What traditions have been kept as The Chevron Championship moves from Mission Hills to The Club at Carlton Woods
Yesterday, I gave my thoughts on tradition in women’s professional golf and in particular how many of the traditions associated with The Chevron Championship have been lost due to the change of host venue.
After 39 years, the women’s first Major of the year has moved from California to Texas and to a course that hasn’t featured on the LPGA Tour before. Mission Hills Country Club with Poppie’s Pond was an integral part of making this Major different from the other four that are contested.
Unsurprisingly, talk at Tuesday’s press conferences turned to that of history and legacy and what the players felt about the change in location.
Jennifer Kupcho is back to defend
Defending champion Jennifer Kupcho reflected on being the last player to win in California:
“To have that is really special to me. Obviously growing up I always wanted to be able to take that leap into Poppie’s Pond, and I loved Mission Hills, being able to play there the couple of years before, as well. It was just a really cool place for me and where I felt really comfortable. So to be able to say that I won there and be the last champion there is really special.”
Whilst 2016 champion Lydia Ko, talked about accepting change:
“It's sometimes weird to have change, but I think it's change for the better and Chevron did a great job last year.
“To be able to also respect the history that we had there and to bring it here into their backyard, I think it's exciting.
“Hopefully, a lot of people will be able to come out and watch us play. It's a very cool place for us to be in, and as a Tour I think we're very grateful for these kind of partnerships.”
But whilst it is important to embrace change, it doesn’t mean that you won’t miss what you had. World number two Nelly Korda said she would be lying if she said she didn’t miss Palm Springs but that she was having a great time so far.
The Champions Dinner
One tradition that has been able to be kept is the Champions Dinner which both Kupcho and Ko both attended.
Kupcho got to choose one dish to be part of the menu and she went for mac and cheese as that’s her favourite food. On the experience of her first Champions Dinner and seeing some of the past champions, the 25-year-old said that it was an exciting experience to see the history of the tournament.
Whilst, Ko said:
“I don't think there's any other event that celebrates that, and it's not only past champions that are currently in the field but people like Sandra Palmer, Sandra Post, Dottie Pepper, there are just so many people, and it's just great to see all the different generations that are there.
“We're all just celebrating this event and everybody that's hugely involved with our Tour. It's a special event in many different aspects, not just the championship itself.”
As for the leap into Poppie’s Pond, there’s still a chance that a jump into water by the 18th will be part of the winner’s celebrations. But, the players weren’t clear on this point just yet with Ko asking if they were allowed and Kupcho believing there could be snakes in the water!
Maybe some traditions are best kept in the past if it involves snakes!
The Chevron Championship gets underway at 7:15am local time (1:15pm BST). You can view the full start sheet here