The Chevron Championship

The 51st edition of The Chevron Championship starts tomorrow with a field of 115 players, including 14 of the world’s top 15 players on the Rolex Rankings, 29 Major champions, 34 Solheim Cup players and 24 nationalities represented.

Player Quotes:

World No. 6 and 2013 Champion Inbee Park –

 on returning to Mission Hills for a final time and welcoming new sponsor, Chevron….

I had good memories over the years, and obviously the 2013 was the highlight of it. I just love this golf course. Love this area. Love to compete in the first major of the year.

Course is in really, really good condition. It is probably the best I’ve seen, pristine conditions, so really looking forward to playing this week, and I think it’s going to be a great week.

It is definitely sad and we will definitely miss this place and the fans around this place was always great.

Chevron definitely stepped this tournament up by so much, and I think definitely appreciate the opportunities that they’ve given us.

So we will miss this place, that’s for sure, but we’re going the right direction I think.

I think this tournament has very long history of the championship, and obviously Chevron is going to definitely step it up and make this tournament even more, even better, even more prestigious golf tournament.

So really looking forward to working with new sponsor, and I think they’ll be good.

RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 30: Inbee Park of Korea looks on from the third green during a pro-am prior to The Chevron Championship at The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa on March 30, 2022 in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

on her goal for the week…

I think jumping into last Poppie’s Pond will be definitely the goal of everyone I think. The weather is perfectly hot and it’s — so we’re ready. Everyone is ready to jump in the pool.

Solheim Cup Captain Stacy Lewis

on the importance of this Major to women’s golf…

This tournament is our tour. It’s the LPGA. When you ask someone about the LPGA they know this place, they know the jump in the pond. That’s what everybody knows. We’re at a point now where purses are getting bigger, and this is where it started. Colgate came on board and started that movement.

And so it is, it’s a sad week personally for me that we’re leaving, but I think Chevron is going to take this thing to the next level and we’re going to take traditions with us and do it right.

on how she has changed since winning here in 2011…

When I was in the booth last week they showed some highlights and I was little baby-faced kid. Life is way, way, way different. Gosh, everything about it is different. The way I think off the golf course, the way I think on the golf course. My responsibilities are a lot different now.

So life has changed, but the best part is inside the ropes golf is still golf. I probably love it more now than I did then. Just it’s kind of becomes my little escape where I can turn my phone off and not worry about anything else and just enjoy playing.

World No. 4 Minjee Lee, winner of the 2021 Evian Championship

on how she feels coming in as a Major Champion…

To be honest, I don’t really feel too much different as a person. I feel the same, but I think golf-wise I’m just a little bit more confident I think in just myself and in my game; just a little bit more belief there I think.

Something that I probably don’t really think about too much, but it’s just a little bit more subconscious. Other than that, I don’t feel too much different.

I feel pretty good. I’ve been striking it really well. I think my putting is coming together just with the little tweaks I’ve done this week; hopefully it’s going to be a great week.

RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 30: Brooke Henderson and Ellen Henderson of Canada walk the 15th hole during a pro-am prior to The Chevron Championship at The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa on March 30, 2022 in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

World No.10 Brooke Henderson

On being back at Mission Hills….

You know, to be here, a major championship, it’s always amazing. And just the beauty that surrounds this golf course and the golf course itself, it’s always an incredible feeling.

I played a pro-am this morning, and walking you up to 18 green and by the Dinah Shore statue and right by Poppie’s Pond and just seeing the Wall of Champions, too, thinking about Sunday afternoon and all the fans that will fill those big stands is just an incredible feeling.

I definitely look forward to it every year, so hopefully this will be a good year, and I’m just excited for the opportunity.

On changing her driver to a conforming 46 inches…

I feel like I’m at peace with the driver now and I’m just excited to be playing in this championship for the eighth time, to be able to step up on No. 10 tee, my first hole tomorrow with Lydia. Just excited to go out, and hopefully both of us can make a lot birdies and play some great golf.

This year has been a strong year so far, so just excited to hopefully keep that going. And I think around here you have to hit a lot fairways and a lot of greens if you’re going to play well. The rough is very long and it’s always a challenge, so definitely trying it keep it straight.

You know, hopefully if I can start off with a good round tomorrow, carry it on through Friday, and then hopefully on the weekend I can put myself in contention and compete for another major championship, because that would be pretty cool.

