Just three weeks on from the first major of the year, the Irish trio of Leona Maguire, Stephanie Meadow and Olivia Mehaffey will have another shot at major glory this week at the ANA Inspiration.

The tournament usually takes place in late March or early April but was moved due to the Covid-19 pandemic impacting the LPGA Tour schedule as well as the Majors calendar - the Evian Championship's cancellation meant there is one fewer major to play for in 2020.

The three Irish contenders will be among a 104-strong entry list, which doesn't include defending champion Ko Jin-young, teeing off at the Dinah Shore tournament course in California on Thursday.

Britain's Charley Hull had withdrawn after testing positive for coronavirus on Tuesday.

Covid-19 Protocols

The tournament is being played in a 'bubble' without spectators and grandstands, which organisers confirmed in early August. Due to the intense heat expected in the area now that the ANA Inspiration is taking place in September, the LPGA has modified the rules governing caddies.

Caddies will be allowed to use carts, although that shift in policy will not be mandatory, while players can avail of carts during practice rounds but not during the tournament itself.

Stephanie Meadow at the LPGA Walmart NW Arkansas Championship on 28 August

Irish Form

Stephanie Meadow led the Irish challenge at the Women's Open at Royal Troon last month, finishing in a tie for 39th at that opening major of the year, 16 shots behind eventual winner Sophia Popov.

The Co Antrim native has featured in four tournaments, including that major in Scotland, with a tie for 20th her best showing so far at the Marathon LPGA Classic, since the tour resumed following the lifting of restrictions this summer

Her last appearance at the ANA Inspiration was back in 2016, having finished in a tie for 20th in her debut the previous year.

Leona Maguire had missed the cut at Royal Troon and then finished 77th Stateside at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship the following week in what is her debut year with an LPGA Tour card.

But prior to the Women's Open, she had posted a strong 18th place finish at the Scottish Open.

Leona Maguire

Needless to say unlike Scotland, the biggest challenge in California this week will be the heat which the Cavan golfer has been trying to prepare for as she told RTÉ Sport during an in-depth interview: "I'm in LA just practising and getting ready. It’s going to be 48C there so I’ve been just trying to build up the energy stores and making sure I’m properly hydrated.

"I’ve played in heat but that’s on another level. Usually the ANA is in early April time, so I’m sure it will play a bit different but it’s a great golf course and I really enjoyed it the last time I played."

Olivia Mehaffey in action at the Women's Open

Olivia Mehaffey will be among six amateurs in the field alongside China's Lei Ye, Australia’s Gabriela Ruffels and the US trio Rose Zhang, Kaitlyn Papp and Emilia Migliaccio.

She also took part at the Women's Open, missing the cut but will hope to make an impact at the ANA Inspiration after receiving a sponsor invitation reserved for the six top ranked amateurs to make the entry list.