LPGA major staying at Mission Hills

The LPGA Tour still does not have a new title sponsor for the first major of the season, formerly known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship, but Commissioner Michael Whan confirmed that the tournament will return to the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

Whan told Larry Bohannon of the Desert Sun in an exclusive interview that the tournament definitely isn’t going anywhere.

“We have informed CCA and (Mission Hills Country Club) that we are coming back,” Whan said. “We have some work to do, but there is no chance of us not being there in 2015.”

Kraft, which was owner and sponsor of the event, officially pulled out five months ago, and there was speculation that the tournament might be played elsewhere.

Whan added that the LPGA Tour is not ready to announce a new title sponsor, but did name a new partner, confirming that International Management Group will organize the LPGA major that has been played at Mission Hills since 1972.

IMG ran operations of the tournament for Kraft in 2013 and 2014.

“We sat down with them and said if you believe in this event as much as I do, let’s double our resources,” Whan said. “I want to say no to the wrong opportunity. IMG, being able to split that with the partners, gives us the time to make sure the deal we get is the right deal.”

Lexi Thompson won the tournament in April and took the traditional leap into Poppie’s Pond, which surrounds the 18th green.

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