3 things to look out for on course this week

The Chevron Challenge on the 14th hole

The CHEVRON CHALLENGE ON 14th HOLE is designed by Chevron to highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion from early education to careers.

Chevron will donate $10,000 for every birdie and $1,000,000 for the first hole-in-one.

While the money raised will be distributed amongst the chosen recipients at the end of the event, Chevron will showcase a different key charitable initiative on each tournament day to amplify the impactful missions of their charity partners –

BMW is proud to be the Official Vehicle of the Chevron Championship and has provided an exciting hole-in-one opportunity for the players at the 17th hole.

Each day of competition, the first player to record an ace will receive the first-ever, all-electric BMW iX.

Poppie’s Party Deck

Brand new spectator platform which is open to all spectators that overlooks Dinah Shore’s statue and the 18th Green.

Major Champions aplenty on leaderboard at The Chevron Championship

Mission Hills Country Club Rancho Mirage, Calif.

March 31 – April 3, 2021

Course Setup: 36-36—72; 6751 yards (Scoring Average: R1, 72.374)

There are seven major winners on The Chevron Championship 2022 leaderboard at the end of day one, with Jennifer Kupcho and Minjee Lee tied at the top after shooting opening rounds of 66 in the relatively benign morning conditions.

Jennifer Kupcho hits her tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round at the 2022 The Chevron Championship at Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Thursday, March 31, 2022. (Chris Keane/IMG)

Jennifer Kupcho, a 24 year old from Colorado, who recorded five top-10 finishes in 2021, including a season-best runner-up finish at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Golden Ocala and made her Solheim Cup debut last year. She finished tied 6th at the 2022 Honda LPGA Thailand and is seeking her first LPGA victory:

Yeah, I played really well. I really like the layout of this golf course, the beautiful shape that it’s in every year. It always is so fun to be here, so just taking advantage of how much I like the course and the atmosphere.” “I mean, everyone gets nervous. But, I mean, I think it’s more of just getting used to it and figuring out how to deal with it, learning different tactics. That’s what I’ve definitely done through the big events I played in.

Minjee Lee hits her tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round at the 2022 The Chevron Championship at Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Thursday, March 31, 2022. (Chris Keane/IMG)

Minjee Lee, who won her first major title last year at the Evian Championship and finished T2 at the 2022 HSBC Women’s World Championship:

I think, yeah. I know I have one (a major) under my belt, but I do want a little bit more. So, yeah, I just think I have a little bit more belief in myself and my game so I can be a little bit more comfortable just hitting the shots that I choose.

Minjee Lee takes her putter from her caddie on the 16th hole during the first round at the 2022 The Chevron Championship at Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Thursday, March 31, 2022. (Chris Keane/IMG)

Last year’s winner, Patty Tavatanakit, is in third place and her impressive opening round of 67 included seven birdies and was the lowest opening round of any defending Champion at Mission Hills since the tournament was upgraded to major in 1983:

Honestly, after I walked off that 9th hole I was like, it’s done. I feel like first round is a little bit nerve-wracking. You want to start off great, if you don’t, what can you do afterwards. Fortunately, I was able to walk away with a great round. But, you know, another round tomorrow. It’s still golf. You still have to execute and play. So it’s a long week ahead.

Lydia Ko hits her tee shot on the fifth hole during the first round at the 2022 The Chevron Championship at Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Thursday, March 31, 2022. (Chris Keane/IMG)

The 2016 Champion Lydia Ko, 2021 and 2018 Women’s Open Champions Anna Nordqvist and Georgia Hall are among six players on four under in fourth place. Ko, who finished last year’s Championship with a dazzling 62, fired an impressive round of 68 in the trickier afternoon conditions said:

I played really solid overall. When I missed a green I was able to make up and down for most parts, and when I did miss a fairway I was able to recover well with the second shot or third shot coming in.

Overall I think a lot of positives to take from today. On my back nine there were a couple putts that shoulda, coulda, woulda gone in but didn’t. I feel like that’s the case in any round.

I know the afternoon is normally breezy and it picked up in on the back nine for us. It wasn’t playing super easy out there. Yeah, I’m happy with the start.

Hall, a winner at the 2022 Aramco Saudi Ladies International said:

A bogey-free was massive for me as well. Just really steady, and obviously I played in the afternoon so the wind got up in the back nine, so hopefully tomorrow morning I’ve got early and there won’t be any wind and try and take advantage of that.

I didn’t put myself under too much stress actually. I think I only missed maybe one or two greens, so a lot of times I had birdie chances.

