News of a welcome and substantial increase in prize money for the first female major of the year of golf has arrived with the noticeable footnote that no host site is in place after 2022.
The Chevron Championship will immediately replace the ANA Inspiration, which will be held at its traditional location in Mission Hills, California starting March 31 of next year. The plan is for the event to then move to Houston, home of more than 8,000 Chevron employees. Still, for now, there is a strange lack of clarity, especially regarding a move later in the spring after a deal was made for TV coverage of the network. Chevron has entered into a six-year partnership.
“We are working very, very hard with Chevron and the LPGA to find our future home and future dates, possibly in Houston, which has an incredible track record in hosting and supporting world-class golf tournaments. “said Ed McEnroe of IMG. , who co-manage the tournament. “So more to come in the coming months. “
Pressed by the site’s situation, McEnroe added, “We’re taking our time on this. We have to make the right decision and it is a collective decision. It’s Chevron and the LPGA here. The caliber of the golf course must be a major championship. It has to work well for so many other things we’ve talked about, from weather to travel feed, network windows, what kind of experience can we create on this golf course, not just from a golf course perspective? infrastructure, but for the volunteers and the media and all the fans. If we’re in Houston, Chevron’s employee base will be important to us.
“So please be indulgent with us. We’re working hard, but it’s going to take a little while to figure this out. “
The good news comes in the form of a 60% increase in the prize fund, to $ 5million (£ 3.67million). Still, it’s $ 800,000 less than the R&A paid at this year’s Women’s Open and $ 500,000 less than this year’s US Women’s Open.
The Houston Open of the PGA Tour went without a sponsor in 2018 and 2019. It has since gone from just before the Masters at Houston Golf Club to November at Memorial Park.