ANA Inspiration, the women’s tour’s 1st major championship of the season, marks a half-century in the California desert
50: Number of years that the LPGA will have played at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., when the ANA Inspiration begins Thursday. The tournament, which debuted in 1972 in the California desert as the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle, had the late entertainer’s name attached to it through 1999. In the early days, what came to be known as “the Dinah Shore” invited all winners from the previous 10 years on the LPGA. “It was unlike any other tournament in women's golf with the media attention, the size of the crowds, the atmosphere, and my winning check [$20,500] was greater than the total purse of many LPGA tournaments,” Jane Blalock, who won the inaugural event in 1972, told Ron Sirak for a report on LPGA.com. At $110,000, the inaugural “Dinah” represented the women’s tour’s first six-figure purse. Last year, the $3.1 million ANA Inspiration was postponed from its usual slot in the week ahead of the PGA Tour's Masters in early April until September, when South Korean’s Mirim Lee earned $465,000 as she won in a playoff against Nelly Korda and Brooke Henderson. To view the field for this year's tournament, click here.
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