The ANA Inspiration, the first major on the golf calendar, is still planning on going forward with the competition despite coronavirus concerns in its host region, the California desert.
The Desert Sun reported on the plans for the LPGA Tour and tournament organizers to have the event as scheduled from April 2-5, complete with galleries, despite California being one of the top three states for reported coronavirus infections. In particular, the Palm Springs area, where host Mission Hills Golf and Country Club is located, has seen a concentrated number of those cases.
“The LPGA Tour continues to closely monitor all information related to the coronavirus in partnership with our security and medical teams, the (Centers for Disease Control) and the (World Health Organization),” said the LPGA in a statement to The Desert Sun on Monday. “At this time, there are no plans to cancel any upcoming LPGA Tour events.
"However, like other major sporting leagues and entities, we are planning for different scenarios and will take into consideration all relevant information, including the guidance and directives of local health officials in the regions in which we play.”
Several other events held in the Palm Springs area have been canceled or postponed. The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Springs, regarded as the fifth major in the tennis world, was canceled last week with players on site. The Coachella music festival is expected to be postponed until October, according to Billboard.
The LPGA has already canceled or postponed three events this season due to coronavirus concerns, effectively wiping out their winter Asian swing which was to feature events in China, Singapore and Thailand.
The next LPGA event, the first since Feb. 16, is set for next week at the Volvik Founders Cup in Phoenix, Ariz. The following week, the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif., will be the fourth and final event of the year before the season's first of five majors.
Jin Young Ko is the defending champion of the event.