Image: Getty Images

2020 has tuned everything on its head, and nothing demonstrates this more than the fact that in the second week of September, we're only just getting round to what would normally be the first ladies' Major of the year.

But, of course, we're delighted to see that the ANA Inspiration is happening at all.

Originally set for April 2 to 5 and now taking place September 10 to 13 at Mission Hills Country Club, here are some of the many reasons why we're super excited that it's #majorweek.

The heat will be turned up (literally)

Temperatures at Mission Hills, found out in the desert somewhere between LA and San Diego, will rise to between 40 to 45 degrees this week.

It's going to be an absolute scorcher.

We thought it was a struggle playing when we had our mini heat wave in the UK, so we're glad to see that the rules have been adjusted to try and make things more bearable (well, for the caddies at least).

Those on the bags can wear bibs instead of the traditional long jumpsuits and they can ride about in buggies. The players however must walk during the four competitive rounds.

LPGA Chief Tour Operations Officer Heather Daly-Donofrio said:

“Projected temperatures next week will range from 105-115 and we are very conscious of the high heat. 2020 has been the year of health and safety, and with that in mind, we will be allowing caddies to take carts for the week.”

But as we learnt at the AIG Women’s Open, not all the big players will even have a caddy with them.

Lindsey Weaver, who pushed her trolley to a T19 finish at Royal Troon will be manning her own push trolley again this week.

She said:

“I pushed my own clubs and I've been doing it for four weeks and playing pretty well so I didn't want to change anything."

Go on girl!

The stars will come out

With the winner walking away with $465,000, the ANA Inspiration has attracted the best of the best.

This includes eight of the top ten on the World Rolex Rankings - Danielle Kang (2), Nelly Korda (3), Sung Hyun Park (4), Minjee Lee (5), Sei Young Kim (6), Nasa Hataoka (7), Inbee Park (8) and Brooke Henderson (9).

Including the home hopes...

20 different nationalities are represented in the 104-stong field.

This includes a formidable selection from the UK and Ireland, ranging from fresh-faced rookies like Leona Maguire to long-time favourites such as Charley Hull and Georgia Hall.

Northern Irish amateur Olivia Mehaffey will also be trying out the track. After making having played with Laura Davies in the first group out at the AIG Women’s Open, she looks like she’s having a great summer and really making up for lost time.

Other home hopes include Bronte Law, Charlotte Thomas, Mel Reid and Stephanie Meadow.

But a few Major champs are missing....

20 Major winners, including 2018 Women’s Open champion Georgia Hall, will be hoping to bag another title.

But just as there will be no spectators, grandstands or pro-am, there will be no defending champion either.

South Korea’s Jin Young Ko won’t be attending due to the travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19 and, as the current World No. 1 on the world rankings, her absence will no doubt leave many feelign extra determined to try and take her crown.

Controversially (or will still think it is anyway), there will also be sign of Sophia Popov, the winner of the 2020 AIG Women’s Open.

This is because the field was set for this week’s tournament back in April and the LPGA aren’t willing to make an exception for the most recent Major winner, no matter how hard she worked to lift that trophy (and breathe).

You can watch LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan’s reasoning behind the Tour’s stance on this issue below.

How can I watch

Coverage will be shown on Sky Sports Golf with the timings listed at www.skysports.com/watch/golf-on-sky.

Or, follow the action on the official social media platforms @ANAInspiration.

 Mike Whan responds to Sophia Popov exemption controversy - READ MORE

 Mike Whan

 

 

 

 


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