as we can. I will share more details about the back half of 2020 as soon as I can. The truth is, every time I think we’ve made a plan to address changes, it never seems to be 'long enough.' I wish I could tell you when the LPGA tour will resume our schedule, but the truth is, no one has those answers. Virtually all our events are concerned given the conditions they currently face in their respective markets. At this point, the only option is to reschedule what we can and hope the COVID-19 situation starts to improve. Trust me, patience is NOT my best quality, so this situation is hard on me, too.”
The earliest the LPGA season could resume is now the Pelican Women's Championship on May 14-17 in Belleair, Florida.