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In a coronavirus world, ANA Inspiration can follow the success of the PGA Championship

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Golfweek’s Steve DiMeglio previews the field this week for the PGA Championship, the first major of the year, at TPC Harding Park.

USA TODAY

On a list of big surprises in sports these days, news that the ANA Inspiration will be played in Rancho Mirage without spectators ranks pretty low.

The LPGA major at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage was fighting a losing battle over having fans on the course in September. When the spike in the coronavirus hit in the last month, it was pretty obvious that having a large number of spectators walking the fairways or filling grandstands just didn’t make sense in a pandemic world.

Just getting the tournament played was going to be a victory, and the team at the ANA Inspiration, working with Riverside County authorities, managed to get the final approval to play.

Make no mistake, though, the decision about having fans or not was not really made by the tournament organizers or the LPGA. It was about rules and orders from the state and the county that killed off the idea of spectators.

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More: Golf majors will be different in 2020, but they are majors just the same

More: No spectators on the course, but ANA Inspiration will be played in September

“Our choice, if it was possible, we would certainly not be without our fans,” said Michele Mair, vice president of golf communications for International Management Group, operators of the

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