LPGA opens season with locker-room controversy

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Danielle Kang plays during the 2022 edition of the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. (Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

The 29 golfers playing in the LPGA’s season-opening tournament do not have access to a locker room, Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols reported Tuesday.

The Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions is being played at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club. While LPGA players can use the bathrooms and showers in the women’s facility at the club, there are no lockers available, and the area is not private to players.

Finnish golfer Matilda Castren was shocked about the lack of a locker room for the tournament, she told Nichols.

“You should have a certain standard,” the 27-year-old said.

While tournament organizers had planned to provide lockers in another area of the club, the tournament team decided not to do so, the LPGA said in a statement.

“We are always open to player feedback and work with our tournament partners to allocate finite space,” the LPGA said in the statement.

LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan was unaware of the lack of locker room, an LPGA official confirmed to Nichols.

“I’m not mad at the club; I’m not mad at the sponsor,” American golfer Ryann O’Toole said. “I’m annoyed at the LPGA for that just being an overlooked factor.”

American golfer Jessica Korda revealed on Twitter that this marks the second year in a row without lockers at the Tournament of Champions, though lockers were available in years past.

In the aftermath of the Golfweek report, Hilton Grand Vacations worked in partnership with Lake Nona to order 36 temporary lockers, enough for each LPGA player and celebrity player. The lockers were set to arrive by 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, with the first round of the tournament slated to begin Thursday.