Changes in California’s COVID-19 restrictions on events won’t change the ANA Inspiration’s plan to play without spectators next month.
Officials of the LPGA major championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage confirmed that the women’s golf event will still be played with no fans on the course.
“At the moment and given that Riverside County still remains in the purple tier, there is no change to our plans to play the 50th ANA without spectators,” said Alyssa Randolph, senior manager for golf for International Management Group and tournament manager for the ANA Inspiration, in an email.
Randolph said the tournament is staying close to the changes being made by local officials, but for now there are no plans for fans for the event April 1-4.
Riverside County announced Tuesday that starting April 1, the first day of play at the ANA Inspiration, live outdoor events, including outdoor sporting events, may resume with limited spectators. But under the purple tier, only 100 fans will be allowed at a venue. The county remained in the purple tier Tuesday with an adjusted case rate of 8.3 per 100,000 residents, still slightly above the four to seven cases per 100,000 required to take the county into the less-restrictive red tier.
In the red tier, a venue can have up to 20 percent capacity for an event, but fans can’t come from more than 120 miles away from the venue. The county could move into the red tier next week, but that would be just two weeks before the ANA Inspiration is scheduled.
The ANA Inspiration, the first major of the golf season, was postponed from April to September in 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions and was played without spectators. The tournament, celebrating its 50th anniversary, returns to its traditional dates of the first week of April this year.
Larry Bohannan is the golf writer at the Palm Springs (California) Desert Sun, part of the USA Today Network. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook or on Twitter at @Larry_Bohannan.