30 Mar 2022 | Professional golf |

How to watch the Chevron Championship

by PGA of Australia

Karrie Webb ANA image
Karrie Webb takes the plunge into Poppie's Pond in 2006. Photo: Getty

By Tony Webeck

One of golf’s more unique celebrations will be observed for the final time when the winner of this week’s Chevron Championship at Mission Hills Country Club takes the customary plunge into Poppie’s Pond.

Five Australians will tee it up in the first of golf’s nine major championships in 2022, the tournament formerly known as the ANA Inspiration adopting a new name in its 40th year as a major but its last in Rancho Mirage, California.

From 2023 the Chevron Championship will move to the greater Houston area, providing Minjee Lee, Hannah Green, Su Oh, Sarah Kemp and Gabriela Ruffels with one final chance to emulate the Mission Hills victories by Karrie Webb in 2000 and 2006, the last of which featured a hole-out eagle at 18 to force a playoff with Lorena Ochoa which she duly won.

‘Poppie’s Pond’ is named in honour of Terry Wilcox, the long-time tournament director for the tournament who retired in 2008, and is a concrete-lined pool that is part of Champions Lake, which surrounds the 18th hole. The first champion to jump into Poppie’s Pond to celebrate her victory was Amy Alcott in 1988.

Poppie’s Pond is five-and-a-half feet deep at the centre and extends about 60 feet on either side of the bridge used by golfers to reach the island green. Because the pond is self-contained within the lake, golf course maintenance crews can use chlorine without impacting the lake’s fish or birdlife.

As a result, the tournament winners do not have to worry about the quality of the water when they take the dive.

The field will be playing for a $US5 million purse (up some 60 per cent on last year), with 27 of the top 50 in the Rolex Women's World Golf Ranking among the top contenders.

Lee (No.4) and Green (No.31) are among those currently inside the top 50 and both are hoping to add to their lone major championships to date.

Green was victorious at the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship while Lee will be the defending champion at the Aumundi Evian Championship in France in July.

Su Oh and Sarah Kemp earned their places in the field by virtue of their finish inside the top 80 of the 2021 LPGA Tour Order of Merit with Gabriela Ruffels returning to the Dinah Shore Tournament Course following her top-20 finish a year ago.

Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit is back to defend the title she won by two strokes from New Zealand’s Lydia Ko 12 months ago, Ko hoping to go one better in 2022 and add to her previous victory at Mission Hills in 2022.

The Dinah Shore Tournament Course will play 6,884 yards (6,295 metres) during the tournament and to a par of 72.

AUSSIE TEE TIMES

  • 1.47am AEDT (7.47am PDT): Su Oh, Gaby Lopez

  • 2.03am AEDT (8.03am PDT): Hannah Green, Minjee Lee

  • 6.31am AEDT (12.31pm PDT): Sarah Kemp, Pornanong Phatlum

  • 7.43am AEDT (1.43pm PDT): Gabi Ruffels, Cydney Clanton

WATCH

There is live coverage of the Chevron Championship all four days on Fox Sports.

  • The first two rounds will be broadcast live from 3am-7am and 10am-12pm AEDT on Friday and Saturday on Fox Sports 503.

  • The third and final rounds will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 505 from 7am-11am AEST Sunday and Monday.

For full tournament coverage visit lpga.com.

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