Lydia Ko – in form and with form in the event with her 2016 trophy

It might have a new title sponsor, but the first major of the year in either male or female golf, the Chevron Championship, will be played this week at its traditional home, the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage in California.

This, however, will be the final staging of the event at Mission Hills as in 2023 the championship moves to Houston, ending a run of over 50 years of this event as a major and non major LPGA Tour title.

The event has been known under a series of names since its elevation to major status in 1983, the most recent being the ANA Championship and its most recent winner being Patty Tavatanakit in 2021.

Australians have won the title on two occasions and New Zealanders once. In 2000 and 2006 Karrie Webb was the champion and in 2016 Lydia Ko won the second of her two major titles to date.

Ko is in this week’s field and will be joined by fellow Australasians, Minjee Lee, Hannah Green, Su Oh, Sarah Kemp and Gabi Ruffels.

Ko won in 2016 but also finished runner-up in 2021 and has played well enough in recent months including a win in Florida in February to be a real chance to contend again.

Lee has played only three events in 2022 but one was when runner-up in Singapore and although she cannot boast a great record in this event, the current world number four, does own a 3rd place in 2017.

Green has a best of 14th in four starts at Mission Hills and although she has made a slow start to her LPGA Tour season she performed well in lesser events in Australia earlier in the year.

Oh has a poor record in this event having missed her last four cuts and with a best of 51st in two others, Admittedly, she is playing considerably better in 2022 including a win at the WAPGA Championship in Brisbane and some solid finishes in LPGA Tour events since but her record at Mission Hills is a concern.

Kemp has played the event on three occasions and has missed the cut twice and unfortunately for the NSW golfer, her form over the last six months hardly gives encouragement for much better.

Gabi Ruffels is not a member of the LPGA Tour, but she earns a start in this event courtesy of her impressive top 20 finish in 2021. Ruffels also finished 15th in 2020 so this is a golf course that would appear to fit her eye.

Ruffels has played Futures Tour events in 2022 with only mixed success.

Ko and Lee appear genuine chances to challenge for the title, more especially because of their current standing and form.