And staying quite patient even when I had a lot of run of pars I was thinking, well, there are some tough holes out there, so just having a good time.

Nordqvist commented:

I think I get any adrenaline pumping a little bit more in majors. I just love those tournaments, love the challenge, love the tougher courses. I guess I’m not a big fan when it just becomes a putting competition or it’s just like the shooting. But I think I had a good strategy today and felt I executed pretty well.

3 things to look out for on course this week

The Chevron Challenge on the 14th hole

The CHEVRON CHALLENGE ON 14th HOLE is designed by Chevron to highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion from early education to careers.

Chevron will donate $10,000 for every birdie and $1,000,000 for the first hole-in-one.

While the money raised will be distributed amongst the chosen recipients at the end of the event, Chevron will showcase a different key charitable initiative on each tournament day to amplify the impactful missions of their charity partners

The Chevron Championship, Round 1 

Highlights: The Chevron Championship, Round 1 

Shibuno takes lead at half way stage at The Chevron Championship

Hinako Shibuno hits her tee shot on the 18th hole during the second round at the 2022 The Chevron Championship at Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Chris Keane/IMG)

Hinako Shibuno, the 2019 AIG Women’s Open Champion, added a birdie-filled 66 to her opening round of 69 to lead The Chevron Championship 2022 by a single shot.

This is the first time Shibuno has led a major at the half way stage since the 2020 US Open where she eventually finished fourth.

Shibuno, who missed the cut here in 2021, showed good form in Thailand last month when she finished T8 at the Honda LPGA Thailand. Known as the ‘Smiling Cinderella’ on her home Tour in Japan and now, around the world, Shibuno charmed the world’s media when she won the ’19 Women’s Open on what was her first international foray as a professional.

When she triumphed at Woburn, she introduced the charmed media to her love of snacks and that remained the theme three years later as she told the attending media at Mission Hills her plans for the weekend: “I’m going to do just same thing, and I’m going to eat and I’m going to sleep.”

She explained when she first played at Mission Hills she thought it would be a hard course for her to play but now she felt she had found the right approach: “If I’m swinging harder on the tee shot and make more, you know, decent shot on the second shot. Yeah. The rough, it’s a power from the rough.”

When asked how she’d changed since winning the AIG Women’s Open in 2019, Shibuno cheerfully delivered, “My game, golf game is not a lot different than I won 2019 British Open, but my personality is not different at all.” Adding with an engaging chuckle, “I eat a lot more snacks.”

Defending Champion Patty Tavatanakit and Americans Annie Park and Jennifer Kupcho are in T2 at -8 with Park shooting a 67, the second lowest round of the day behind Shibuno.

Tavatanakit, who finished with two closing birdies to sit only one shot back said:  “This is actually the first time I actually kind of feel like I know what I’m doing on the putting green.

But other than that, I’m really proud with my approach shots as well. I been working really hard on that with my coach, Grant Waite, and keep improving.”

Annie Park hits her tee shot on the ninth hole during the second round at the 2022 The Chevron Championship at Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Chris Keane/IMG)

Park, who’s best finish in this Championship was a T56 in 2016, shot what is her lowest 36-hole total at a Major. The novelty of her situation, given her best major finish to date was a T18 in 2018 at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, came across as Park spoke to the media following her round: “It’s great to see you again today. Just kind of like going back to what I said yesterday, just having fun out there. I think that’s kind of the biggest key, and it’s been a while that I’ve had a great time on the golf course.. But just overall it was a great day and I feel a lot better about my long game. Been putting a lot better. Made some really good putts out there. Did leave some out there but overall I’m stroking it pretty solid.”

In contention for the first time in a while, Park spoke candidly about how she had, at times, considered leaving the tour, “it feels good to be back. You know, I think for a while I thought about stepping away from the game. I mean, COVID really was long. Last year I took the two-month break just needing some time to myself. Yeah, I think last week was the first time I started to enjoy it again. Just not with golf, but just in general, like being able to see the spectators again and just having I think like this newfound passion for golf.”

Jennifer Kupcho chooses a club on the fourth hole during the second round at the 2022 The Chevron Championship at Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Chris Keane/IMG)

Kupcho started and finished the day in second place and explained that gum, not patience was the key to her round. Having opened with 15 birdies before finally birdieing her 16th hole she said,  “I wouldn’t say I stayed very patient. I definitely got a little angry. I mean, I threw in a piece of gum. That kind of tends to keep me more chill, and that certainly helps when I made the turn.”

