What to Expect at the 2015 ANA Inspiration
Japan’s Leading Airline Becomes Title Sponsor of the First Major of the LPGA Season & Official Airline of the LPGA
RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA, March 28, 2015 – The 44th edition of the ANA Inspiration – previously known as the Dinah Shore and the Kraft Nabisco – takes flight next week with a new title sponsor and an incredible list of storylines fit for the first major championship on the 2015 golf calendar.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) debuts as title sponsor of the LPGA’s first major this year, which features a purse increase to $2.5 million. The largest airline in Japan by passenger number, ANA also serves as the Official Airline of the LPGA.
The best field of the season is set to descend on one of the LPGA’s most iconic venues at Mission Hills Country Club, which has played host to the Tour since 1972 and to the first major of the season since 1983. Lexi Thompson is primed to defend her first major championship title following her three-shot victory and leap into Poppie’s Pond – a tradition set to continue in 2015 and beyond – last April. She will face a formidable list of opponents again this year including top-ranked American and 2011 champion Stacy Lewis, 2014 U.S. Women’s Open winner Michelle Wie and Rolex No. 1 Lydia Ko, who has amassed six LPGA victories at the age of 17.
The final field for the 2015 ANA Inspiration will be announced on Monday, following the conclusion of the Kia Classic. The final spot in the tournament field will be filled by the winner of the 2015 ANA Inspiration Champions Junior Challenge, which will take place on Monday on the Palmer Course at Mission Hills Country Club.
Speaking ahead of the championship, Takashi Shiki, ANA Executive Vice President, Marketing & Sales, CS & Products Services said: “As a global leading airline it is an honor and privilege for ANA to partner with this historic championship. The ANA INSPIRATION represents one of the most important major championships in all of golf and we’re excited to be embarking on a new journey that has the potential to inspire golfers worldwide while strengthen our longstanding connection between key markets of Japan and North America.
He continued, “This event has established so many wonderful traditions that ANA will look to embrace and enhance for the enjoyment of all players and fans.”
Fans will have the unique opportunity to “upgrade” their tickets to the 18th green suites by visiting the ANA exhibit in the fan zone. Ticket holders who tweet a photo sitting in the ANA business class seats at the Fan Zone using the tags @ANAinspiration, @FlyANA_Official and #ANAinspiration will be entered to win one-day upgrades to the hospitality suites adjacent to the 18th green.
“Fans are in for an exciting week with the best female golfers in the world returning to the ANA Inspiration,” said Gabe Codding, Tournament Director. “The Dinah Shore tournament course at Mission Hills Country Club is in excellent shape and will once again provide a terrific venue for the LPGA’s first major.”
Golf Channel has exclusive tournament coverage of ANA Inspiration, airing more than 20 live hours from Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Thursday, April 2 – Sunday, April 5. Additional tournament programming during the week will include live news conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday, a one-hour Pro-Am show airing in primetime on Wednesday, as well as wrap-around news coverage provided by Golf Central for each tournament day.