Final Field Set for the ANA Inspiration
RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA, March 30, 2015 – A field of 109 professionals and six amateurs will battle to join the elite list of LPGA major champions this week at the first major championship of the season, the ANA Inspiration.
Haley Moore winner of Monday’s ANA Inspiration Champions Junior Challenge, accepted the final amateur exemption into the event following an impressive 5 under par 67 on Monday, winning by 4 shots from Angel Yin. She joins fellow amateurs Celine Boutier, Nelly Korda, Andrea Lee, Mika Liu and Bethany Wu in the field this year.
“We are thrilled to welcome Haley to the ANA Inspiration,” said Takashi Shiki, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Sales, CS & Products Services at All Nippon Airways. “Now that the Champions Junior Challenge is complete our week is truly underway and we are more excited than ever to host the best female golfers in the world alongside some of the game’s brightest young amateurs. Haley’s win today with the guiding support of former champion Patricia Meunier-Lebouc is already an inspiring start to the week and the start new era for the championship and ANA.”
Defending champion Lexi Thompson returns to the site of her first major championship victory this week. She is joined by the other four major champions from 2014 including U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie, LPGA Championship winner Inbee Park, RICOH Women’s Britsh Open champ Mo Martin and Evian Championship winner Hyo Joo Kim.
Rolex No. 1 Lydia Ko, who is seeking her first major championship victory this week, enters the ANA Inspiration on the heels of 28 consecutive under par rounds. The 17-year-old is yet to finish outside the top seven in five tournaments played this season including a victory at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and runner-up efforts at the season-opening Coates Golf Championship Presented by R + L Carries and the HSBC Women’s Champions.
A win this week would make Ko the youngest major championship winner in LPGA history at the age of 17. Morgan Pressel currently holds that record thanks to her victory at Mission Hills at the age of 18. She is one of 11 past champions returning to Rancho Mirage this week including World Golf Hall of Fame members Juli Inkster (1984, 1989) and Karrie Webb (2000, 2006).
Cristie Kerr, winner of last week’s Kia Classic and the top American money winner in LPGA history, returns to Rancho Mirage seeking her third major championship win and first since the 2010 LPGA Championship. Kerr tied for second at the LPGA’s first major in 2009, her best finish at Mission Hills.
The 2015 ANA Inspiration tournament field boasts 59 major championship wins and 486 tournament titles with 24 nationalities represented.