ANA Inspiration Primer: History, TV, Field, Odds

Danielle Kang
Danielle Kang chips on the 18th green during a practice round prior to the ANA Inspiration on the Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills CC on Sep 10, 2020 in Rancho Mirage, CA. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The LPGA gets the jump on officially opening golf’s “majors season,” when it stages this week the first of the five tournaments considered major titles in women’s golf, the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

The tournament once known as the Dinah Shore will feature a 119-player field, highlighted by the top 15 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, all vying for the biggest slice of a $3.1 million pie and the opportunity to wash it down with the famous jump into Poppie’s Pond.

After delaying the 2020 edition due to COVID-19, the tournament took place in September where Mirim Lee edged Brooke Henderson and Nelly Korda in a playoff.

Now ranked world No. 10, Lee will return to defend her maiden major, as will Korda and Henderson, who enter with world rankings of Nos. 4 and 7, respectively.

Brooke M. Henderson
Brooke M. Henderson plays a tee shot on the 5th hole during the third round of the ANA Inspiration on the Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills CC on Sep 12, 2020 in Rancho Mirage, CA. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Other notables include American stars Danielle Kang, Lexi Thompson, and Jessica Korda, along with a talented crew of Lee’s compatriots, led by world No. 1 Jin Young Ko, Inbee Park, Sei Young Kim, Hyo-Joo Kim, Sung Hyun Park, and Jeong Eun Lee6.

As we do each week, here’s a round up of information and historical data to be ready for the ANA Inspiration.


2021 ANA Inspiration Preview


The Skinny

ANA Inspiration
Dates: April 1-4 2021
Where: Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Course: Mission Hills CC (Dinah Shore Course)
Distance: Par 72, 6,763 yards
Architect: Pete Dye
Format: 72-holes, stroke play
Purse: $3,100,000
Winning Share: $465,000
Defending Champion: Mirim Lee 


How to Follow: ANA Inspiration

Television: Thu-Fri: 12-4 p.m., 7-9 p.m. (GOLF); Sat-Sun: 5-9 p.m. (GOLF)

Live Stream: Thu-Fri: 12-4 p.m., 7-9 p.m. (GOLF); Sat-Sun: 5-9 p.m. (GOLF)
NBC Sports App and golfchannel.com

Links: Website | Leaderboard | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


ANA Inspiration History

Betsy King Dinah Shore
LPGA golfer Betsy King holds up the Trophy with Dinah Shore after King won the Nabisco Dinah Shore golf tournament in March 1990 at the Mission Hills CC in Rancho Mirage, CA. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

What was originally an event started in 1972 based around the popular entertainer and golf enthusiast Dinah Shore has grown through the years, becoming an LPGA major in 1983.

Shore’s influence is still heavily felt, as the tournament is contested on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course and the winner’s trophy still carries Dinah Shore’s name. Shore was among those who have participated in one of the event’s most recognizable traditions, a jump into “Poppie’s Pond” beside the 18th green for the champion (and frequently, her caddie and several others.)

Many of the biggest names in the history of women’s golf have been champions of the event through the years, including Annika Sorenstam, Betsy King and Amy Alcott — all three-time winners of the event — and, more recently, Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lincicome (twice), and Lydia Ko.

The title sponsor is ANA, more formally known as All Nippon Airways. It is the largest airline in Japan, with more than 20,000 employees.

Tournament Names

2015-21: ANA Inspiration
2002-14: Kraft Nabisco Championship
2000-01: Nabisco Championship
1983-99: Nabisco Dinah Shore
1982-82: Nabisco Dinah Shore Invitational
1981-81: Colgate-Dinah Shore
1972-80: Colgate-Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle

Recent ANA Invitational Winners

2020: Mirim Lee (-15)
2019: Jin-young Ko (-10)
2018: Pernilla Lindberg (-15)
2017: So Yeon Ryu (-14)
2016: Lydia Ko (-12)
2015: Brittany Lincicome (-9)
2014: Lexi Thompson (-14)
2013: Inbee Park (-15)
2012: Sun-Young Yoo (-9)
2011: Stacy Lewis (-13)

ANA Inspiration Records

72-Hole Scoring
269 (-19) – Dottie Pepper (1999)

54-Hole Scoring
202 (-14) – Pernilla Lindberg (2018)

36-Hole Scoring
132 (-12) – Lindberg, 2018; Sung Hyun Park (2018)

18-Hole Scoring
62 (-10), Lorena Ochoa (Rd 1, 2006)

Margin of Victory
10 – Karrie Webb (2000)

Victories
3 – Amy Alcott (1983, 1988, 1991)
3 – Betsy King (1987, 1990, 1997)
3 – Annika Sorenstam (2001, 2002, 2005)


The ANA Inspiration Field

Nelly Korda plays a tee shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the ANA Inspiration at the Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills CC on Sep 11, 2020 in Rancho Mirage, CA. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Everybody’s going to be there, so this is literally one of those weeks where anything can happen. If there’s one particular aspect that could separate the players, it’s that the length of the Dinah Shore Course, at 6,763 yards, has traditionally given an edge to big hitters.

Lexi Thompson and So Yeon Ryu are former champions on the Dinah Shore course, and both are among the top 10 in driving distance.

Nelly Korda and Brooke Henderson are also among the longest hitters on Tour, and each finished runner-up last year.

Of course, the record shows that shorter hitters like Mirim Lee, Lydia Ko and Inbee Park have been successful in claiming this championship in the recent past, as well, so it’s not a given that a big hitter will win, but it helps.

Nelly Korda’s sister Jessica is ranked fifth in driving and enters in good form with a Rolex Ranking of No. 18, so she could be one to keep an eye on as well.

Top-Betting Favorites
1. Inbee Park (8/1)
2. Jin Young Ko (9/1)
3. Lexi Thompson (10/1)
4. Nelly Korda (11/1)
5. Hyo Joo Kim (12/1)
6. Brooke Henderon (16/1)
6. Danielle Kang (16/1)
8. Lydia Ko (20/1)
9. Sei Young Kim (20/1)
10. Minjee Lee (22/1)
10. Jessica Korda (22/1)

World Rankings Top 15
1. Jin Young Ko (KOR)
2. Inbee Park (KOR)
3. Sei Young Kim (KOR)
4. Nelly Korda (USA)
5. Danielle Kang (USA)
6. Lexi Thompson (USA)
7. Brooke Henderon (CAN)
8. Nasa Hataoka (JPN)
9. Hyo Joo Kim (KOR)
10. Minjee Lee (AUS)
11. Jennifer Kupcho (USA)
12. Sung Hyun Park (KOR)
13. Jeong Eun Lee6 (KOR)
14. Austin Ernst (USA)
15. Hinako Shibuno (JPN)

LPGA Points Leaders
1. Nelly Korda (1 W, 3 T10s)
2. Lexi Thompson (3 T10s)
3. Jessica Korda (1 W, 2 T10s)
4. Austin Ernst (1 W, 1 T10)
5. Danielle Kang (3 T10s)
6. Inbee Park (1 W, 1 T10)
7. Lydia Ko (2 T10s)


Credits: LPGA Tour Media, Getty Images



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