Feng Wins 2017 LPGA Volvik Championship
Shanshan Feng set a tournament record at -19 in winning the 2017 LPGA Volvik Championship Sunday in Ann Arbor. She was one shot clear of Minjee Lee and Sung Hyun Park.
Feng was beaming as she accepted the trophy:
I’m really, really happy that I can win this tournament because I had a very strong finish last year, but I didn’t have a great start this year because I think I gave myself a little too much pressure trying to maybe catch the World No. 1 and then actually ended up struggling. I’m very happy that I got myself back this week and winning again, so I’m really happy.
“And especially this is my third win in the U.S. because I’m known, you know, as playing well over in Asia always, but I haven’t won many times in the U.S., so I’m very thankful.
Leading the tournament by one after 54, Feng had stretched her lead to four by the fifth hole on Saturday. Australia’s Minjee Lee, however, was making a run. Lee birdied 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9 to get within striking distance. By the time Feng bogeyed sixteen, Lee was just two back.
Feng, who assiduously avoids watching the scoreboard, was unaware of Lee’s run.
On 18 I didn’t feel nervous at all, I just misjudged the rough. And then after the second chip and then my ball got on the green and I actually looked at the leaderboard because I asked my caddie, I was like ‑‑ I handed him the ball, I was like, Is it okay? My caddie’s said, Oh, it’s fine. Then I was like, Oh, maybe I’ve got two‑putt to win. And I looked at the leaderboard and I was winning by two so I didn’t have pressure on the last putt.
On the 72nd, Lee had a chance to force a playoff, but her approach went left of the grandstands. Leee got up and down for par, but a birdie was needed.
I saw the leaderboard walking up here so I saw it then. I was like oh, I’m four shots behind with like two holes to go. So just tried to play and make as many birdies as I could on the last two holes. I made one.
I’m pretty happy with my result. Obviously I’m going to come up a little bit short, but still, yeah, I hit it pretty solid all week and I putted pretty well all week, so no, I’m happy with my result.
Sung Hyun Park started the day four behind, and moved up the leaderboard on the strength of a bogey-free 66. The LPGA Rookie had led after 36 holes. She birdied the 18th to get just one back of eventual winner Feng.
I think all the events I played so far leading up to this event, things weren’t really going well for me. I think I lost a little bit of confidence. But playing well this week, I think I regained my confidence and I’m looking forward to playing the rest of the year.
Park was thankful for Volvik and the support of the area’s Korean community:
I think it’s really fantastic and admirable to see a Korean golf ball company is able to do an LPGA tournament in the U.S. I think it definitely helped me play better. And seeing a lot of Koreans coming out here and watch me play, cheer me on, I think that was a big help for me this week.
The final round of the 2017 LPGA Volvik Championship was moved up due to the threat of afternoon storms (and we did indeed get serious storms starting soon after the end of the round and closing ceremony). Players were grouped in threes and sent off both the front and back.
In spite of weather issues throughout the week, attendance at the second LPGA Volvik Championship seemed good. As the final groups were moving through 16, 17 and 18, spectators lined the ropes.
Volvik is a Korea-based golf ball manufacturer known for its brightly colored balls. Bubba Watson plays colored Volvik balls on the PGA TOUR, and is the official ball of the World Long Drive Championship. The company has seen its US sales increase steadily in recent years, as golfers (including this Golf Blogger) embrace the visibility and fun of their colored balls.
Ann Arbor native Jennifer Song finished t11, six back of the leaders. (To be fair, though, Song spent most of here formative years elsewhere. She was born in Ann Arbor and spent several elementary school years here while her father earned his Ph.D.)
The final results of the 2017 LPGA Volvik Championship are below:
|T2||Sung Hyun Park||67||65||72||66||-18|
|T4||Jeong Eun Lee||68||68||68||67||-17|
|T11||Laura Gonzalez Escall||71||69||66||69||-13|
|T11||Sarah Jane Smith||67||68||72||68||-13|
|T16||Sun Young Yoo||68||70||68||70||-12|
|T23||Mi Hyang Lee||69||69||71||69||-10|
|T23||Emily K. Pedersen||71||68||70||69||-10|
|T30||Nicole Broch Larsen||70||71||67||72||-8|
|T30||Jodi Ewart Shadoff||68||70||72||70||-8|
|T41||Jaye Marie Green||69||69||71||73||-6|
|T48||Min Seo Kwak||70||73||68||72||-5|
|T56||Mi Jung Hur||68||73||74||70||-3|
|T56||So Yeon Ryu||72||71||70||72||-3|
|T73||Na Yeon Choi||68||72||75||73||E|
|T82||In Gee Chun||71||73||MC||MC||E|
|T82||Hee Young Park||73||71||MC||MC||E|
|T82||Sei Young Kim||70||74||MC||MC||E|
|T120||Regan De Guzman||73||74||MC||MC||3|