“Poppie’s Pond” is named in honor of Terry Wilcox, the longtime tournament director for the Tournament who retired in 2008.
The concrete-lined pool is part of Champions Lake, which surrounds the 18th (finishing) hole of the LPGA major. Wilcox is known as “Poppie” to his seven grandchildren. The first champion to jump into Poppie’s Pond to celebrate her victory was Amy Alcott in 1988.
Poppie’s Pond is 5-1/2 feet deep at the center and extends about 60 feet on either side of the bridge used by golfers to reach the island green. The pond is maintained to a swimming pool level with a continuous supply of fresh water. It can also be drained easily and refilled to ensure that it contains high-quality water.
Because the pond is self-contained within the lake, golf course maintenance crews are able to 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.
A statue of Dinah Shore near the 18th green bridge serves as the focal point for Dinah’s Walk of Champions along the lake. The statue and Walk of Champions was unveiled and dedicated to the legendary tournament hostess in 2000.
Ladies of the Lake
Here’s a history of the dives, leaps, cannonballs and wade-ins at the Tournament over the years.
1988: Amy Alcott
The splash heard ‘round the world: overcome by excitement, Amy Alcott told caddie Bill Kurre to “let it rip.” They tested the waters for the first time.
1989: Juli Inkster
Inkster did not dive. The tradition has not yet caught on.
1990: Betsy King
Betsy King won for second time, but didn’t dive in.
1991: Amy Alcott
Alcott, Dinah and caddie Kurre took the most famous leap of all.
1992: Dottie Mochrie
Dottie Mochrie won in a playoff at the lake-less 10th hole. No dive.
1993: Helen Alfredsson
Helen Alfredsson won but didn’t take the leap.
1994: Donna Andrews
Donna Andrews, before back problems, took a leap in Dinah’s memory.
1995: Nanci Bowen
Nanci Bowen, a surprising and joyous winner, took a leap into the lake.
1996: Patty Sheehan
Hall of Famer Patty Sheehan cartwheeled her way into the water.
1997: Betsy King
Hall of Famer Betsy King found third time is a charm and joined the dive team.
1998: Pat Hurst
Non-swimmer Pat Hurst waded in, and drove the crowd wild.
1999: Dottie Pepper
Dottie Pepper got the most hang time with her dive following an incredible victory.
2000: Karrie Webb
Karrie Webb made her Australian homeland proud with an Olympic-quality dive “down under.”
2001: Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam leapt into the lake just nine days after walking on water by shooting the first 59 in LPGA Tour history.
2002: Annika Sorenstam
Sorenstam celebrated the tournament’s first back-to-back victories since Sandra Post in 1978 and 1979 by wading into the lake with Reilly McNamara, daughter of caddie Terry McNamara.
2003: Patricia Meunier-Lebouc
Patricia Meunier-Lebouc took a French dip after foiling Sorenstam’s attempt to three-peat.
2004: Grace Park
Grace Park turned the 18th green into Grace-land and takes a stylish swim in the lake.
2005: Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam went for her third “SorenSwim,” this time making it adults only. She dived in with her sister, Charlotta, mother, Gunilla, and caddie Terry McNamara.
2006: Karrie Webb
Karrie Webb celebrated her Webb-feat with a double cannonball with caddie Mike Paterson. Karrie is also the first Tournament winner to test the waters of “Poppie’s Pond” in Champions Lake at 18.
2007: Morgan Pressel
Just ten months after graduating from high school, Morgan Pressel took the victory plunge at age 18 with grandmother Evelyn Krickstein and caddie Jon Yarbrough.
2008: Lorena Ochoa
Con amigos y familia, Lorena Ochoa celebrated her second consecutive major win with a live mariachi band and the largest pool party yet.
2009: Brittany Lincicome
An avid fisherman, Brittany Lincicome reeled in the big one with her first major tournament victory.
2010: Yani Tseng
A non-swimmer, Yani Tseng flashed her famous smile while taking a “leap of faith” into Poppie’s Pond. She was still smiling a short time later when a 7.2 earthquake interrupted her victory press conference in the Media Center.
2011: Stacy Lewis
Moments after Stacy Lewis jumped in for joy to celebrate her first LPGA win with her family, her mother, Carol, was not feeling so lucky after she had accidentally broken her leg upon splashdown into “Poppie’s Pond.”
2012: Sun Young Yoo
Yoo, in her iconic white robe after taking her triumphant leap, was as shocked over the water temperature in the pond as she was in pulling out an improbable playoff victory: “I didn’t know it was going to be that cold. As soon as I ran in there, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s cold.’ It was great.”
2013: Inbee Park
Inbee Park plunged into golf history! Park took her victory leap into Poppie’s Pond with her entourage by her side. Although she claimed the water was a bit chilly, Park was thrilled to join the winner’s circle on a day that also marked the 25th Anniversary of the jump.
2014: Lexi Thompson
Lexi Thompson celebrated becoming the 2nd youngest to win an LPGA Major by taking a leap into Poppie’s Pond with her caddy after sinking the final putt.
2015: Brittany Lincicome
Brittany Lincicome took her second leap into Poppie’s Pond after winning in a three-hole playoff–moments after creating a near carbon copy of her iconic shot on the 72nd hole of play in the 2009 tournament.
2016: Lydia Ko
Lydia Ko performed her iconic “I love you” heart sign as she took the leap, her second consecutive Major victory.
2017: So Yeon Ryu
So Yeon Ryu made her maiden leap into Poppie’s Pond after her playoff victory against Lexi thompson. Whilst doing so, her caddie, Tom Watson performed the ‘dab’ as he made his leap alongside So Yeon!
2018: Pernilla Lindberg
2019: Jin Young Ko