With four Major winners amongst the top five players on the star-studded leaderboard, Hyo Joo Kim and Sei Young Park are in T5 at -7

The Chevron Championship, Round 2 

Highlights: The Chevron Championship, Round 2 

KUPCHO TAKES SIX SHOT LEAD INTO FINAL ROUND OF THE CHEVRON CHAMPIONSHIP 2022

Jennifer Kupcho walks to the 18th hole during the third round at the 2022 The Chevron Championship at Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Saturday, April 2, 2022. (Chris Keane/IMG)

Jennifer Kupcho takes a six shot lead into the final day of The Chevron Championship 2022 at Mission Hills after a third round 64 put her at -16 under and saw her break away from the chasing pack.

Jennifer Kupcho hits her tee shot on the 15th hole during the third round at the 2022 The Chevron Championship at Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Saturday, April 2, 2022. (Chris Keane/IMG)

Kupcho addressed the media post her third round with an overwhelming self-confidence that belies the fact she has yet to win on the LPGA Tour. She commented “Everything was working. I mean, seriously this week I think my putting is definitely the props. I have putted really well, and you got to make putts in a major championship.”

When asked to recall some moments which stood out as highlights of the day she could not recall any details explaining: “Honestly it’s all a blur. I mean, I hit the fairways, hit the greens, and really was just trying to put smooth putting strokes on them. That’s what I did, and they fell.”

Jessica Korda tees off on the 10th hole during the third round at the 2022 The Chevron Championship at Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Saturday, April 2, 2022. (Jason Miczek/IMG)

Jessica Korda, a six-time LPGA winner and seeking her first Major win made her way gracefully up the leaderboard from 15th to third place after a 67. Korda was certainly not counting herself out despite being seven shots adrift as she observed: “It’s a major so you know the girls up front are going to be nervous, and we’re kind of chasing them down and they know that. You always just kind of got to think that you have a chance no matter, and that’s kind of the mentality you got to go in there with.”

Korda is another player who knows her game rather suits this course: “I love the grass. I don’t know, Palm Springs is so nice. I’m definitely really sad that we’re leaving. It’s one of the golf courses you always look forward to coming back to because you know it, and the more that you know to the better you’re going to play out here. It is definitely about learning the golf course and learning the breaks, and it’s been really nice to be here. It’s going to be sad, but also we’re really looking forward to what the future has for this event.”

Patty Tavatanakit hits her tee shot on the 16th hole during the third round at the 2022 The Chevron Championship at Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Saturday, April 2, 2022. (Chris Keane/IMG)

Playing alongside defending Champion, Patty Tavatanakit, who was visibly disappointed following her third round 70 which included six birdies and four bogeys. She quickly found a positive angle ahead of the final round here at Missions Hill, saying “I like chasing. Yeah, for sure. Better feeling. You play without fear and I love doing that.”

Overnight leader Annie Park was another who was choosing to see the positives of her third round 73 as she sits in solo fourth place; “I think I’m pretty good. I think I was most worried about my putting and my putting was pretty solid today, so going into tomorrow I’m feeling pretty good. I think with just new clubs and going back to my old swing but kind of reverting back to a new technique, so still getting used to it. I’m right around the corner and feel pretty good.”

Lexi Thompson and her caddie on the 18th hole during the third round at the 2022 The Chevron Championship at Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Saturday, April 2, 2022. (Jason Miczek/IMG)

Lexi Thompson is undoubtably the fan-favorite amongst the Mission Hills crowd having won here in 2014 and came so agonisingly close to reclaiming her title a number of times with finishes including a 2nd, 3rd, 4th , 5th and 7th since her win.  Although she wasn’t counting herself out after a third round 71 left her T5 at -6. Clearly determined to enjoy every moment at the final playing at Mission Hills: “Score-wise obviously I have to shoot like lights out, but honestly just overall enjoying every single step of being the last round out here. Hopefully they can get another event out here because the community, the girls love it here, and just the fans absolutely adore this golf course and having us here.

We’ll see what the future holds, but Chevron has done amazing things with us here and nothing but great things Houston I’m sure. Bigger and better. I’m just going to embrace the whole experience tomorrow and hopefully get a lot of people out here to support us, so we’ll see.”

The Chevron Championship, Round 3

Highlights: The Chevron Championship, Round 3

* Information and images credit to  thechevronchampionship.com & www.lpga.com

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