Given its position on the calendar and the lengthy wait for the year’s first Major to finally come around the ANA Inspiration is particularly anticipated.
The world’s best players spend half the year Major free before they have another crack at lifting the trophy and taking the leap into Poppies Pond.
We recap some of the biggest moments from the ANA in recent years. From the role of the players caddies and the key moments in the final stretch.
HOW TO WIN BY EIGHT SHOTS
“I drove the ball really well and I think that set up for some low scores. I was aggressive off the tee which left me with sand wedges. I think the only way you can play this golf course is to be able to attack the pins.
If you had asked me, are you going to be happy with no bogeys the last two days, I would have said definitely, yeah, you’re probably crazy. I really didn’t have any 3-putts until the last so I putted really solid.
There’s nothing like coming up the 18th hole and the fans are screaming and yelling. It’s electrifying. I get goosebumps every day whether it’s Thursday or Sunday.”
Annika Sorenstam, runaway winner in 2005
STANDING ON THE 18TH TEE
“My heart was racing and it was more just gathering my thoughts. I still had five more shots that I needed to hit and needed to make sure I paid attention to.
I told my caddy ‘we can do this, we can do this’. He’s like, I know we can.”
Stacy Lewis, 2011
THE SECOND TO THE 18TH
“Anything 200, 210 max, to carry the water would be the cut-off point. If I was hitting a hybrid, I was going to go for it. If I was hitting 3-wood, I was going to have to lay up. It was 210 to the pin and 190 to carry the water and I hit a gripped hybrid.
My hands are shaking and my heart is racing. I’m trying to calm myself down by breathing or singing or whatever I can possibly do, and right when I hit it, it came off on the clubface exactly where we wanted to hit it and took the slope like I wanted it to and came really close, thank God.”
Brittany Lincicome who made eagle to win in 2009
THE THIRD TO THE 18TH
“It was straight at the pin and I wanted it to get close so I had a good birdie chance. And when it went in, I just couldn’t believe it. I think my heart just about jumped out of my chest, because it was aching for five minutes.”
Karrie Webb, who holed a wedge approach to make a play-off that she won in 2006
EXPERIENCE OVER INEXPERIENCE
“When I birdied 10 and 11 and I was like, well, supposedly I’ve done this before, so I’m supposed to be the one that’s got all the experience.
Lorena has won but Michelle (Wie) and Natalie (Gulbis) hadn’t. So I was like, they’re not going to go out there and blitz the back nine, so try to post a score and see what happens.
I just knew I had a little bit of an edge over the three of them. There was more of a weight on their shoulders when they actually have to make a birdie to be in a play-off or win the tournament.”
Australia’s Karrie Webb in 2006
THE BACK NINE
My caddy came to me and said we have nine holes to go and just try and concentrate 100 per cent more than ever, keep your head down, a lot of people are going to say things to you and saying Spanish or being funny or shouting your name, so just try to focus on what we’re doing.
That’s what we did.
Mexico’s Lorena Ochoa who won by five shots in 2008