WORLD NO.1 AND 2019 CHAMPION JIN YOUNG KO JOINS THE FIRST MAJOR OF THE YEAR FIELD AT 2021 ANA INSPIRATION
March 8, 2021
Defending champion Mirim Lee joined by nine past champions already entered for 2021 ANA Inspiration
World No.1 Jin Young Ko will play the 50th edition of the ANA Inspiration, taking place April 1 – 4 at Mission Hills Country Club, Rancho Mirage, California.
With the tournament returning to its usual position on the calendar as the first Major of the year, the 50th Anniversary is being celebrated with a look back at the past champions and especially the foundations built by Dinah Shore, whose statue takes pride of place by the 18th green. Please view the special 50th Anniversary short film here.
Ko, who wasn’t able to defend her title in 2020, confirmed she will return to the desert where her win in 2019 saw her first climb to the top of the Rolex World Rankings. She went on to win a second major that summer at the Evian Championship and was crowned as the 2019 Rolex Player of the Year.
The South Korean star has been firmly atop of the world rankings since June 2019 and, having played mainly on the KLPGA until the end of last year, she returned stateside to continue where she left off, finishing tied second in the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open and winning the season finale 2020 CME Group Tour Championship.
With the tournament celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, fellow countrywomen, Mirim Lee, will defend her title against a stellar field that not only features world No.1, Ko but also past champions Pernilla Lindberg, (2018) So-yeon Ryu, (2017) Lydia Ko, (2016) Brittany Lincicome, (2015) Lexi Thompson, (2014) Inbee Park, (2013) Stacy Lewis (2011) and Yani Tseng. (2010)
Ko commented “I can’t wait to return to Rancho Mirage. I have such happy memories from the whole week there in 2019, and with it being the first major win of my career, I think it will always be one of my most special achievements in my career. I hated missing the 2020 tournament and not having the chance to defend my title so I think I feel even more excited to return. I will be doing everything possible to prepare to give myself the best chance to win the ANA Inspiration this year.”
As with last year’s tournament, this special 50th Anniversary edition will be going ahead without spectators due to Covid-19 related restrictions following close collaboration with partners ANA, the LPGA, the City of Rancho Mirage, Mission Hills Country Club and in consultation with the Riverside County Health Department, following the State of California Public Health Department guidelines.
Fans will be able to watch the ANA Inspiration around the world, including on Golf Channel and Sky Sports, and follow along for enhanced content on social @ANAinspiration and the tournament website ANAinspiration.com.
About the ANA Inspiration
The ANA Inspiration is golf’s first major and one of the LPGA Tour’s most prestigious events. Previously known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the tournament was founded in 1972 by David Foster and Dinah Shore and earned the designation as a major championship in 1983. Contested at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., since its inception, the ANA Inspiration holds the distinction of being the second oldest golf tournament continuously held at the same course. For many, the event is most distinguished by one of golf’s most beloved traditions: the champion’s leap into Poppie’s Pond, located adjacent to the 18th green. In 1988, the first champion’s leap into Poppie’s Pond was taken by Amy Alcott, and since has become one of the most anticipated and memorable traditions in golf. For more information on the ANA Inspiration, please visit ANAinspiration.com or call 760-834-8872. On social media, visit facebook.com/ANAinspiration, twitter.com/ANAinspiration or instagram.com/ANAinspiration.
About the LPGA
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950 and headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla., the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing more than 30 countries. With a vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while the Symetra Tour, the official qualifying tour of the LPGA, consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. Additionally, LPGA Professionals directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management.
The LPGA demonstrates its dedication to the development of the game through The LPGA Foundation. Since 1991, this charitable organization has been committed to empowering and supporting girls and women through developmental, humanitarian and golf community initiatives, including LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, the LPGA Women’s Network and the LPGA Amateur Golf Association.
Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via www.LPGA.com. Join the social conversation at www.facebook.com/lpga, www.twitter.com/lpga and www.youtube.com/lpgavideo, and on Instagram at @lpga_tour.
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